Portraits of Nature Series: #1, Old Stoic Cedar


"Old Stoic Cedar", 5x7 acrylic. Plein air study.
“Old Stoic Cedar”, 5×7 acrylic. Plein air study.

Hundreds of old cedar tree remnants line the sides of Stillhouse reservoir.   Walking along the shoreline today, I came to this tree around a bend standing tall above the lake and distant mesas.  Fishermen pass this tree all the time as do those hiking the shoreline from the Dana Peak Park area.  It time to meet this one.  I could see the bleached areas from sunlight and those with just a bit of tan remaining on the underside. A black ring around the base tells of a time when it stood with its roots submerged long enough to gain a thick coat of algae for years past.  As the water receded, the dirt washed out exposing the roots.  As I painted, I noted the twists in the roots and branches reaching out almost in a poetic motion, like it been gracing the shores like it’s dancing in the wind with beauty.

About the “Portraits of Nature” series:

It seems like a simple concept to paint a tree, a rock or even a clump of grass. Just add a cotton ball to a stump and … TREE!! Right. Wrong. It’s the common perception of a tree, but it’s like a stereotype. What if it could tell it’s unique story? That’s what I aim to present: a portrait that tells the story. How can I do this? Nature doesn’t hide anything, but bears its marks on the outside, like looking into the eyes of someone you know. So let me fall silent and let these individuals of nature present themselves through this series.


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