My surrealist paintings are always inspired by nature and the fact that we come from it. I am intrigued by both, nature and the meaning of our own existence. The more connected we are to nature, the better we can understand ourselves. I believe that past, present and future are all interconnected almost as if they were happening at the same time, in one single instant.
This surrealist painting measures 24x30 inches with a depth of 1.5". The sides were painted so it does not need a frame. It's ready to hang!
May 25, 2022
“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.”
These are the opening lines of American poet, Joyce Kilmer’s, lovely poem, “Trees.” In the poem, he talks about the difficulty of representing the beauty and majesty of nature in art. Whether that art takes the form of a poem or a painting the difficulty is the same.
How many times have you had the experience where you come across something amazing in nature, a stream, a rock formation, or a majestic tree and you are transfixed by it. You are stopped short by the beauty. Time seems to wait.
Then you remember you have a camera with you and you wonder, “Should I try and capture this? Is there any point? It is so beautiful and complete in itself. Any attempt I might make would be pointless.”
If you are an artist you might think, “Should I try and sketch this and maybe make a painting later? Would I ever be able to recreate what I am seeing - how it is making me feel?”
This was the problem facing Marlene Llanes when she made this painting. Instead of trying to solve this problem, she went a different route.
Instead of trying to recreate a grove of trees and hope it communicated how trees make her feel, she did something more interesting and beautiful.
She used surrealism.
Surrealism is a movement in painting that was born in the 1920’s. According to one of its originators, the poet and critic André Breton, “Surrealism was a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in “an absolute reality, a surreality.”
There are many notable surrealist painters, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, but the painter most associated with surrealism is Salvador Dali. And it is Dali that comes to mind when I look at this painting. The way Marlene handles the sky is very reminiscent of Dali. He was a stickler for technical excellence and I think he would have approved of Marlene’s technical ability.
The beautiful thing about Marlene’s use of surrealism is that she manages to convey the essence or spirit of trees without getting caught up in trying to represent them. The trees in this painting are identifiable without being real. They are real and unreal at the same time. Marlene manages to convey the effect trees have on us. What they symbolize for us. How they appear in our dreams.
Unlike a Dali painting, the surrealism here is subtle which makes it very powerful. The effect of looking at the painting is like trying to focus one’s eyes. The trees are real yet unreal. It is daytime yet there are long evening shadows. Where is the light source that is creating the shadows?
For me, the key to this painting are those shadows. They draw us in and connect us to the trees and at the same time they reach out from the trees and connect to us, or we hope they do at least.
The shadows represent our yearning to be one with the timeless peace of the trees.
What Marlene has managed to do in this painting is wonderful. She has made a painting of trees and light and mystery.
May 25, 2022
Thank you for the critique
- Surrealism, Realism
- Painting - Unframed
- Oil, Canvas
30.00 inches wide
24.00 inches tall
1.50 inches deep
- 5.00 lbs
- Austin, TX, US