TREES ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME WINTER 2020-21
One of my favorite places to be is underneath the tall trees. The quiet of the deep forest is unmatched anywhere else, and the sounds of distant bird call or the rustle of the branches and leaves add to the sense of peacefulness. The understory trees are also impressive as they are able to thrive by gathering the light filtered from above. Living at Ozette on the Olympic Peninsula for over a year back in the mid-70’s gave me the opportunity to frequently enter this special realm and to become enveloped by the surrounding old-growth cedars, hemlocks, and spruce. Even to this day, those memories still fill me with peace and contentment, and painting gives me the chance to return to that time and place. I recently saw an image of a painted screen by Tawaraya Sosetsu entitled Trees, and it inspired me to create this painting. Like many folding screens of its time, Sosetsu’s screen had a gold background, and I was taken by the look of the green plants on that gold. Another painting that strongly influenced this work was Rinpa artist Ikeda Koson’s Cypresses, which I have loved since the first time I saw it. The image of Koson’s tall cypress trees emerging from the mists is one of my all-time favorites. Fittingly, I used the Rinpa technique of tarashikomi on my trees as well. 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.