Dena Lyons

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Arboreal Portraits

Trees embody life. Like people trees begin with a seed and then develop through years of external influences into mature expressive unique individuals. Humans and trees flourish with proper nourishment, without it they wither. Through this journey trees develop character which I emphasize in my arboreal portraits. From revery, to yearning, hope, and humility, trees evoke personalities and sentiments as varied as people do.

I choose to personify trees because they are expressive, colorful and very often overlooked, but vital components of nature. Another interesting aspect is that people do not immediately identify with trees; their organic nature leads naturally to an abstract interpretation which allows allows a journey through the form, colors, and brushwork into a world of sensations.

Inspired by the Fauves, especially Andre Derain, I portray these magnificent life forms through a prism of color that evokes the spirit of all that is around us. And lest we forget, life has its fancy, and we need to enjoy the lighter more playful aspects in order to deeply connect with the world around us. The Fauves understood this biaxial relationship between passion and playful and through my arboreal paintings I portray such joy.