Robert Henri (1865–1929) wrote a “tree rising and spreading from its roots” is an “eloquent symbol” of life. “In a tree is a spirit of life, a spirit of growth and a spirit of holding its head up.”
“My work is different, perhaps, from that of the general landscape painter in that I have a mass of detail in the mass. After all, one’s job is to get everything in and yet keep it all as a whole, like an orchestra – everything working in harmony to produce one feeling or emotion.”
Daniel Garber, Catalogue Raisonné, volume 1, p. 88.
Daniel Garber, 1880 – 1985, was a member of the art colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania, later known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists. Depicting solitary trees would become a passioned motif for Garber, in particular complex trees whose twisted forms challenged the artist’s abilities as a draughtsman and incorporated a flattened picture plane influenced by Oriental design. He used a solitary tree or a string of trees placed in the lower part of the composition almost in a romantic or decorative manner with the rest of the composition portrayed with a beautiful atmospheric and hazy effect pulling the viewer back through the painting. Garber’s shapes are incredibly drawn and painted, keeping the masses together with enough detail closely related with a high key, limited palette and beautiful line throughout.
“As was frequently the case in Garber’s landscapes, he pulled the distant view “up” to the top of the canvas, showing more than can actually be seen from this vantage point. In contrast to the strong horizontal emphasis created by the blue river in the middle distance, Garber keeps our focus on the surface of the painting with the vertical rhythm of the slender tree trunks.” – Lance Humphries, Daniel Garber: Romantic Realist