Trees are an important part of many landscape paintings, but I think of many of the paintings I've done of trees as portraits. Trees are not just distinctive by species, but they are distinctive as individuals.
I adored this "Laurel Tree", which grew at the side of Paseo de Montenejo in Mérida, Mexico. For more information on this painting, see the section of this website called Bermuda and Mexico.
Every May, a large bluebell field blossoms in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The beautiful tree in "Paper Birch and Bluebells" has died and has been removed since this picture was painted. I wish I had made the time to paint it again before its passing.
The "Crabapple Stump" in Brooklyn Botanic Garden was too interesting to pass up. It had not been pulled out yet because the branch that you see reaching away from it at the top of the painting will reach to the ground and start another tree. Once the new tree is well established, the old stump can be removed.
"Conversation Bench" depicts a scene in Mérida, Yucatán, Central Mexico. This picture also appears in the section of this website entitled "Bermuda and Mexico". For more information, find this section in the drop-down list under Artworks on the Home page navigation bar.
"Dead Tree" is one of my favorite tree portraits. The splashy textures of foliage, bark and on stones make this a tactile experience for the eyes as well as helping to relate the variety of elements to each other.
The above painting, "Fungus, Central Park" shows a fairly unusual scene in Central Park. This must have been a generally shady side of the tree to allow a large fungus like this to take hold on it.
"Danzón, Santa Ana Park" also appears in the section of this website called Bermuda and Mexico. What I love most about this image is the way the tree almost seems to dance with the window in the Catholic church, as well as the shadows that dance on the church wall.
"Daffodils and Japanese Cherry Tree"was a bit of an experiment. I used a palette knife to scratch some of the light-colored grass shapes out of the wet paint.
This "Blooming Crabapple" in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens will eventually begin to send out roots where the sagging branch touches the ground. A new tree will begin to grow there before the parent tree dies of age, disease or damage done by insects.
You can see that this "Old Crabapple Stump" was still hanging on from the healthy-looking quantity of leaves at the top of the painting. This tree in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens was allowed to stand for many months longer, but was already slated to be removed.
"Flowering Japanese Cherry" is another painting that was inspired by plantings in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. White blooms can be very challenging to paint, as depicting the volume of solid-white blooms requires very slight variations in value and hue.
"Beside the River Ness" is different from my other watercolors largely because the paper had an obvious laid finish that I took advantage of to depict the texture of the bark. This watercolor shows a typical grey summer day in Scotland. You will find more paintings of Scotland in the Britain section of this website.
I'm not sure if "Blossoms on Plaza Street" portrays a blooming tree or a bush, but it seems to belong in this website's category with trees.
I returned to Bermuda's Botanic Gardens several times in order to finish this small painting, "Banyan and Cockerel". I was very pleased that this picture was purchased by a collector who also owns master works.This painting also appears in the section of this website called Bermuda and Mexico.
The scene in "Eucalyptus Trees and Bracken" was a view in Crarae Gardens in Scotland. Eucalyptus trees are not native to Scotland (most varieties are from Australia), but a number of tropical plants can grow in sheltered areas here.
Trees such as the one in "Moss and Lichens" (in a park in Inverness, Scotland) are too straight and simple in their trunk structure to be very interesting aside from surface patterns. See my section "Britain" for more artworks inspired by the U.K
This "European Hornbeam" stands in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens beside the bluebell field. This watercolor looks a bit different from most of my watercolor pictures, partly because I have used graphite pencil as a shortcut to rendering the bark's texture, and because I have also reduced the range of values on the tree trunk.
"Trees By the Falls, River Ness" was painted on a relatively sunny day in Inverness, Scotland on an island park in the river. Note the lichens on the trees and the mosses on the bark and dangling from some of the branches. See British Isles for more British scenes.
This "Cornelian Cherry" in Brooklyn Botanic Garden is partially covered with watersprouts. These shoots, which rise up from a branch or the trunk of some fruit or nut trees, are not good for the tree and should be pruned away.
"Cherry Tree Near Bethesda Fountain" was painted in Central Park. What I like most about this tree painting is the way the tree seems to be alive with character. I find myself wondering what it might have to say.
This is a simplified portrait of a tree I call "Granddaddy" in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I don't recall the type of tree this is, but certainly the most interesting trees are elders such as this that develop spreading trunks, gnarled roots or contorted or sprawling branches.
"Spring Friends" is a March or early April painting of crocuses blooming in the morning sun in Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
I took many liberties with the tree and the surrounding scene in "Daffodil Hill", which was inspired by Daffodil Hill in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.
It's not easy to find a painting spot in a small, busy park - such as Washington Square Park in New York City's Greenwich Village district - that doesn't include people, park benches or sidewalks. But I found a place for" Tree in Washington Square Park" that did not require a lot of editing of the scene.
The "Garden Tree" was in the Botanic Garden of Bermuda. For more information, see the section of this website called Bermuda and Mexico.
The scene in "Locust Roots by Lamplight" was illuminated solely by night lighting in Parque Santa Ana in Mérida, Mexico. For more information on this painting, see this website's section of artwork inspired by Bermuda and Mexico.
The site of "Lampost and Tree Near Tavern on the Green" is near a famous restaurant in New York City's Central Park just off Central Park West.
"The Old Tree" was inspired by one of my photos of trees, but I no longer remember where I took the photo. It most likely was one of my photos taken in Yellowstone National Park.
"Tree in Yellowstone" was interesting to me because of the very different texture of it’s old, dead bark compared to the textures of various plants around it. I hate to see old trees cut down at a botanical garden, as they are useful to various types of animals, birds and insects. Sometimes, though, they have to be taken out for safety reasons or for the health of other trees, if they are diseased. A few years ago a beautiful old oak was taken down in front of the brownstone where I live because it was obviously very sick, almost certainly with “oak wilt”. Leaving it stand could have endangered many other very old oaks in the area.