Saturday, October 06, 2018

Angel Tree

Oil on Canvas
30" x 40"

In North Carolina there is a tree named "Angel Tree". I've always found trees to be glorious, majestic sculptures. Each one has its own unique character and personality. I am especially called to Oaks. When I lived in California I spent a lot of time on the Santa Rosa Ecological Plateau. Contrary to its name, this beautiful preserve is located off the I-15 somewhere between Lake Elsinore and Temecula and not in Santa Rosa.

The park has hundreds of 400 year old California Live Oaks dancing on grassy hills with walking paths winding through them. There are mysterious shady dells and sunlit patches and knobby areas everywhere with boulders, blue skies and seasonal ponds. The trees dot the landscape like so many dancers celebrating their freedom and the endless horizon.

I spent many hours there hiking, painting and photographing those trees. But now I live where Oaks are rare things and fir and pine dominate the landscape. Although I had hundreds of photos of trees to choose from to assist me in bringing my vision to canvas, I chose the image of  "The
Angel Tree" because its reaching branches made me think of a great magician raising his arms to manifest something beautiful and mysterious into the world.

This painting was in a way a bit of breakthrough for me in that instead of my directing the brush, the painting took over and directed it. It was a kind of push/pull because I don't relinquish control easily. Still, I think the painting won. I called the painting "Magus", because for me, it's magic.

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