This week I will highlight the story of Deborah Goemans, one of the eight winners of the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge, an interactive art project that asked Onondaga County residents to go into nature, find the most beautiful trees in our county, and send their suggestions to me with a photo.
1. Describe yourself: name, age, location, what do you do for a living and what are some of your hobbies? I am Deborah June Goemans, a writer and editor living in Tully. My age is over twenty-one J and I love to dance and eat and travel to my native South Africa as often as I can.
2. Why did you choose to photograph this particular tree/ trees? I loved how the blossoms looked like a natural bridal bouquet.
3. What time of the year was it? This picture was taken in spring.
4. What is the exact location of this tree? It is in my garden in Tully, New York.
5. Do you know the type of tree you have captured? Does this tree have a particular meaning to you? This magnolia tree is special for my family. It was planted before we moved into the house but it was like my girls—still young when we moved in. It has grown with them and now that they have moved on to their own lives, it remains, a beautiful symbol of their childhood.
6. How did you find out about this challenge? I love this artist’s work, and I follow her on Facebook.
The making of 'Magnolia Tree'
Below you will see the development of this painting, step by step, and how my social media followers played a big part on the final result of this acrylic painting.
I really liked the red on the background but it looked unfinished that way. I thought about covering all the red and just create a copy of the photo (boring, right?) or saving the red, somehow, therefore, creating a more surrealist and dreamy piece.
So I asked my faithful friends and fans on facebook what they thought I should do. I received many responses and they all had the same answer: KEEP THE RED. So, I did.
I left my perfectionist and joyless way of approaching a painting to embrace a looser and more enjoyable style. Instead of copying exactly the photo, I listened to my gut, allowing this painting to take a distinctive direction. Don't you agree?