In this artwork, Bare Tree, the purple branches are like lightning bolts cast out from a tempestuous sky. Except, instead of the lighting being cast down it appears as if mother nature is thrusting them upwards from the earth. I also noted in the landscape how the shapes in the clouds seemed to harmonise with the topography the purple tree is anchored into.
In translating my photography into a fine artwork, I selected two feature colours of lime green and purple. Whenever a tree features rough sculptured bark on its limbs I like to use purple tones to express a sense of this texture. I find it inspiring that this dead tree has retained the integrity of even its smallest branches despite natures force of lightning, rain and strong winds. The smaller tree, painted in lime green and white, has not fared as well as the purple tree. Here the branches have fallen as the tree turns to white and seems to melt back into the natural environment.
Bare Tree is a new addition to my grey tone series and is inspired by a B&W photo taken in the rural area of Sandy Hollow, NSW. When I took the photo in the 1980s I was peering through high grasses at this remarkably large preserved tree. Using photography, I blurred the foliage in the foreground of the image to give a sense of distance to the large tree in the clearing. The small rural town of Sandy Hollow is in the Upper Hunter adjacent the Golden Highway in the Bylong Valley. It’s one of those rural places that makes you feel at home and offers the Sydney short trip enthusiast an engaging landscape to explore.