Thursday, 26 April 2012

If artists were trees

This is an unusual post born from a “what if” question. I see some connections between species of trees and some artists’ bushstrokes.

Camille Pissarro

While studying Camille Pissarro’s paintings, his brushwork reminded me of cherry trees. This analogy was brought on me not only the pointy shape of the leaves echoed by the elongated coma shaped brush marks, but also by the way brush strokes are placed on the canvas, in diagonal or hatches.

Cherry tree

The Church at Eragny (Detail)

The Church at Eragny - oil on canvas by Camille Pissarro [Source: Wikimedia]

Pissarro went through different styles. He even tried pointillism before giving it up because he found the style too contrived. The “cherry tree leaves” brushmarks are present in his matured style, towards the end of his life.

Vincent van Gogh

While walking the the woods, I came across an old oak. Look at the pattern of the bark. Then look at some of Van Gogh paintings. What do you think of the mouvement, the patterns, and the sculptural quality of the brushwork?

Oak tree bark

Vincent van Gogh self-portrait (Detail)

Vincent van Gogh self-portrait [Source: Wikimedia]

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

I associate Corot’s brushwork with beech trees or willow trees because of the way the thin branches with young shoots let the light through in early spring and seem like a fine galzing on the sky.

Oil on canvas by Jean Baptiste Corot [Source: Wikimedia ]

This brushwork is characteristic of some post 1860 landscape by Corot. As for any painter, his style has evolved and the transparencies are more present in his late works.

Beech tree

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