Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sycamore Art

Bear Hollow is filled with trees: tulip poplar, redbuds, oaks, maples, elms, black walnuts... and giant beautiful sycamores. In late July through August the sycamore trees shed their bark. It peels off in beautiful shapes.

I've always wanted to do something - art wise - with these beautiful pieces of bark.

I have a few old planks of barn wood out next to my pole barn. I decided that the rustic wood would make a great backdrop for the sycamore bark. I had thought of mounting the bark on canvas, but it is very strong and tries to curl back up as it dries. I don't think it would stay on the canvas, or would curl and pucker the canvas.
So I took a plank, laid the piece of bark on it that I wanted to use (to know how long to cut the board) and took out the trusty circular saw. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I used water color for my paint. I wanted it to just color the wood - not really cover it. I ended up needing to use a lot and I didn't use much water on later layers because when it was watery it just soaked into the wood and didn't leave much color behind.

Here's my first piece using a piece of sycamore bark. I called it Sycamore Lightning. You can see it in my Etsy shop here -

Stress cracks from the bark trying to curl back up the way it was on a branch and the grain of the barn wood give a rustic feel while the contemporary abstract background lends a sophistication that will compliment any decor.

The piece is approximately 32 1/4" x 9 1/2". (It curves a little making the top a little smaller. It is old barn wood after all.) The edges are painted black to give a framed look. It is finished with a clear coat of varnish to protect the paint and the wood.


Jean Levert Hood said...

How wonderfully creative, Lyndel! Great job!

Karen Faulkner said...

Beautiful, and I loved seeing the whole story from the tree, to the pieces of bark, to the finished creation.

kae1crafts said...

I love the natural bark in your painting. Also, your description of your work as it progressed is very interesting. Thanks for sharing.