I started painting these trees in 2008.
At that time, I was playing with heavy texture on canvas. I was also doing a lot of textured tree paintings.
With this one, I sculpted the trees, sky and snowy foreground with a sculpting medium.
I then added layers of glazed colors, coaxing the texture out of the canvas with these layers. I started with a dark ultramarine blue/black under-painting over the whole canvas. Then I highlighted the texture with lighter layers of turquoise and white just softly skimmed upon the raised portions of texture.
I used warm highlights on the main tree and foreground reflections. I also painted colored lights on the main tree, and dappled some of those colors in the foreground as well.
It ended up a simple, snowy winter scene, featuring a softly lit Christmas tree glowing in the snow.
I liked it okay, but I set the canvas aside, thinking that someday I'd like to try to add real Christmas lights to the main tree.
Well, someday came today.
Because B's Bone Marrow Transplant is just around the corner, I knew we wouldn't be able to put up our normal Christmas tree this year. (Follow B's Journey here)
I found myself thinking this last week "Wouldn't it be nice if I had a painting of a Christmas tree to hang, so at least we'd have a tree of some sort up for this holiday."
I was lamenting that I didn't have time to paint a Christmas tree painting from scratch, when I remembered this painting I'd started so many years ago.
I found it in my studio this morning, still waiting patiently to be finished, so I set about lighting it up. I had purchased a mini light set several years ago with this idea in mind and was delighted to find I had conveniently stored them with the painting.
The texture on the canvas was really thick, which worked out great for holding the lights. I punched holes through the textured canvas and pushed the mini lights through. I then used some gel gloss medium to attach a few shiny stars in front of the tree to mimic the lights reflecting in the snowy foreground.
Okay, so now it's far more artsy craftsy than fine art, but I still like it. It will help make our home feel more festive and I have to say, it's the easiest Christmas tree I've ever put up.
This image shows the unlit mini lights poking through the canvas. The 3-D effect looks sort of neat unlit, as well as lit. You can also see some of the heavy canvas texture in this image too.
Here's a short video of the finished painting with the lights on.
I had a frame on hand that suited the finished piece well and now, after a few hours of fun playing with this painting, it's hanging in our home, doing it's part to help make our season a bit brighter.
And, for the first time in almost 9 months, I got to spend some time playing in my studio.