Monday, February 19, 2018

Cypress Tree.

On rare occasions, I take time off from sketching events to seek out natural forms that are pleasing to my eye. This Cypress tree sweeps upward from the shore of Lake Virginia in Winter Park. Some of the branches are not round but instead shaped like streamlines surf boards. One of my Sketch Tours students, Louis Degni, recognized me and stopped to say hello.He had a painters easel under his arm and was off to sketch some scene lakeside as well.

The challenge in this sketch was to capture all the subtle warm greys and cool grays in the bark of the tree. Other than light pencil, I let go of any line work.

Out on the dock just beyond the tree I was painting was a musician just performing with no need for an audience. With my sketch done, I waded out into the water and enjoyed the unexpected concert. As often happens, I couldn't stop from swaying to the beat. it was cloudy while I was painting the tree, but as the sun set to my right, the lake captured the orange golden glow and fractured it. Blue grey Spanish moss swayed in the breeze. Some bald cypress trees can grow to be up to one thousand years old. That makes my hot flash of a life seem rather short in comparison. That means I need to kick off my shoes more often and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty that is often ignored. I understand the attraction to working plein air, just finding natural beauty with no concern for mad rush of humanity, but I still find myself always drawn to crowds.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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