Monday, February 27, 2012

Under the Influence of van Gogh

Tree Paintings
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanart.

Undergrowth with Two Figures, van Gogh
Long before the Philadelphia's recent van Gogh show opened, I had been familiar with many of the artworks in the exhibition through reproductions. One piece in the exhibition which I have always loved is "Undergrowth with Two Figures" Of course, the reproductions in my books can not compare to the brilliance and genius of paintings in real life.

Forget me Notes, 24x24" Tree Painting ©Miriam Schulman
In Undergrowth with Two Figures, which is borrowed from the Cincinnati Art Museum, two lone figures appear as tree trunks in a wooded forest. Van Gogh asserted that this painting represented companionship and that people are not complete without a partner. However, the faceless figures appear trapped by these trees with no clear path for a way out of the forest. The central "figure" in this painting is the large tree trunk.

Mixed Media Tree Art, Knotty Notes, © Miriam Schulman
In my series of tree paintings, I eliminated the figures entirely. In my paintings, the trees are the companions. I borrowed from van Gogh the use of a high horizon line and the very simple tree shapes. For my trunks I use piano sheet music which I have torn and tinted with watercolor. The backgrounds in my series are all brilliant whether I am using acrylic or watercolor paint. The high horizon line is a technique
Forest Haze, 26x40" Watercolor Painting © Miriam Schulman
van Gogh had picked up from the Japanese prints he so admired.

To see more tree art click HERE.