<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2529337407275066&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

One tree two tree...

| 13 Nov 2012 | 05:44

From her sun-drenched sunroom, Lori Borromeo D’Agostino looks out the window and says she sees purple in the bark and yellow in the tree canopy surrounding her yard. “These colors clearly aren’t out there,” she said, when a visitor squinted at the wall of foliage outside in the hope of seeing more than brown and green. “It’s what I see. I guess I think brown is boring,” D’Agostino shrugs. “It should be more vibrant, it’s a living thing.” Since she and her husband moved to Andover, N.J., four years ago, D’Agostino, 40, has launched into her tree phase. There are remnants of her tulip period on the walls, and a couple of her sculptures and abstract paintings around, but the house is a grove of blue-trunked trees. For inspiration, she might walk into the yard, or down to the nearby lake with her smartphone, snap photos, sketch her favorite on a canvas and start painting in acrylic, using just one color at a time. She doesn’t have any use for an easel; the canvas sits on a drop cloth on the sunroom floor, where she can crawl over and around the painting. For the first time in her 23-year career, she’s happy when she’s painting. Through art school at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J., D’Agostino suffered. She wondered, as she painted, whether her work was going to be any good. She anguished over what it was she was trying to say – about women, about politics. After college, she tried to figure out what would look good in people’s houses. “You may sell a few that way, but it doesn’t feel right,” she said. Painting trees has freed her from that self-consciousness. “I’ve realized it doesn’t have to be such a lofty, political thing. You can just be you,” she said. “These days I imagine I’m painting a piece for my own house.” Now her pieces are moving fast. She sold 27 paintings in April, at the annual show she holds at her house. That’s what D’Agostino wants. She has a part-time job at a cigar store, her husband is a scientist, and she isn’t trying to get rich. It’s important, she thinks, for everyone to own original art, which – unlike a poster or print – has its own life force. But it’s a mixed blessing. When her work has gone to buyers, she misses being surrounded by her blue-trunked trees.