LEAVES AND BRANCHES
Looking up at leaves & branches, the movement of color and line against a constant changing sky, has become an obsession.
Trees have been one of the continuous themes of my work. My first mature group of paintings Long Point Bay, exhibited at the Marlborough Godard Gallery in Toronto, pictured trees, singly or in clusters, in Southern Ontario where Long Point dips into Lake Erie. Another series, Trees in Water, focused on trees and their refelctions in the backwaters of the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wisconsin. In yet another series, I painted a horse chestnut tree through an entire season, from winter dormancy to flowering spring, and from lush summer to the mature seeds of autumn. (My father planted this tree – I painted it soon after he died.)
My most recent series, Downstream, studied leaves, branches and seeds as they float in a stream, sometimes on the surface of the water and sometimes ambiguously under the deep, reflective surface. The Downstream paintings were generally dark, autumnal, sometimes clear but often misteriously murky. The painting technique was measured and opaque, the point of view was that of looking down.
Leaves and Branches by contrast has a point of view of looking up at leaves and branches against the streaming sky. I am using a gestural line, as active as a branch in the wind, and vibrant, transparent colors, as if the sun poured through them. The paintings can be hung horizontally or vertically or on a ceiling. They are bright, light, free and floating. (Jan Serr)