March 19th: Work still in progress, earlier progress below. Today layering thin washes of pale yellow, placing the iguana more into the background. Some of the details of the Strangler Fig growth that are now covered up will be brought back into focus since this is more about the tree than the iguana. Posting the painting on the blog is helpful because it’s viewed differently than while painting or studying it..it’s somehow easier to see areas that still need change when looking at it on-screen.
The Strangler Fig is a parasite. Seeds sprout in moss or decaying matter among the branches of rainforest canopies. Roots gradually extend downward and over time completely surround the host tree, which dies while nourishing the Strangler Fig growing in its place.
March 14th, March 13: above thumbnails, Phases 1, 2 and 3
March 18: searching for a way to help this not look so mediocre; I may do as in Myrtle At The Zoo and define some Strangling Fig leaves in the foreground then blur the Iguana and other background details.
Decaying Ceiba Leaves, Lake Cote Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica, 11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas.
Mattipaul Trees, Costa Rican Grasslands – 11 x 14 Oil Pastels and pencil on paper. The unusually wide umbrella-like shape of the trees presented a problem for a while, as they appeared cartoonish, but after sitting for a while out of sight, then work with a fresh perspective, I think maybe the problem is finally solved.
I’m quite sure these are Mattipaul trees (Ailanthus tripysa), but can find very little information about them. They have such presence you’d think they would be one of the better-known trees. Costa Rica is not well known for it’s relatively flat open grasslands, but north-west and central areas of the country flatten out a little, with mountains of rainforests and volcanoes on the horizon. Mattipaul trees grow with with entirely different habit under the canopy of the rainforest than on the open grasslands.
Part of the Paper Places series, all with white double mats and white classic-style wood frames, total size 22 x 26 inches.
14 x 11 Oil Pastels on paper ~ total framed size 26 x 22 ~ Available
Lake Cote Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica – 14 x 11 Oil Pastels~ framed, available
This drawing demonstrates how each new work calls for unique style or technique. In such cases as this, it is more about the drawing itself that controls the results, and I follow along intuitively reading and responding to what happens on the page.