Monday, August 17, 2009

Talking Trees

I always talk to trees, and they talk back. I have had tree friends whom I have known over the years. They bring comfort and quiet. They bid us to sit and be still. "Listen." They whisper. Sir Isaac Newton was doing just that when he got docked on the noggin by an acorn. Or was it a pomegranate? "Splat!!", end of day dream. There goes the three laws of motion.

It has been said that in Washington state, not long ago, every cedar tree touched every other. When you wander in the rain forests here, you can believe it.

I began this painting as a sketch of an oak tree in Tehachapi, California. I didn't know where to go with it, so I just played with the branches. I painted a couple of limbs, and then put the painting away. Then months later, I did a couple more. A couple of years later...three more branches...and so on for years. Finally I realized that I wanted to live inside the tree, which had become autobiographical (a self portrait). So I added the door. Then I was done.

I titled this painting, Waiting for Spring in the House of Leaves. Notice, there is not a leaf on the tree. But the potential for jillions of leaves is on the verge...like waiting for art. Or life.

16 comments:

Amanda said...

My first impression was 'wow, thats amazing!'. I'm new to your blog and your work and I'm enjoying it. Thank you for sharing your amazing work.

jesse joshua watson said...

such a gorgeous, deep painting. Always been one of my favorites for sure!!

ruthie said...

beautiful painting, there is a real magicalness about trees that i so love

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks Jess.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Welcome, Amanda. I love Perth. Was there a few years back. Really enjoyed your blog and art as well. Especially loved the "little lady brooches" and the red key rings, oh yeah and the funky toothy dudes....Very cool

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thank you, Ruthy. I also think that trees are more than meets the eye. We have a lot to learn from them.

BJW said...

Love this painting too Dad!

Sorta autobiographical isn't it?

Cuppa Jolie said...

Oh how I love this! Someday I will have a piece of your art on my wall.

tlc illustration said...

Wow. How great that you kept going back and adding to this one. (How many self portraits - and as how many things - do you have? :-)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

I hate to give up on anything, and each piece of art has its own simmer time. I guess I do have a more self portraits, and I want to explore other artists' s.p's which I'll blog about when I get time.

Kjersten said...

I love this painting. And what you've written about it. It so perfectly expresses that feeling of vitality that comes with something as active and yet stationary as a beautiful tree. Pure meditation. Thanks for posting.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Kjersten. The naturalist, John Muir once wrote about climbing a tall pine tree during a wind storm and riding the tree as it rocked and creaked through the gale. He observed that we are not so different that the trees in our common journey around the sun. We both travel millions of miles, and in that light, we aren't that much more mobile than they are. Plus,I got to thinking that some trees far out live us,and they will travel much farther through time than we will, and see many more days, seasons, creatures...

Jenifer said...

This blog is necessary and many good things have come from it.
--
Jenifer
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Richard Jesse Watson said...

I appreciate your kind comments,

Mary said...

"Notice, there is not a leaf on the tree. But the potential for jillions of leaves is on the verge...like waiting for art. Or life."

Thanks Richard. I am sooo learning to wait for art in terms of writing a story. Life, too. I related to the "three narrative arcs" you talked about Saturday.

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