Luminous Gums

“She rose early after a restless night. With those magnificent trees fresh in her mind, she placed two 1520mm high by 900mm wide pieces of prepared board against the wall. After a rough sketch with a thirty-five millimetre flat brush, Andi set about covering the white space with forceful scrubbing brush strokes. Her movements were broad and fast, fevered. She worked on both canvases together, side by side.
The act of painting was so seductive—the application of the paint upon the wooden board and the mood her chosen colours evoked. Andi was in turmoil, and she painted frenetically and aggressively, more so than usual.
Once the boards were covered with heavy outline strokes, she rubbed them back with a piece of a sea sponge. She built the lighter verticals of the trunks using a broad, freestyle brush with white paint running through scarlet, raw sienna, Indian yellow, and a touch of ultramarine blue. For the seeping sticky gum and shaded areas, she used crimson, blue, and grey.Andi’s style reflected her love of strong colours. The Fauves, who used pure, brilliant colour directly from the tubes onto the canvas without using a palette for blending, had influenced her style. Andi laughed and looked at her exposed, paint-splattered arms and legs. She certainly resembled the Fauves, or wild beasts, today.
She ran a line of white along the sunlit side to define a tree. She was careful not to over brush, regularly cleaning the roller and thick bristles before picking up more paint. With a soft brush loaded with a few colours, she repeated her movement. Up, turn, and down to create the peeling bark. Up, turn, and down to darken one side of the tree and lighten the other. Finally, capturing the character of each tree with subtle pinks and vibrant earth colours.
Andi pushed away from the wall where the two canvases now sat. She’d achieved what she wanted—a long, unbroken line of tree trunks. This was her representation of the majestic giants.”

Excerpt From: Where the Light Plays by C. Fonseca 2016.

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