CATHEDRAL OF THE TREES ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME FALL 2014
Living for so long on the Olympic Peninsula, I was often given the opportunity to hike into some spectacular forested areas. The temperate rainforests on the Peninsula nurture some of the biggest trees for their species on earth: ancient western red cedars, towering Sitka spruce, and monumental Douglas firs to name three. Their massive trunks grow skyward creating a cathedral-like zone of peace and solitude, comparable to any of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe. I would look upward in amazement to glimpse the brilliant sky above which was in contrast to the otherwise dark forest surrounding me. A pretty spectacular and a very emotive experience. In choosing to express this as a painting, I wanted to include a parallel to the Celtic Crosses and Pictish Standing Stones of Scotland. When visiting the holy isle of Iona, I remember seeing the beautifully carved St. Martin’s Cross. Being on Iona was a moving experience and seeing the cross firsthand acted as a strong influence for the overall shape of this painting. Photos of the Pictish cross-slab from Aberlemno and the Hilton of Cadboll Stone also helped inspire the creation of my design. Black primary formlines in the Northwest Coast Indian tradition form the outline of the trees. The twilight blue secondary entrelac designs owe much to The Book of Kells, and especially, to the metalwork of Celtic Revival designer Archibald Knox. I made the frame out of red oak using pegged, hand-joined, mortise-and-tenon construction methods. I used the Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) of charring and oiling the oak to finish the frame.