Masterpieces with Single Tree Composition

Fundamentally, all landscape paintings have a focal point, which draws the viewer’s eye to the heart of the paintings composition. For instance (as shown below), the cypress trees serve as the focal point in Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘Wheat Field and Cypress Trees’, the sun in Claude Monet’s painting ‘Impression’ and the central tree in the painting ‘Banks of the Marne’ by Paul Cezanne.

But what if the composition of the painting comprises of a single tree, the focal point diminishes and the central figure is the lone subject of the painting. Which genre would the artwork fall under – Landscape, subject study or symbolic art? The theme sounds vague, boring and bland but surprisingly this rare composition has been captured beautifully by many master artists. We explore few such masterpieces that aesthetically illustrate this atypical theme.

The Mulberry Tree by Vincent van Gogh-
The isolated tree shown against a rocky terrain has its branches spread out with a blast of fiery colors. Vincent managed to create a magical autumn experience by means of just a single tree.

 

 

Rose bushes under the Trees by Gustav Klimt-
The canvas is like a confetti explosion of various shades of greens and yellows. Klimt’s unique composition of a single tree with rich foliage, depicted with tiny specks of brush strokes is one of his most popular masterpieces.

 

 

The Tree Series by Piet Mondrian-
The solitary trees in the series are depicted in their most basic and simplistic form, true to Mordrian’s art movement ‘De Stijl’ / ’The Style’. Cleverly angled brush strokes, and limited palette void of greens are the unique characteristics of this series.

 

 

The Bonaventure Pine by Paul Signac-
Painted in pointillism style a huge Umbrella Pine tree stretches across the canvas. The subdued background highlights the majestic form and the interesting shape of the tree. Following the pointillism technique of small dots applied in patterns, pixels of lighter tone sprinkled around the tree, suggest sunlight filtering through the leaves, adding a dreamy feel to the painting.

 

 

Autumn trees by Egon Schiele-
The bare lone trees made by the expressionist artists are metamorphic, the series deal with the themes related to death and rebirth. Grey palette, twisted trunk, cloudy sky and entwined branches are a compelling portrayal of a stormy winter, allegorical of misery and loneliness.

 

 

Pine Tree near Aix by Paul Cezanne-
The composition of this artwork differs from the rest, it’s unique and abstract, much like the other artworks of the post impressionist artist. The central figure (i.e. the pine tree) gets cut from all sides and is used as a frame for the painting. The mesh of the branches connecting the sides, combine all the elements to the center of the composition.

 

 

The Oak by Edvard Munch-
The artwork has an interesting color scheme, cool sky tones gradually descend to warm earthy color, diagonally from top left to bottom right. Though the color gradient of the tree is reflected on the background, yet Munch successively managed to highlight the tree as the central figure.

 

 

The Pink Peach Tree by Vincent Van Gogh-
The painting depicts a peach tree in bloom during springtime, despite being painted with subtle and pastel shades the artwork looks vibrant and spirited. The perspective exaggerated by the tapering flow of the brush strokes helps in highlighting the tree as the main subject.

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Th.V. Doesburg, Drei Haeuser by Juan Gris-
The abstract treatment represents the tree as a three-dimensional form viewed from a single perspective. The cubist artist’s composition despite its simplified geometric forms retains the look and feel of a landscape.

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Tree in flower near Vetheuil by Claude Monet-
The father of impressionism’s technique of capturing light and its effect on the color of the object is at play in this painting. The light and shade on the solitary tree are represented brilliantly with precise dabs and dashes of varied tones.

 

 

Little Oak Tree by Franz Marc-
The simplicity of the painting is reminiscent of ‘The Mulberry Tree’ by Vincent van Gogh (first painting on the top), spirals of fresh green leaves are highlighted by the brilliant blue sky and animated strokes of the ground.

 

 

The Fig Tree by Paul Klee-
The lone trees’ composition, monochromatic tones and the arrangement of the colored shapes reflect the artists experience in stain glass.

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L’Arbre (The Tree) by Pablo Picasso-
Picasso’s neutral colored artwork illustrates a stylized tree, with array of bold strokes and distorted shapes, the composition is compact with interlinked forms.

 

 

A Great Tree by  J. W. Turner-
The Watercolor artwork projects a powerful and majestic tree, the composition partly cuts the tree from the sides, highlighting the sunlit part of the tree as the focal point.

 

 

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How to select art for your interiors

In practice, there are two ways of going about it, if you believe in “art for art’s sake” then decorate the interiors and select the art piece. On the other hand if you feel strongly about art, then select the artwork and plan the decor around it. However, irrespective of the path you follow out of the two, ultimately the decor and art should support each other for a visual appeal.

Style and subject of the artwork:-
The first step is to get a sense of the art that appeals the most to you, figure out what expresses your persona. However, in that process don’t get attached to one particular style. Be open to exploring different genre’s since each room has a character that needs similar kind of artwork on the other hand mixing styles in the same space is not against the rule though it is a little tricky.

Roy Lichtenstein

‘Damselle’ by Pop Art artist Roy Lichtenstein adds glamour to a multi-hued modern interior – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

van gogh peach tree

Vincent van Gogh’s Painting ‘The pink peach tree’ infuses creativity to the space – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

still life

Vincent van Gogh’s & Camille Pissarro’s Still life Painting’s act as color blocks complementing the prints & patterns of the interior – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

Size and shape of the artwork:-
Shape of the wall should reflect on your artwork, on a horizontally long wall have a landscape size artwork or bunch of small artworks displayed in an interesting horizontal arrangement on the wall. On a slender vertically long space, hang a panel or a portrait size piece. This would highlight the height or width of the wall.

marilyn

Marilyn Monroe Portrait’s by artist Andy Warhol’s grouped in an atypical manner gives an interesting result- CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

van gogh wheat fields

Vincent van Gogh’s Painting ‘Wheatfield with crows’. The landscape makes the width of the wall look more imposing – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

vertically long

‘Woman in bath’ and ‘Girl with Ball’ by Roy Lichtenstein makes the wall look tall and grand – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

The art work should be of the right size if the piece is too large for the wall it can get overwhelming, a large canvas shouldn’t cross three fourth width of the couch below it. On the other hand, if an artwork is too small it will lose its charisma, it should be at least half the width of the sofa below it.
For the painting to be at an average eye level, the center of the piece should be approximately 57 inches away from the floor.

van gogh boats

Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘Fishing boats at Sainte Marie’ is three fourth of the sofa below it- CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

Contrast or harmony of the colors:-
You can either create a stark contrast or synchronize the colors of the artwork with your interiors. If you decide to follow a particular color scheme then at least one or two of the most outstanding colors in the room should be prevalent in your artwork. Don’t go overboard with the matching, the colors need not be of the exact shade or tone, it’s good enough if they are from the same family.

white

The tones in Edgar Degas’s painting – ‘Ballet Rehearsal on Stage’ establish a visual link with the interiors- CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

pissaro

Alfred Sisley’s painting ‘Rest along the Stream’ synchronizes well with the tone of the space – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

Frame- Three things to consider before selecting a frame for an artwork- the frame shouldn’t dominate the painting, it should form a link between the piece and the interior decor, it should complement the style of the art?

The artwork is the star of the show and a good frame never over shadows the artwork or steals its spotlight.  It serves as an enclosure that enhances the painting and drives the viewers focus to it.

Egon S

Egon Schiele’s modern artwork ‘Crescent of Houses’ looks impactful with a basic and sleek natural wood frame – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

degas dancers

The ornamental frame on Edgar Degas’s painting- ‘Dancers’. mirrors the paintings’ classical style – CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

Lighting:-
Correct lighting intensifies the visual impact of the artwork, brings out the subtle details and the fine gradation in colors. Use track or directional spot lighting for recessed ceiling fixtures to highlight your artwork. However, best would be individual picture lights, to illuminate your piece.

spot lights

John F Weir’s still life ‘Roses’ and Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘The harvest’, light up with individual picture lights on them.- CLICK TO BUY OUR CANVAS PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

 

Image’s source- rooang.com, decoist.com, canevillecrafts.in, gaiff.com, revitcity.com, custommodernlighting.com, interiorpik.com, cr3at.com (some of the images have been edited)

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Happy Birthday, Gustav Klimt

Unlike most of the twentieth century artists, Gustav Klimt was far ahead of his time. Such is the supremacy of his experimental art that it’s difficult to pin his liberated style to any particular trend. Perhaps that’s the reason why art historians also haven’t fastened him to a single movement. His work is considered to be from Symbolism, Art Nouveau and early Art & Craft movement.

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862–Feb 6, 1918) His signature style was scandals with a long robe

Even though mixing different art styles on one canvas is a thrilling challenge for an artist but it is not typically what even the most experimental artist in today’s time would do. However Klimt accomplished this effortlessly, he made simple decorative patterns clubbed with semi- realistic figures look like a unique mishmash of traditional and modern art.

Klimt - Rose bushes under the Trees opt

Klimt’s best known landscape— Rose bushes under the trees, CLICK TO BUY KLIMT’s PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

Klimt --- The Kiss opt

One of Klimt’s most distinguished artwork——– The Kiss, 1908, CLICK TO BUY KLIMT’s PRINT’s ON AMAZON.in

Exploring Klimt’s most celebrated artwork-‘The Kiss’ (original shown above), we realize how smoothly he mixed Symbolism and Art Nouveau. The painting shows an entwined couple symbolizing love. Intriguingly the masculine geometric shapes on the man’s gown merge very gradually in to the lady’s flowery delicate pattern symbolizing the couple’s passionate union as one. Their highly ornate garments and decorative patterns are clear characteristic of the Art Nouveau movement. Further adding to this blissful union is the surreal dreamlike setting around the couple, they seem to have been transported to a different trancelike plane against a shimmering gold plated background. Klimt being a talented draftsman pioneered gold leafing, many of his paintings were gold and silver plated, some even had precious stones.

His most famous painting being ‘The Kiss’ is widely considered to be ‘Mona Lisa’ of the early twentieth century. Inspired by ‘Klimt signature style’ many contemporary artists have paid homage to this iconic artwork.

Reproduced by Artist Dani Fonseca Photographed by Burke Heffner

Reproduced by Artist Dani Fonseca, Photographed by Burke Heffner

Harper’s Bazaar, February 200, Photo by Patrick Demarchelier

Harper’s Bazaar, February 2002, Photo by Patrick Demarchelier

 Happy Birthday, Gustav Klimt!

Paintings vs Prints

So you decide to decorate your walls, what is it going to be, Paintings or Prints. Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned collector this is undoubtedly one of those dilemmas that gets you all confused and drives you round the bend but no amount of reasoning validates a logical outcome. Both have their own charm and both can add creativity and energy to the interiors and value to your art collection.

Original artwok by artist Suresh Gulage

Original artwok by artist Suresh Gulage

Technically, an original painting is much more expensive than a print, so is the excitement and hullabaloo created over a costly painting justified, considering the affordable prints available in the market? Prints are mass produced whereas the painting you love is personal, it has been hand made by the artist for your sole possession there can be no reproduction of the masterpiece. In essence, possessing an original painting brings its own special delight. It’s one of a kind that’s the real beauty of the art. You are the sole owner of an absolutely unique piece and that’s an out of the ordinary feeling.   It’s an incredible reflection of your persona and most importantly there is an emotional connection. Unlike a print a painting can be treasured for generations, they are your legacy, a piece of heritage. Many also buy art as an investment which is not applicable for prints, mostly original paintings increase in value over time. If you study the art industry well and make insightful choices then chances are you may land up making a handsome amount of cash.

Museum print of painting by artist Egon Schiele

Museum print of painting by artist Egon Schiele. CLICK TO BUY THIS PRINT FROM AMAZON.in

However, a print has its own place and appeal especially since these days there are many online galleries offering exquisite affordable prints on state of the art material like cotton-poly canvas and acid free paper. So if an original painting doesn’t come within your tight budget and you can’t afford it doesn’t mean you have to compromise with a cheap calendar like offset print from the local framing shop. Premium prints these days are printed with latest technology using archival inks on fade resistant material, they are almost indistinguishable from the original painting, so you need not compromise on your taste and quality. You can now stay well within your budget and still get splendid art to your house. If you don’t buy art as an investment and you like to change your interior décor frequently then you should definitely consider prints.

In conclusion, no matter what you choose, painting or a print, what really matters is how the artwork makes you feel. An art collector who owns both paintings and prints will definitely advice you to first determine the emotional connection and then factor the cost. The artwork has to speak to you and make you smile each time you look at it.