Daniel Tousignant’s luminous birch paintings create an impact that pulls the viewer directly into nature. Tousignant, who loves to paint blue skies and vast long horizon landscapes, here delves into stark and almost graphic abstract areas.
While he recalls the flat, empty landscape he knew as a boy, growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota, it is his later memories of traveling by train from London to Amsterdam that inspire these birch paintings. Tousignant lived in London while attending the Royal Academy and supported himself at an Amsterdam youth hostel, making the rail journey every weekend, observing the rolling hills and feathery clouds, and the way in which light dapples the silver grey and green landscape that first influenced his earlier work.
His painting style further evolved when he purchased a home in Maine to spend the summers. There, painting in seclusion, surrounded by beautiful birch trees, he began this magnificent series of birch trees. Initially creating stark and striking black birch paintings, one winter day he was appreciating the falling snow and noticed the white birch surrounded by it. He began to sketch and the luminous white birch paintings came to life.
When looking at Tousignant’s paintings, whether black or white backgrounds, one sees composition that is constructed with almost architectural precision. The lines of the trees and bright green lichen are contrasted with the emptiness of stark backgrounds, all of which catch our attention and hold it longer than one would expect, and the visual experience stays with us even after we look away.