I chose this tree because it exhibited maturity, perhaps even signs of damage, but vitality and hardiness as well. I hoped to evoke the Jesse Tree (there is the suggestion of a vine at the base of the trunk), and also foreshadow the cross.
The birds (Canada geese) speak of brotherhood, pilgrimage, and the prophets. Tangled amidst the branches, they almost appear to be leaves. The geese also provide movement and life, suggesting that there is more than what lies within the edges of the painting. They are destined for a place unseen.
The tree seems static, but the luminous trunk, extending branches, and quilt of decay below remind us that it is only waiting within itself, still stretching out, still providing life, preserved by its sap until spring.
In both paintings I experimented with dripping, sanding, carving, glazing, and impasto painting. I used a palette knife to apply much of the paint, which helped me loosen my application with unexpected textures and effects.
I was inspired by Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “God’s Grandeur,” and by Bruce Herman and Makoto Fujimura’s QU4RTETS exhibit.