Wednesday, September 14, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 14: "Leaves on the World Tree: Catalan Pine" Study



I've been very loose and general in my rainbows, so I wanted to try being more specific.


It's an interesting pattern, but I think it detracts from the vegetation on top of it.  Pine needles don't cover as much space and you can clearly see the background.  Unless I try again with all thin lines, I don't think I'll be using this style of background again.  Or maybe alignment-- if the thin swirl had been in the upper right hand corner instead of having the branches on top of it, it would be less distracting.  I may end up repainting this one after the 30 days.  But I do like the way the pine cones are accented in the color.

There are 7 pine cones, representing spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness, and 3 separate branches of pine, to represent the Catalan Pi Jove de les Tres Branques, the young three branch pine.

The original Three Branch Pine, a Scots Pine, took root in the 1630s, was (and is) a cultural meeting place for the Catalan people as a symbol of their unity.  The original tree died in 1915, and has been vandalized several times both before and since, specifically because it is a symbol of the Catalan people.  A short distance away is the young three branch pine, considered the original's successor, and is also classified as a monumental tree by the Catalan government.  The younger pine is still at least 200 years old and gatherings are still held at the site of these trees.

The fourteenth leaf on my world tree is the Catalan Pine.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Catalan Pine" Study
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas


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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30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 12: "Leaves on the World Tree: Bosniak Pine and Golden Lily" Study



This was one of the harder ones to do, because, like the Assyrian, the Bosniaks don't have a mortal national tree.  They're the first group that identified more with a flower: The Golden Lily.  Which is why I didn't finish it yesterday.  It needed extra research.

I considered painting just the lily, but decided to pair it, instead, with Pinus heldreichii, in part because it's a pine native to the area, and in part because it's also two of the oldest trees in the world, though not in their area:  One is located in Greece and is 1075 years old and is thought to be the oldest tree in Europe, and the other is in Bulgaria and is over 1300 years old.

I painted six lilies to pay tribute to the Bosniak flag, and scattered the seven pine cones among the needles, as scattered as the trees and the people, through the Balkans and the world.

The twelfth leaf on my world tree is the Bosniak Pine and Golden Lily.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bosniak Pine and Golden Lily"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 11: "Leaves on the World Tree: Bihari Peepal" Study


I absolutely loved the background on this one today.  I played with the plastic wrap again.




Love the geometric feel of the first layer!  But for this series, that's still too much white, so I added an additional couple of layers and then began adding the Peepal leaves and figs.  The oldest documented human planted tree is a Peepal, also called the Sacred Fig, and was planted in 288 BC, making it 2,304 years old.


Because of the brightness of the yellow, I actually needed four layers of white for each leaf today.


I like that the leaves on the bottom wrap around the edge of the painting on this one.


My handy dandy 5/0 brush as I was working on the leaves.  I continued my use of the number seven in the number of figs and the total number of leaves to represent spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness.

The eleventh leaf on my world tree is the Bihari Peepal.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bihari Peepal" Study
by Janin Wise
3" x 3 " acrylic on minicanvas

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