Tuesday, September 13, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 13: "Leaves on the World Tree: Bulgarian Granit Oak" Study

Oh my goodness this background gave me such trouble today!  I like to use a little bit of splatter to change up some of the accent colors and wondered if I could splatter an entire painting background.  So I was back to experimenting.

Not bad.  Too wet.  But I can roll with it, right?

No!  Abort! Abort!  What did I DO?!?  My canvas looks like it's bleeding.  And old blood at that.  Yuck.

So I bet you're wondering how that turned into the first picture.  I'll not lie, I tried fiddling with this mess twice more before I decided I just was NOT going to be able to fix it like it was.  So I painted it over with a thin layer of white and let some of it creep through as background shapes and shadows, then painted an entirely new background on top of it.  It gives it a darker, deeper feel.  Before I even added any vegetation, this painting was already six layers deep.

But I think it turned around well.  It's not my favorite pattern, but it's an interesting experiment and I certainly learned from it-- let layers dry or you very quickly get mud.  And yes, it's entirely possible to splatter an entire canvas...but I'll need way more practice at it to make it look any good.

Today's tree is the Bulgarian Granit Oak, and may be the oldest oak tree in the world, thought to have germinated in 345 A.D.

I was certain I would be doing my second date palm before I was doing my second oak, but I was mistaken (;  I'm pleased that they don't look the same, even though the backgrounds ended up being similar.

Continuing my theme of seven, there are seven acorns and seven leaves.

I also realized today that people may be wondering why I'll share links to tell you more about the vegetation, but not about the people.  There are two reasons:

First, when I'm making these pieces, I want them to mean something to the people, the ethnic group, represented.  I want them to be able to look at it and say, "Yes.  I can see us in this."  And second, no matter how many links I could attempt to list-- you can't actually sum up -any- ethnic group with online links.  You can hint at their struggles, their history, their traditions-- but as an outsider, I fully accept that I'm not qualified to tell you about them.  But I can hope that if you follow the links to learn about the vegetation, maybe you end up curious about the people, and the land, and that it inspires you to search for yourself.  Some of them are inspiring.  Some of them are heartbreaking.  And quite frankly, all of them are fascinating.

Who knows, maybe one day, this project will culminate in a world trip, to see and experience in person all the leaves on my world tree (both vegetation and people).

So the thirteenth leaf on my world tree is the Bulgarian Granit Oak.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bulgarian Granit Oak" Study
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas


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