Bare Trees: Vincent van Gogh

When it comes to the subject of bare trees, Van Gogh seems like such an obvious choice, but a splendid one. It seems that he preferred drawing to painting when depicting the intricate designs of naked branches, but tended to use oil paints when capturing trees in leaf. 

To me, nothing beats a Van Gogh pen and ink drawing. These barren birch and willow trees are drawn with such energy, each stroke a depiction of the unstoppable force of life, even in the dead of winter. 

Pollard Birches ink and watercolor  1884

Woman on a Road with Pollard Willows pencil and chalk 1882

Winter Garden pen and ink & graphite on paper 1884

Tree Roots in a Sandy Ground 1882

Lane with Poplar Trees pencil and ink on wove paper 1884
 Life is too short to do everything.
-Van Gogh
The current theme in the Art Room is that of bare trees, and bare tree branches.

If you would like to suggest an artist for this theme, please email your suggestion (not your own work please) with at least one image and a few words to describe why you like it. Be sure to include the title, medium, size and year. If you have a website or blog you may provide a link that will be included in the post. 


  1. Thank you for these. I often forget what a masterful draftsmen he was. Very moving work.

  2. Powerful stuff isn't it? His drawings have always held me in awe. Thanks for showing them.

  3. I love, love, love van Gogh. I have a wonderful book called Vincent van Gogh. A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters. In it is a beautiful reproduction of Pollard Birches, as well as the others you've posted here. Snap, that man could draw!


Comments are welcomed and appreciated, and no word verification is needed. Any private questions? Send an email to awakeandpainting@gmail.com