Saturday, January 15, 2011
I was saddened by the news that a 13 acre native oak woodland in Arcadia was razed last week to become a basin for debris from the Santa Anita Dam. In homage I decided to paint close to the site today in Wilderness Park. The oak trees were unwilling to pose for me, but I found a likely stand of sycamore trees. It was an incredible warm bright day. The sunshine brought the lizards and flying insects out of their winter torpor.
I don't think I'm a good tree painter. Trees are good vertical elements; their leaves make shapes and splashes of light and color; their bare twigs are calligraphy. I fail to convey the bulk, the solidity and the permanence of the trees. I've rested and feasted in the shade of trees. I've sat and leaned my back against trees, and I have felt how sturdy they are. They are vitally alive and yet silent and still, except when the wind blows through them. Trees are the quiet audience to the hum of nature. Trees are the still and silent witnesses to the frantic passage of human events. That's what I should paint.