Table of Contents
- About This Forest Stream Painting
- The Wonder of a Forest
- What was I Thinking?
- The Result
- Quick Links
About This Forest Stream Painting
This painting is available
20”x16” oil on stretched linen.
Varnished for archival protection and ease of cleaning.
Includes frame as shown in image.
Overall framed size is 26”x22”
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The Wonder of a Forest
Any time I venture into a woodland or forest I find a scene that speaks to me the words “paint me”. There is something about being in a forest that brings mystery, perhaps childhood stories like Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel and Gretl ingrained that feeling in my mind. A forest stream almost always gets my attention should I come upon one.
At times I am not equipped to make sketches or paint the scene so I will shoot a few photos with my phone. Over time, I accumulate photos of many scenes that record a particular feature I was drawn to. They come in handy for scenes like this one.
This is a fictional forest stream painting made up of several of those accumulated images mentioned above. It represents the features of the forest I most enjoy. Flowing water, large boulders, rocks and of course the trees, all come together to make a scene that expresses the mystery of the forest.
Often the mystery for me is how long those boulders have been there and how did they get there in the first place. The water isn’t so mysterious. It naturally follows the terrain downhill to join with other forest streams and eventually form a river or natural lake.
The boulders though, had to come from some source higher up in the terrain that perhaps was a mountain at one time. Some force, earthquakes, landslide, glacier or maybe mining from centuries past resulted in their current location. The evidence for their placement was long overtaken by the dense stand of trees, seasonal leaf fall, decaying fallen trees and the under forest thickly covering the floor.
What was I Thinking?
These thoughts tend to flow through my mind as I paint such a scene. As does the nature of the flow of water as it passes over and around obstructions. That motion and flow is something I pay much attention toward capturing in a believable way. I want to help the viewer feel and hear the power behind the water. And I want to communicate the resolve the water demonstrates in finding its way.
A forest stream parallels the ever flowing nature of life itself. The journey from beginning to end. Each path chosen by forces of gravity, happenstance, volition and compromise. At times pulled away from its path by people who need it to serve their own purposes. The water provides a basis for life throughout its journey. And for some of us, we provide a basis of life throughout our journey by creating sons, daughters and working a steady job.
I suppose one would wonder if all artists go through these thought processes as they paint. I think they do. It is part of the “right brain” process of knowing the subject they are trying to capture and how to go about communicating its beauty. The technical side of things also come to mind. Color, composition, how light affects a scene, mixing of colors, brush marks, the use of mediums, even final framing all command thought and contemplation before one can say “this one is finished”.
In the end, if the painting evokes emotion in myself, then I tend to believe it will do so in others of a kindred spirit. Whether it sells is of no concern to me. It will sell when the right person is influenced by what the painting evokes in them.
Since these are not commissioned paintings there is no guarantee the right person will ever come along. And that is okay. The comments from viewers tell the real story for me. They are worth more to me than the selling of the painting. In my view, should I end up with a room full of paintings that never sold, I would still have a room full of memories that bring back to mind the pleasant experiences I’ve had in the great outdoors. Among them sitting by a forest stream and contemplating how to capture it on canvas.