Oak Tree, Rhinebeck, 2012, oil on linen, 12 x 18 inchesHot out of the oven and right on to the display case...that comment really makes me wish I knew how to make bread, but in this case we're talking about this new landscape painting. The oak tree is not any random tree, it happens to be located in the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Rhinebeck, New York...can you say "fancy tree!"? I looked through my photo archives, and I have many reference photos, and painting this tree happened naturally. When I was there in 2010 I was taken with the lushness of the tree and the way the sun was hitting certain areas on the top and creating interesting shadows on the ground. I took a few shots and always had them in mind, but it wasn't until I got a hold of an odd sized linen that everything fell into place. The proportion was perfect for the way I wanted to paint the tree, and not before long I was off to a great start. I approached this painting in a similar way to Goodwin, using almost the same palette and alternating between glazes and thicker paint applications. The only difference is that there are more warm light tones in this. Unfortunately the natural light in my studio and the camera didn't help to show the subtleties in the painting, especially in the dark areas, which are not as dark as they appear in this photo. In the next few days I'll try to take a better photo, for the moment this will do.