Island Dusk

Georgian Bay, 18” x 12”, oil on panel, 2004

From the Coast To Canvas Project

As I look back on my fondness for the outdoors, and specifically the elements in nature that I find visually stimulating, I am surprised at how often the theme of dead trees arise.

I guess it’s that each one seems to have a story of its own, representing many years of living through everything that nature could throw at them. It is these very difficulties that shape the trunks and branches into the forms that I find them in. Without the constantly changing elements, the graceful shapes of many of these natural sculptures would never be achieved. I suppose there are many parallels that can be related to some people who allow trials and challenges to mold them into more gracious individuals.

That said, the dead trees in this painting do not carry the twisted form of others that I sometimes paint. There is some of this character in the limbs, but because of its positioning away from the main west winds, the trunks have remained quite upright and strong. In the end I was attracted to this scene because of the contrast created between the stoic bare foreground trees and the living twisted pines in the background. The landscape would not be the same without both; it would not be as rich and complete.

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