Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches
This square painting is based on a photo of the Stout Grove, during the mid afternoon on a sunny day. This grove lies within a flood plain. This has a number of consequences that make the grove very striking visually, out of any of them: the land is flatter than most of the surrounding terrain, so trees are not falling and leaning as much as they do on uneven terrain. The grove is also next to a river that overflows and kills all of the youngest redwoods and other undergrowth most years. The trees here are mature, yet very few of them have any burls or scars to speak of! Nearly every tree sits up straight; tall and stately, well-spaced, very easy to access from below. One of the most gorgeous groves I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time in. Uncanny in it’s appeal to human beings who tend to prefer symmetry, predictability, and wide open terrain.
A good contrast is the Grove of Titans in the same park, where the trees are extremely gnarled and tangled together. There is a new staircase installation on the hillside there to allow tourists easier access to the elevated grove. Stout Grove, flat and spacious and carved by rivers, has no need for such crude devices. The well spaced trees do not crowd out the sunlight too much, yet they shield it just enough to create that moody twilight redwoods are known for in the sunset hours. This Grove is so popular with people that the local squirrels here have no fear of humans; while their neighbors in the other groves are still very sensitive to any humans approach!