THE CLIMBING TREE
This piece is available through
XANADU GALLERY in Scottsdale, Arizona
Until I was seven, our family lived in a house set on a large property containing all sorts of hideouts, nooks, crannies and challenges for children to explore. Most of them were beyond my capacity, and were in any case, under the command of my older siblings.
However, I recall with clarity an old flowering tree … most likely a Plum Tree of some sort … that had useful low branches for climbing.
In retrospect, I am sure that the tree was much too easy a climb for my older brothers, as they had graduated to the huge Black Walnut trees in the side yard. But, for me, the thrill of finally reaching the point of being above ground and balancing on the well used branches of that old tree was indescribable!! What a sense of accomplishment!!
I found when painting this piece, that the tree became a larger than life part of the landscape of my childhood. And, like many of my memories from that time, the act of painting from memory, allowed me to learn what part of a memory had taken precedence.
What I thought was to be a painting of the back yard, became instead a portrait of that super, select, high level, grade A, choice, excellent, prime, first-rate climbing tree. No tree was ever again as well loved … up close and personal … from root to first branch, with the aid of an overturned orange crate. Skinned knees and sore palms were really a small price to pay for that memory.