200 Year-Old Burr Oak Tree from Clark County, Kentucky
Summer 2016 Watercolor
This tree portrait was painted on location. I touched the bark and walked around its trunk looking up into its branches. I saw its wounds from past lightening strikes. The addition of a lightening rod was visible and showed a concern for the tree by an attempt to limit future strikes. I saw the scars where healing had taken place from broken and severed branches due to storms. I also was aware of the surrounding fields where horses were calmly grazing. I took photos of the tree on my cell phone from varying distances and angles. I took photos of some nearby horses. I was told by family members the approximate age of the tree. I tried to think of the world as it was when the tree was a sapling in the early 19th century.
The old oak is not a pretty tree. Many of its branches seem too thick, jutting at odd angles defying the laws of physics. It bears its imperfections through its history. I was glad to be there. I thought that an artist could make a career of painting trees of all kinds as “portraits,” the sole subject of the artwork. I think of the possibilities…and move on.
2021 Art Exhibition
Highlights of FCC Creation Care Art Exhibition on display in September 2021.