Fish Prairie Trees
oil on canvas
Notes From My Tree Painting Journal
Each year in the fall or winter, I do a large painting of Fish Prairie. It is my favorite Florida prairie, quite small by other prairie standards, and not accessible to the public. It is rimmed by privately owned farms. Lucky me, it is rimmed by Fair Oaks in Evinston, where I am artist in residence. The staff at Fair Oaks kindly mows paths back on the prairie for me to paint. I can travel around the prairie in my favorite blue golf cart. Three weeks ago the yellow flowers were in full bloom on the prairie, providing a carnival of color along with the lovely tall, wheat and rust colored grasses. The Bald Cypress have dropped a lot of their leaves now. It was not the best year for tree color.
Naturally, I took artistic license with the scene, moving trees around and fitting in the grasses and flowers where I wanted to place them. I liked the idea of some of the trees coming forward stretching out of the picture plane and the play with strong value asymmetry of the tree colors, putting them in light and dark camps across the scene. As always, I love doing the big tree paintings!