Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bryce Canyon Trees

16x12 Oil on linen
Original & Prints Available 
I was not fully aware of my fascination with the trees at Bryce Canyon, until I reviewed the many photographs taken while there. One image after another depicted the desert landscape with a tree as the focal point. Evidently, their ability to flourish in such rugged conditions was an inherent source of preoccupation.
Several months ago, I considered painting this image of a single tree growing at the top of a cliff.  I hesitated for quite a while, because I thought it would lack dimension, but something kept telling me to paint it anyway.
So I sat down with a blank canvas and got started. The hours passed by effortlessly and before nightfall, the painting was nearly complete. Its simplicity and abstract qualities was a nice change from the detailed landscapes and I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

The following day, I viewed the progress from a distance. There were several interesting observations. On the left side, there was a thriving tree, supported by a seemingly transparent stone formation. The structure revealed long and branching roots. Colors were brighter and brush strokes more random. I decided to emphasize this concept of energy by adding the shining sun in the corner, with diagonal rays aimed in that direction.

To the right was this lifeless opaque mass, but I started to imagine its potential for growth. A seed from the tree could easily travel in the wind and germinate the neighboring foundation. I also noticed the thin line of connection at the bottom of the canvas, bridging the two masses.  Under the right conditions, this side too, could thrive…

And if that’s too much to consider, we could always just settle for a pair of bookends. J


  1. Beautiful! You see separation, I see the tenacity of survival... I always enjoy seeing the different paintings and just how many different emotions they can evoke! Everyone sees something unique to them and they are all beautiful :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Kristi!
    Thank you for your compliment and for taking the time to present another theme about this painting! I am always very excited to hear them and gain valuable insight from the responses. There are many ways one can interpret art and the best part is... Everyone is right :)

  3. pretty nice blog, following :)

  4. Thanks for following along, Skyline Spirit! I love to paint and enjoy sharing the journey. Best wishes in your new blogging adventure :)


Thanks for your comments!