Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 24 inches, Summer 2022
Completed right after the Stout Grove painting, I thought it would be a nice change of pace. I wanted to focus on the texture of bark itself, instead of exploring how light from a sunny sky frames the trunks against the leaves. The adult Sequoia trees have different bark than the redwoods I am used to. It is dry and airy by comparison to the redwoods dark, heavy bark. Sequoia are the largest types in the world by volume, with ridiculous circumferences. I thought it would be neat to crop the bark up close, just as it is when you actually approach the tree and stand close to it. One set of eyes cannot capture the whole thing properly. Even one slice of bark could result in many paintings. Still, the resulting image is much smaller than the tree’s scale in reality.
This tree was along a trail that overlooked the scenic highway in kings Canyon, in the Giant Grove area, during cloud cover. The Giant Grove, because it has been managed with fire since the 70s, withstood the devastating 2020 fires better than other groves in the same park. The fire scar and the unburnt bark share the painting equally. For the tree, fire is necessary for survival, so I see it as being a large part of the Sequoia’s collective and individual identity.
This is the largest painting in the series completed during Summer 2022. I attempted to create many layers of material using modeling paste and coarse texture mediums. The 2D illusion combined with the current light creates a very expressive painting. I was surprised by how difficult this was, but satisfied with the result.