I have just purchased the above oil painting by my internet friend June Underwood. It arrived today and is just as wonderful in person as it appeared to me on the internet.
I first got to know June as a quilter (see link to her website in the sidebar), then began following her blog partly for the Portland connection. (I was still exiled in the Midwest at that time and the photos shared of her part of the Pacific Northwest were salve for a homesick soul.) It is there that I learned of her many and varied exploits as she travels her own interesting creative journey. As she moved from painting on fabric to painting in the traditional sense, I noted how much her abstract oils appealed to me. This one, of course, had that birch tree connection, although at the time I first saw it, June had not painted it with that in mind.
This image played in the back of my mind for weeks before I finally thought it was something I should enquire about purchasing. One of the great appeals of it, I realize, now that it is in my possession, is that I know its back story. I know where June got her inspiration, and I know what else she was painting that day. I know how much freer June feels wielding a brush to make these strokes than she feels rendering the same in fabric. I can actually see June at her easel in my mind's eye. All this enriches my enjoyment of a painting that spoke to me all on its own.
I wonder too if June enjoys this medium because of the way it responds to light. I watched it change as the late afternoon light gave way to evening and my dimly lighted living room. The colors only got richer and those white strokes glowed, the whole piece responding in a way unlike my fabric art. Just delightful.