Sunday, May 8, 2016

Forever By Your Side
(oil on canvas, 2016)

(Private Collection)
I found a large monograph of Caspar David Friedrich at the Harvard Coop in 1986, shortly after graduating from college and was instantly enamored by the image on the cover – his painting "Abbey in the Oak Wood" (sometimes called "Abbey Among Oak Trees") – and could't resist purchasing the book. Although I can't really claim Friedrich as very much of an influence, at least not with regards to technique, being a landscape painter as well as a hopeless romantic with a penchant for both nostalgia and covert allegory, I can't help but feel an affinity for him and some of his work.

I found these ancient apple trees on the back side of the Front Ridge here in Littleton, surrounded by dogwood (brazenly flaunting its blood-red hue in defiance of the bleak winter) and other leafless bramble, their branches entwined as if they'd been bound together for decades, protecting one another form the elements. I never thought of Friedrich whilst working on this painting or the many preliminary drawings that preceded it, but I must admit that the finished work reminds me of him.

Life is hard, often fraught with insurmountable challenges, sorrow and grief. Having someone at our side to share the burden can be wonderful and can be a source of strength when we need it most.


Cheri Walton said...

I just happened on your blog........I love it. I like your explanation of your process (probably because you think a lot like I do), and your paintings are wonderful. I will certainly be a regular visitor. I have a blog, too, where I post all kinds of things, but many of my posts are about my artwork. It's if you care to take a look. Glad I found you.

Frank said...

Thank you, Cheri. That means a lot coming from you. I've always loved and admired your work.