Seasons change

Tomorrow, Oct 29th, is the last day of  the exhibition “What the Trees Say,” and another exhibition, “TREEaction,” will start forming in Spring Street Gallery, with a reception on Nov. 7th.  It is a celebration of Saratoga’s trees and a meditation on the power of activism that Saratoga’s trees have inspired.

The now-ending exhibition of my work has called attention to the trees and the similar role they play in art and in the fabric of the city.  If we take them for granted, we won’t be inspired to advocate for the Urban Forest and follow through on the Master Plan.

With a shifting of artwork, it’s a good time to focus on the current change of seasons and how I’ve been inspired by it over the years. In my early work I  welcomed the vibrant color after a summer of greens  As with many trees in my works from the late 70’s, a number of the maples seen from my studio have disappeared. Click on the titles to see more about each piece (those with numbers have been in the exhibition).

Lines Down Lincoln                                            Autumn Down Lincoln

1977 Lines Down Lincoln_  9.5x8 in_wc_7029                  1978 Autumn Down Lincoln_12-5x 5 in_ wc_7104

For some, I emphasized the contrast between fleeting color and ever-green

Hanging on                                                 43. Autumn Patterns  (sold)

1980 Hanging On_9-5x8 in_wc_7333              1978 Autumn Patterns_4-75x7-25_wc_7106

In the way that I love that the first dots of spring color enliven the linear patterns of branches, I also celebrate the way that the last leaves cling and dance after most have fallen. In this watercolor, the simple strokes of paint  barely hold on to the space.

7. Fading Fall  (sold)

1978 Fading Fall_5-5x8 in_wc_7176

That time of late fall, with its pairing of color with the re-emerging  linear rhythms, has inspired several that make use of the lines of architecture that are activated by the juxtaposition with the trees.

37. Fall Porch                          4. Orange Out Front (sold)

1989 Fall Porch_13x9 in_wc_721.               1984 Orange Out Front_21x12 in pastel_254

And in the park I found the juxtaposition of the tree in its final flourish of color with the memorial for those soldiers who have fallen, each speaking to the passage of time.

41. October Memorial

1993 October Memorial_7-75x7-75 in_wc_1187

While this painting is mainly a celebration of color, I also had fun with using a raking light in a painting about raking and trying to control the color that has fallen

15. Raking

1988 Raking_48x36 in_oil on canvas_641

One fall, the color in my neighbor’s tree was so amazing that I climbed out on the flat roof to paint two studies of the light from the contrast of the bright orange with the dark limbs. In the first one I included the roof, and then abandoned the reference to free up the visual energy.

Fall Study I                                                     13.  Fall Study II  (sold)

medium_1182    1993 Fall Study II_8x10-5_wc_1183

As a last image, I’ll include a small study of the elm at the back of the Algonquin Parking lot. When years ago I painted it from far away, I thought it was a maple, since it was yellow and it was on Maple Avenue. Most of the beautiful maples were removed by the city years ago when work was done on the parking lots. Now that I know this is an elm, I see it as one of the survivors from the era of so many elms lining Broadway and around town.

44. Downtown Color

1992 Downtown Color_7x7-5 in_wc_1063

As with all trees, eventually they will be gone, and for this elm survivor, I will again have been an inadvertent historian of lost trees in the water color above and the more recent works, Fireworks Elm and Elm Ascent. I hope this elm remains even when the parking lot gets re-developed.  The work of the Urban Forestry Project will continue to advocate for the care of Saratoga’s trees and appropriate plantings. Meanwhile I’ll keep working on the paintings and hybrid works and paying attention to what the trees say..

Elm Ascent    Hybrid media, 2013

.diggory elm ascent  800px           anne at work 2