Artist Notes: These Arbutus trees are in trouble. There is a good chance they won’t survive at least in this location over the next twenty years. I am baring witness, keeping a record, standing with them in their suffering. The path has widened over another dry summer from thousands of tromping shoes. I wonder if these fellow walkers see what I see. Dried grasses are carried away on a hot breeze, revealing shards of naked stones. For the fourth year in a row, the drought has been long, too long. Stressed, the trees will be susceptible to various kinds of native fungus that turn their leaves black and branches are forces to die back. Sometimes whole trunks become standing grey skeletons. These are simple observations that leave a red line reminder in an otherwise blissful landscape. I have chosen to add that red line.
I remind you that I paint first and foremost for me. I could paint stunning landscapes for the next twenty years. But, in a way, they would be a lie, denying the pain and lump in my throat as I walk amongst the trees. Right now, such paintings of bliss seem irresponsible, an unacceptable personal denial. So I went to work to find a more honest way to render my experiences. This is a start - “Red Line 01”.