Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Years Oak Tree Challenge - by Susan Scoggins, North Carolina Painter

After seeing a small oak tree painting, a client recently challenged me to 50 days of oak trees, a tree a day for 50 days.  Raleigh, being the City of Oaks. ..why not?  I've never accepted a challenge like that before.

In a way, it's a bit scary. What if I don't make it to 50?  What if I don't post a new "tree" daily? "FEAR NOT! " I say to myself. The worse that can happen is that I am labeled a LOSER!!!!  But "NO!  I am not a loser.  I am a painter!" No one understands us anyway!

This painter goes along, daily, painting what comes to mind. Now, this is going to challenge my brain to stay on task and spark some creative spirit.  So how does one create 50 oak trees?  How boring.  First of all, in my concrete mind, I rounded up a bunch of 12x12 canvases. Sounds pretty easy to me.  Then I painted a painting from my head.  Ok.  That was number ONE.

After that...what?  Before I knew it, I was obsessing over different projects.  Oaks in a boat.  Oaks on a float.  Lots of oaks.  One oak.  Oaks on the water.  Oak in a field. Oaks!  Oaks!  Oaks! That's what happens to us creatives.

In my closet older paintings are stored "resting".  Ah-ha!  One painting had been punctured but the colors were just to beautiful to toss!  Out came Edward scissors hands. Large pieces. Small pieces. Looked like leaves to me. If only I had a shredder!  I began to glue the pieces onto a previously painted canvas. Not just glue...but I literally tossed the pieces onto the canvas, glued each piece where it landed and let it dry over night with a board on top to flatten it.

With the leaves in tact, each leaf was loosely outlined with pthalo blue and raw umber.  Then the underlying painting was washed with titanium white, leaving a hint of the old paint showing.  At least it's a start.

For most of you, I've lost you.  I mean you do have a life!  But, if you don't, you can read this on New Years Eve!  Then have some champagne!!

The final result will be posted eventually.