For the Beauty of the Earth–NEW Series!


Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night -Robert Frost




This idea grew from experimenting with a drip technique I’ve done with my abstract paintings. I thought it was time to paint more representational work (meaning, it looks like something you recognize), but didn’t want to do a painting I’ve already seen before.

In case you don’t know, there are approximately 587 million paintings of birch trees already out there.

But I love the beauty of nature, so, like most times I sit down to make a piece of art, I had no idea how to achieve the end result, if I would like it, if anyone else would like it, but sucked it up and started anyway.







I have heard the sunset song of the birches, A white melody in the silence. -Stephen Crane




I painted the first tree in the middle of the paper and let a brush loaded with water trail down the length, picking up paint and creating the look of roots going deep into the earth to the bottom of the page (and truth be told, this is a rather messy technique–I’ve learned to have a towel under the page).

These roots crisscross and are multi-colored and for me, a somewhat magical glimpse beyond what we can normally see in nature. It made me think of the mystery below the surface of all things living. What kind of tangled story is there to discover? With trees, with flowers, with people–the source of it’s growth and life, what anchors it down…it’s all there.






Here is a glimpse into the process. I used a resist of rubber cement that blocked the white paper for the birch trees and blossoms on the apple tree (which I later enhanced with white paint). I tried to get a photo so you could see that in the beginning stages. After the washes have been added and for the birch trees, the trunks painted dark, the rubber cement is rubbed right off with your finger tips.

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The apple tree:

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