Previous posts in the series
Relating the organic shapes of tree branches to curves and lines of the human figure

From Sticks to Figures

As I shared in my previous post (The Sensuality of a Tree), I relate the organic shapes of tree branches to curves and lines of the human figure.

Gift of Life - Triptych - Sold

The figures in the painting "Gift of Life" are shadow figures. They are nothing more than a sophisticated version of stick figures. The gift of life is my first painting that includes human figures.
Painting people began to fascinate me recently. Trees, branches and roots more and more evolved into lines and shapes resembling the human figure. Having done some poking around to see if others relate trees to people, I found out that there are a multitude of artists using personified trees in many different ways.

Ali Murphy connects the trees and human form this way.
The legs, feet, arms and hands are the trees.

This artist take actual tree parts and puts together a public art installation of tree people in their natural environment

P. Cook and B. Northey began shaping plum tree suckers into living art they call Pooktre. See their Amazing Living Art: Pooktre Tree Shaping

On the other hand why not let the trees create your art for you like this artist who attached 100 pens to the branches of a willow tree. The movement of the tree over time creates amazing results. 

 Artist, Clark Vandergrift and Michelle Thurgood take the two realities (trees and human) and literally marries them to make them one.

So here I am exploring shapes, lines and curves that are tree like but flow into the human form.

Colours of Sensuality - acrylic/mixed media - 24x24 - sold

This painting (Colours of Sensuality) got me hooked. It sparked curiosity about where this could take me as an artist. Surly I am no figure painter. I know that the figure is the most talked about, controversial and difficult subject to master. Here I am at the very beginning of something so colossal and possibly beyond my reach - wondering... "Will I ever be able tangle with this giant?" It's like standing face to face with a gigantic can of worms debating "whether" to open it or not...

No wonder I felt intimidated - the Internet, book stores and libraries are packed with images, studies, courses, lectures, debates about the topic of "The Human Body in the Art Scene" - an endless journey. Images of paintings by those who mastered the recreation of the human form are readily available in art books all over the world. I did not know where to start in this complex jungle of information accessible to me. I poked my nose into the history of figure drawing and started reading online articles, borrowed books and videos from the library. I bought books to ad to my collection. Here are the masters who's figurative work I admire:

Modigliani            Degas               Gauguin                Klimt  

 Now what?
Should I dive in and give it a try?

Stay tuned for next week's post:
"Time to make up my Mind"


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