Wednesday, January 21, 2009

South Wind

South Wind, 2008, 48" x 36" oil/panel is a subject that I have returned to with regularity since the late 1990s.  Being a Canadian, tough winters are a reality, especially in the region south of Lake Huron's Georgian Bay (known as a "snow belt").  Travels to warm southern climes are often represented by iconic palm-like trees.  The sensual feeling of warm caressing winds moving the palm fronds is so positive for me that I love to paint about the sensation (often in the winter).

Several trips to ocean paradises have provided the time to watch palm trees as they move and sway in the winds.  I'm interested in the movement and try to present it using soft brush strokes and blurry edges.  On occasion, the winds get pretty strong, gale-force, and these paintings are more exaggerated and pronounced in their composition.

Palms are not only found on islands.  My first encounter with them as potential subjects occurred in the Mojave desert of California where I was artist in residence at Joshua Tree National Park. The palms there endure harsh burning desert conditions and yet seem to thrive (where there is enough underground water).  Below is an early painting of these wonderful trees.

Two Palms, 2000, oil/panel, 60" x 40".