Monday, October 3, 2011

Imagination, Ideal Trees, Cow Geometry

Lori said...

"Erik, I'm curious as to how much of these compositions are from your imagination. I'm also wondering how you might have re-designed the tree shapes in these paintings. I've often noted that the trees I see in nature are not as elegant in form as those in HRS paintings. "

Here's a study of the mathematical diminution of tree branch
Koeppel, Tree Geometry
diameter based on Da Vinci's theory that the ideal tree would have the sum of its branches (area of cross-sections) equal to the base trunk. Reducing this formula, I found that placing right triangles of different proportions in the forks of trees fits the equations and is useful for 'imagining' trees or analyzing them spatially from life.

I'd like to do another post later to more thoroughly cover tree-design, but I do re-design trees quite a bit with regard to balance and elegance. I find it very important in landscape painting that the trees express the mood or intended feeling of the painting. Something more wild and sublime would demand a tree of one character, and a pastoral would demand another. I feel that all the parts of a painting should align to support its intended expression.

So in answer, yes, I make paintings of places (mts, trees, rocks, rivers, etc.) that are imagined and do not exist, but I make every effort to understand the things that I paint in such a way as to present an Ideal Reality that could exist.

Thank you for reading. Next post will be studies from France!

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