Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter Drawing II

In this corner, wearing the brown trunks...

Since pencils are made of wood, it must be true that pencils get a special kick out of drawing trees. It's something that pens just don't understand.

Nonetheless, here's a pen and ink drawing from the very beginning of my art experience. It has a lot of awkwardness, and there's much I would now do differently. Still I have a warm spot for this early attempt.

Donald Jurney, Trees and Figure, 1983

A bit more recent, this time an oil on canvas, is this painting of a cold winter's morning. Winter trees make a wonderful screen.

Donald Jurney, A Frosty Dawn, oil on canvas, 12x18"

A group of tree trunks animate this small painting. Though not winter, it has a rather  cold, mysterious feel.

Donald Jurney, Montgivray, 2007

Here's a grisaille from last spring. The architecture of the trees, and their placement, is the result of careful planning.

Donald Jurney, Grisaille 23 April 2012, oil on canvas 20x25"

The drawing below is a maquette for a five-panel folding screen I've been thinking of making for a few years.

Donald Jurney, Maquette for a Five-Part Screen

My exhortation from last night to go forth and draw trees had at least one adherent. This drawing was made today, and sent to me by Cynthia DeSando.

If anyone else drew a winter tree, please send it along. If you didn't do one today, do one tomorrow.

Finally, three snippets about trees.

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.
              - Ogden Nash (1902-1972)

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.
             -  Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

 Trees, how many of 'em do we need to look at?
               - Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)




  1. Thanks, Donald!

    My current painting is a somewhat similar type of view to your second one down! My last night's drawing was a bit too rough to send - with only an hour a two per day I have to work on a weekly rather than daily basis! Time.

  2. First Lesson: Winter Trees

    These winter trees charcoaled against bare sky,
    a few quick strokes on the papery
    blankness, mean to suggest the mind
    leaping into paper, into sky, not bound
    by the body’s strike borders. the correspondence
    shoal instructor writes: The ancient
    masters loved to brush the trees
    in autumn, their blossoms fallen.
    I’ve never desired the trees’ generous
    flowering, but prefer this austere
    beauty, the few branches nodding
    like … like hair swept over a sleeping
    lover’s mouth, I almost thought too fast.
    Soon enough these patient alders
    will begin to blossom in their wild
    unremembering to inhabit the had,
    celebratory personae of late summer.
    So the task is simple: to live
    without yearning, to kindle
    this empty acre with trees touched
    by winter, to shade them without simile,
    without strain. There: the winter trees.
    Their singular, hushed sufficiency.
    Again. Again. Again. Again. Again.
    Now you may begin to sketch the ceaseless winter rain.

    -Michael Waters