As for the painting above- I passed this fallen giant almost daily for a period of months as part of my riverside walk when I lived in York. I knew I would paint it, but didn't know how or when. I had to be patient but finally felt the time had come. By now it was bleached almost white and made a skeletal contrast with the exuberant life all around it. So that was the starting point. I carefully used masking fluid to protect the tree shape. This meant I could be as free as I wanted with the painting because the bleached tree was safe under the mask. I made sure that the darkest colours surrounded the fallen tree to exaggerate the the stark whiteness of the skeleton. I was very pleased with the result and even now I think it stands the test of time.
Incidentally do you know what was the first ever piece to be sold in Gallery Nine. Used as part of the pre opening publicity this was the first image sold. Who produced it? Not me but my wife Merice and I think it's still one of her best! Check out her website.