I can remember two things about an 8am art class I took in college: It was early, and we were constantly reminded that we “better not make trees”. Our teacher thought they were boring, and for a long time I figured if I learned it in school, it must be true.
So then, why does Judy paint trees if they really are so boring?
Judy Paul painting “In the Woods”
Watching Judy paint directed me to take a closer look at trees. Why is she drawn to them? And Judy’s not the only artist. After all, trees were primary subject matter for Paul Cezanne, Ansel Adams, Paul Gauguin, and many others.
“Large Pine Tree, and Red Earth” by Paul Cezanne
“Oak Tree, Sunrise” by Ansel Adams
“Mata Mua” by Paul Gauguin
The reality is, trees are not boring. They’re the longest living organisms on Earth, and one of our greatest natural resources. They clean the air, decrease noise pollution, help to prevent erosion, improve water quality, offer food and building materials, create shade, and they’re also just beautiful!
I’ve been unlearning some of what I was taught in that class, and rediscovering the beauty of the natural world. Here’s a quick shot of Judy’s latest finished tree series, and I think it’s anything but boring. (See these in person at Austin Art Garage this weekend. It’s part of the West Austin Studio Tour!)
“In the Woods 1-3” by Judy Paul
“In the Woods 1” (detail) by Judy Paul