WINDSWEPT PINE NEAR THE SHORE ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SUMMER 2019
Years ago, while driving south on Hwy 101 by Kalaloch Beach, we were impressed by the resilience and persistence of the Sitka Spruce trees on the slope overlooking the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Growing to maturity while trying to compensate for the constant winds, and especially the fierce and powerful winter storms, had shaped the trees into a distinctive form. The trees seemed to be leaning into the wind, like a boxer leaning into an opponent’s punch, saying “go ahead and give me your best shot!" Foresters call this wind-sculpted tree form Krummholz (German for crooked wood), and although more typically found in sub-alpine regions around the world, they are also common on the Pacific Coast. There is something so admirable about overcoming adversity, and these trees still speak to me today. The inspiration for my painting comes from two particular schools of Japanese painting: the Kano and Rinpa schools. Kano Eitoku’s monumental pines painted on Momoyama Period folding screens were the models for my enduring pine. Both the tarashikomi-like effects on my rocky slope and the water treatment were inspired by the many Rinpa artists but especially Tawaraya Sotatsu’s pair of painted screens entitled Waves at Matsushima. 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.