The painting of trees is something that painters do on a regular basis. Those plein air painters seem to have it down to a science.....the lightest most suggestive trees in the background and gradually more suggestion in the middle and fore-grounds. Those trees are usually just a part of the story, so their suggestive nature is a given. Painting a singular tree or grouping is yet another matter, where the story IS the tree....where animation and gesture are oh-so-important. The tree becomes a figure of sorts. When we tackled the subject of trees in a current watercolor class, I chose this grouping that I pass daily. The focal area on the birch bunch was wonderfully manageable. The upwards cluster of tangling branches not-so. My goal was, of course, an overall feel of late winter. Those top branches weren't nearly as important. Yet the push and pull of branches over and under, branches hidden and viewed, became very difficult as every effort to describe them was just too deliberate. Addition. Subtraction. Construction. Deconstruction. Every bit of my work includes all of the above. It is part of my process. It is who I am. A forceful spray from the basement hose (kept carefully away from the focal area) provided the effect I needed as well as the additional bonus of sparkling frost-like texture. Nothing ventured. Nothing gained.