Autumn Colour (sold) | Kiry Tiberius

36 x 24 in | 76.2 x 61 cm

In the north, where I grew up, the coming of autumn brings with it a feast for the senses. On this particular day we were hiking in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada. I can still feel the crunch of dry leaves underfoot as we walked along the forest floor. The leaves of the maples and dogwood above me were ablaze with colour. The brisk fall wind rustled through the leaves overhead as if to say, “winter is coming!” Soon, all of these magnificently outfitted trees would be bare, waiting for the coming of spring.

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The sugar maples (Acer saccharum) had turned glorious shades of gold and yellow. The red maples (Acer rubrum) were decked out in scarlet, vermillion, orange, and even peachy pink. The tree on the left of the painting, the dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), had deepened to a collection of purple-red, pink, and violet. What a treat for an oil painter! With each painting, as I relive the experience of being there, I feel a profound sense of gratitude for the wild beauty of nature.

Gallinules (sold) | Kiry Tiberius

Gallinules | oil on panel | 30×20

The common gallinule, formerly known as the common moorhen, could be seen as less attractive than the brightly coloured purple gallinule. In this painting, I invite the viewer to take a closer look. The subtle shifts in this gallinule’s feathers of grey to black to brown give the body a softness that isn’t as apparent in the purple gallinule. Against this softness, the shocking orange-red and yellow in their beaks and feet are very dramatic. These small points of bright colour draw the eye, without overpowering the understated beauty of their surroundings.

 

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Reflections at the edge of a body of water are very familiar to most of us. Sometimes, though, if the wind blows or a bird moves the reeds, the ripples that form bend the light in truly unexpected ways. In this composition, the addition of tiny circles within the greater swirl of colour—formed as the gallinules dipped their beaks into the water to eat—makes the resulting image dizzying to behold. This painting is not for the faint of heart; it challenges the viewer to ponder the extraordinary chaos to be found in nature, and to find the beauty within the maze.

 

 

 

Crabapple Blossoms (sold) | Kiry Tiberius

Crabapple Blossoms  |  oil on panel  |  30×24

In real life, a crabapple blossom would fit in the palm of your hand. I chose to magnify the flowers in order to recreate the intensity of being close to the tree in bloom. The blooming crabapple is an unforgettable experience. The flowers are so densely packed in exploding clusters, with the leaves barely keeping up with their exuberance. “Spring is here!” they seem to say.

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The complexity of form and colour that springtime brings to the crabapple is a delightful challenge to the oil painter. Bright sunlight creates shadows, reflections, and shifts in visible hue that can be almost overwhelming. Painting these little, five-petaled flowers much larger than life size gave me the opportunity to emphasize the intricate patterns that might go unnoticed if the viewer were farther from the tree. Even the slight, pink reflection from the flowers that shifts toward purple in hue when seen in the shadow on a leaf can be seen when we take our time, soaking in the beauty this tree has to offer.