Only the Spirits Remain

  • Acrylic, Laquer, Collage on Canvas
  • 36 x 24 x 1.5 in
  • Ronda Richley

A special tree for the artist --
“Do you remember “The Senator?” The tree that was in Big Tree Park in Longwood, Florida?

A brief story about this special tree…The Senator was the biggest and oldest pond cypress tree in the world, according to wikipedia. It was located in Big Tree Park in Longwood. At the time of its demise, it was 125 feet tall with a diameter of over 17 feet. A woman, Sara Barnes, lit a fire on January 16, 2012, which destroyed this tree who lived to be over 3,500 years old. The tree went up in flames about 5:30 a.m. and collapsed after burning for hours. Barnes told investigators that she set the blaze because it was dark and she wanted to see the drugs she was using, according to Susan Jacobson of the Orlando Sentinel.

The painting above is one I created as a reminder that trees are living, feeling forms, with great spirits, and give us so much–like that great air we breathe. This tree is/was very special as it had endured a lifetime only one can guess. What did it see? What and who went there to be protected from the elements? How tragic to be burnt alive!

My painting is done with paper collage materials, which I created by painting and texturizing paper, oil, enamel, and acrylic paints. If you look at the tree, you can see a lot of feeling for the tree. Flames, melting bark, angry green earth, and perhaps you can add some of your own feelings to it as well.” –Ronda

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