Renew: 2021 Oil on Linen 1020 x 765mm $4500
Renew – Figure in Landscape No. 4
From the stump of the past the forest renews. Five trees are nurtured by an inheritance of light from the canopy and nutrients from the decomposing trunk. But the mystery reveals itself. As these are Beech Myrtles, is this shoot the original tree growing from the original roots? The old tree’s roots are still active. The stump, an island in the forest awakens with new life and hope, feeding from the past bringing a new and vibrant future. We have much to learn from trees.
Renewal comes with time and patience
How long ago this tree was cut down is unknown. The Beech Myrtle is known for generating sprouts from its root stock. They supply nutrients to these shoots from the root stop. While this tree appears to have sprouted from the rotted heart of the old stump and some of its roots can be seen breaking the old trunk apart. Yet a mystery remains. The old roots are also still active. They are networked into the new trees. Five trees are renewed by this stump. Not the least by the light in the canopy opened up by the old trees removal.
The large trunk on the left is an acacia – Silver Wattle . These are a tall species of wattle that tower over the canopy around the edge of this patch of Myrtle rainforest.
Painting on location
Painting rainforests are very difficult, light is always moving, highlighting leaves as the sun cycles through the sky. So painting plein air means distilling the light moments you want, ignoring others. But the end result is summative light and time. A camera cannot capture this as it provides an instantaneous capture. It requires an artist’s mind, vision, and skills to distill on canvas the essence of the rainforest.
Painted on location at Liffey Falls, en plein air. No photographic sources were used.