Trees near and far

Post from Alex Tryon

schermertreesIn Judith Schermer’s world of shadows and subtleties in a room filled with 34 paintings of trees at 3rd Street Gallery, she contrasts an apple orchard located near Philadelphia to a grove of olive trees in Italy.

The apple trees were photographed in one viewing, allowing consistency in the light among these paintings, while the olive trees were viewed at two different times of day, allowing Schermer to experiment with the delicate differences in shadow and light.

The paintings vary in size, the largest 19″ x 19″, the smallest 10″ x 10″.

Speaking with the artist, I discovered that one of the most intriguing aspects of the apple tree paintings was unexplained. The trunks of these trees are painted white, which I assumed to be artistic license in their portrayal. Instead, this is how the trees were found when photographed, although neither I nor the artist is sure as to the intention in painting the entire orchard white. The effect, though, is magnificent, creating extremes of light and dark intermixed with shades of green and brown. Schermer’s “Two Orchards” will be on display now through October 31st.

–Alex Tryon is a student in Collette Copeland’s class on art writing at the University of Pennsylvania.