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Tree of Life - finished by Regina Valluzzi

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Acrylic with glass surplus lenses and texture gels on canvas, 36 × 36 inches.
From a series using tree symbols and “tree of life” ideas to convey complex ecological order in the natural and manmade world. This is a fairly literal tree, with “tree of life” references. The chaotic swirling complexity where the branches reach for the sky references the huge number of possibilities for life. The “ground” surrounding the tree trunk is full of glass bubbles (magnifying and demagnifying lenses), referencing all of the chemical prebiotic possibilities that were sampled, incorporated or discarded on the way to DNA based life (RNA world, anyone?). The readily recognizable symbol for the DNA double helix is subtly incorporated throughout the tree structure.
Here it is in the retroreflective condition:

The painting was created by washing thin acrylic over a primed canvas to create colored regions. A swirling pattern was painted onto the colored regions using a series of brushed (big and broad to small). The brushwork was copncentrated near the top of the painting and was used to bring cooler tones and blues into the sky area.

The brushed paint patterns were allowed to dry until tacky, but not completely hard, and then the easel was tilted so the painting was flat like a table top. Alternating swirls of Golden soft gel, self-leveling gel, and tar gel media were applied to the canvas. Allowing the underpainting to partially dry keeps the painted pattern in place, while still allowing the media layer to lift and move some color.

Blue, white and iron oxide black were splashed across the media in thin lines. The paint was then drawn through the regions of media with various rakes loose swirled strokes. This was repeated a few times. This creates a progression of duiffusion and mixing effects as the paint contacts different combinations of media. Raking mixes the media and paint less than brushing, and a natural layering results from the different densities of paint and media.

When the paint had diffused into the media for a few minutes, the painting was tilted to roughly 15 degree from flat, to get the color and transparent media gently moving from the top towards the bottom of the painting.

When the poured and dripped layer was dry to the touch, a series of raised textured lines was applied using heavy gel (gloss) extruded through different nozzles in a pastry bag. Some color was added, but the paint to media ratio was low.

When the extruded part dried, lenses were glued into the background and onto areas of the tree trunk, Pumice gel was added to the bottom, to help cement the lenses in place. Tiny retroreflective spheres were added in leaf patterns throughout the painting, wherever appropriate. These are invisible except under certain light conditions.

Dr. Regina Valluzzi, “The Nerdly Painter” – Art Inspired by Science from a Scientist inspired by Art
for more of my art, please visit my website!
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  • Debbie DeWitt
    Debbie DeWittover 2 years ago

    This is a really stunning piece Regina! Nice work!

  • © Kira Bodensted
    © Kira Bodenstedover 2 years ago

    07-10-12 Congratulations!
    Your outstanding work has been featured in ART UNIVERSE

  • AngieDavies
    AngieDaviesover 2 years ago

    Wonderful texture and movement in this work! Thanks for sharing how it was created! Congrats on your feature in Art Universe!

  • RGHunt
    RGHuntover 2 years ago


  • tori yule
    tori yuleover 2 years ago

    “Congratulations on your feature”:
    Please support Our Star of the Week Here
    Thank you
    July 2012

    JOSEPHMAZZUCCOover 2 years ago

    Absolutely wonderful Regina.. beautiful work indeed!!!

  • Regina Valluzzi
    Regina Valluzziover 2 years ago

    Thanks to everyone commenting, favoriting and featuring. I am so very impressed at the number of people who can already navigate the new interface. It’s always good to get feedback on something that’s almost done – where you can see where it’s going but still have room to tweak. I was not expecting any feedback for several weeks, because I’m still running my little mental script to avoid getting lost in the newest RB incarnation. You guys rock!

  • JacqueLynn
    JacqueLynnover 2 years ago

    This is simply amazing work; I Like it: could study it forever…!

  • Regina Valluzzi
    Regina Valluzziover 2 years ago

    For more info on my art (and to purchase originals)

  • linmarie
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