Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Oak

I remind you friends that I love trees. Matter of fact my last name means person of wood and our coat of arms has wood pieces on it.
This little beauty was found in Liberty Missouri while driving around looking for a reason to paint. I listen for things to scream out at me and it did, shouting at the top of its lungs, "Look at me, LOOK AT ME"! So the rest is history. It was chilly yet this handsome specimen of Oak was stealing the spotlight of sunshine. While dogs barked and the neighbors on their deck, stared me down, I drew quickly. I generally do a value sketch of 2 X 3 to capture light and then a photo and then proceed to a line drawing. The subject matter always tells me in what medium to do it in. The style is watercolor and ink line. I'm always trying to remember our principles of design, one being something must dominate. Here I let the color use the line as a supporting actor. I get so caught up in the process of having fun that sometimes I go way past when I should have stopped. Less is always more in my book of thinking.
Having a little travel kit of sketchbook, pencil, ink pens, camera and the desire you will always find subject matter. For me it's not so much the subject matter but the interpretation of it. That's where I take great liberties with our artistic license that all of us artist should use when you warrant it. Moving this and enhancing color here, more texture their. This is what puts our signature or style on a picture. How much more fun can you have than to be in total control, right?
I eliminated the dogs, old 55 gallon barrels around the tree. The trailer house and old cars were eliminated along with the stern looking neighbors. Maybe they thought I was the tax man or something.
The tree wanted to be the sole character of my painting and I had to agree when viewing its magnificence. Under my introduction I mentioned being on chemo and walking through some handicaps right now. Well every time I paint or draw their are enzymes and hormones released that help heal the body. Gods built in medicine to help us. Art is medically proven to help heal so I urge each of you, for your own health and well being to do as much of it you can. Then share your gift with others so they to can benefit. Funny thing that for years I heard and believed it is the process of picture making, creating, not the end results. Boy, have I learned this to be so true. Thanks for listening and happy painting. I would enjoy comments or questions. Ricky Holtman


  1. What a handsome oak! I believe it is the process that is most important, too. Having a background in graphhic art (which is centered around the end product), I had to do a lot of unlearning! Actually, I'm still in that process...I'm with you on the healing part!

  2. Thanks Elizabeth and there is so much to it. We do workshops in art twice a month at Cancer Action for patients as therapy. The trained therapists watch their art for signs of healing. I'm not trained in the reading just the art. We may make a good team someday. Every one is happy.

  3. Fabulous lichen on that tree! And I agree, ther is something so healing about the process of withdrawing the senses from the world to paint and draw.

  4. What a wonderful painting - I love your view of it!


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