My paintings feature photographs of birch tree trunks that I gather walking around Ontario and from trips abroad. I scout out locations where these trees are growing and sometimes return multiple times to get them in their best light.
I print out the photographs, and stick them to the canvas with acrylic medium (paint without the pigment). The image bonds into the paint, and after it has dried overnight I wet the paper and scrape it away.
This prepared canvas is then ready for painting. I add many layers of paint to create depth and light.
Birch trees proudly sport their scars. Each mark on their white skin is a reminder of lost branches and harm inflicted. The more scars the more majestic and beautiful they appear to us. I want to celebrate these scars, the ones we all have, physical and emotional, the ones that make us interesting, make us who we are. I want to bathe my trees in the light and colour that they deserve.
For the trunks, there are multiple sittings, I want the photo to catch them at their best angle in their best light. The phototransfer is stuck down on the canvas, left to dry and then the paper backing is laboriously scraped off.
Then I start painting. I love the contrast between the solid never changing trunk which I use in different paintings; and the fleeting foliage that is never the same twice, changing with the seasons and the time of day.
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