I worship Gustav Klimt. He’s one of my top three favorite artists. While I love his entire oeuvre, particularly his portraits, I find myself strangely infatuated with his rare paintings of poplar trees. I love how he represents the form of the tree with an imposing and towering column composed of a melange of colors. It looks like the tree is created from a swarm of tightly packed, multi-colored bees. It feels alive.
I took the train from Prague to Vienna and found myself smiling when I passed poplars standing proudly in the Austrian countryside. I thought of Klimt. Upon arriving in Vienna, I felt fortunate to see one of his poplar paintings in person. I was struck by the size of the painting -- it was smaller than I had anticipated -- which made Klimt’s ability to make the tree seem so ominous even more impressive.
Gustav Klimt. The Large Poplar II (1904)
In Temecula, I encountered Italian cypress trees planted along a winery’s winding driveway.
The sight of the trees made me happy. I found them visually compelling -- my view most likely influenced by how Klimt treated similar tall skinny trees in his paintings. And now I had discovered a local version.
For fun, I did a sketch of an Italian cypress using ball point pen.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I have my block prints for sale at the wonderful Maisonnette, located in Oceanside (523 N. Freeman Street, Oceanside, CA 92054). My wife, Juliana, also has her beautiful jewelry on display. It's a fantastic shop -- saunter over when you're in North County.
Monday, March 15, 2010
I have two oil paintings and seven block prints on display and for sale at Filter Coffeehouse (4096 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104). The show runs from March 15, 2010 until April 14, 2010. Stop by, have a great cup of coffee, and check out the artwork.