Banff painter Lynne Huras is having a hard time seeing the land for the trees.
Of late, Huras, who has been sharing her work in the Bow Valley since 1998, has been heading outside with the intent of painting a landscape, but ends up focused on the trees.
“I go out and do sketches and I do look at the landscape and I have gone out with the intent to do a landscape painting and I see a tree and I think ‘oh, look at that tree’, and you know what it becomes about the tree,” she said Monday (Jan. 10).
As the majority of Huras’ current work is focused on trees, she is presenting an exhibit of new work now on display at the Banff Town Hall Gallery entitled Trees, Trees, Trees, featuring 10 paintings, eight of which are new.
And why trees?
It’s the lines that make up a tree or a stand of trees.
“I’ve been a very attracted to trees since I was a kid. As an artist, I think it has a lot to do with the lines. My work is very line orientated, very rhythmic.
“The culmination of all the lines that come together make this beautiful natural object.”
Huras prefers a soft, muted palette of greens, browns and blues; earthy colours that create a calming influence, just as trees can do.
“I don’t tend to go for bright. For me bright is a very high-energy, energized kind of thing and I’m trying to create a serene, calm presence in my paintings. It’s more grounded,” she said.
What has started locally is moving further afield as Huras begins to explore new areas and new trees, some of which she is being led to through a request on her website for suggestions on where to find inspiring trees.
She’s had suggestions in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, all of which she has plans to paint.
Aside from two or three paintings that are a composite of several different sketches, the majority of Huras’ trees are real and she is finding that art lovers who buy her work want instructions on how find ‘their tree’.
As she hones her style, playing with light, she’s finding her new work is becoming less obvious and more ethereal and suggestive of a tree and a forest.
“I’m starting to look almost past the tree,” she said.
Huras also has her tree work in exhibitions in Calgary and Saskatoon.