-By Tim Bruckner
he Tree Paint Master: Her color scheme and the setting pretty much determined the pallet for the tree. The paint work on the tree had to compliment the stylization of the leaf sections. I chose muted purples with yellow-orange highlights to give the tree a kind of painterly quality. The more I worked the tree the more I realized that the leaf sections, as I’d imagined them, wasn’t going to work. They needed something. They were cast as flat pieces heated into various bends and curves. But they were still flat and I needed a way to indicate layers without having to add layers.
Rarely have I been more grateful for my reluctance to throw anything away. Tucked inside an old portfolio sleeve were several sheets of ancient Pantone/Letraset Color/Tint Overlay film. I spent a long afternoon cutting out individual leaves and applied them on the cast leaf sections creating a sense( I hope) of leaf over leaf patterns. When I had them secured in place and had finished the paint work on the tree, I gave the whole thing several coats of Lusterless Flat varnish and then went back in and painted each leaf section with a coat of semi-gloss/matte finish to bring out a little leaf sheen.
With the tree and SHE finished I needed a base. Something solid. Something with some weight. I asked my friend Master Carpenter, Doug Hougdahl to build me a base form. I made a mold of the wood base, cast it in resin and then ground out a space for the wiring from the bottom of the three to the back side of the base, giving me enough room to splice and seal the wires together. SHE was done.
Taking pix of the completed piece was at best a compromise and I’m just not a good enough a photographer to have made it work the way I wanted. In a darkened room, the cast leaf patterns over her body work pretty damn well. To photograph it to get that effect lost a lot of what the piece is. I shot each image three times and combined the images with lessening opacity to arrive at a compromise.