Two Trees' Roots, Oakwoods Metropark
- Painted en plein air on 4/12/21 & 4/13/21 at Oakwoods Metropark
- Huron River
- Adult male and female Belted Kingfishers
One revelation that has come from sitting quietly for long periods of time and painting in the outdoors is just how much activity there is. The idea of being alone in nature starts to feel misguided when you become aware of the many living things which are far more aware of your intrusion than you are of their presence. To illustrate this, here is a description of some of the animals that kept me company (as far as I am aware) while creating this painting: Toe to toe with a foolhardy Crawdad before each going our separate ways, the "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" song of a hidden Barred Owl, two Wild Turkeys quietly strutting behind me, the ever-present yammer of a Pileated Woodpecker (is it laughing at me?), the swoop and chatter of two Belted Kingfishers, the raspy primeval call of a Sandhill Crane overhead, a tentative guarded herd of White-tailed Deer in the early morning field mist, the undulating symphony of Midland Chorus Frogs and their plop plop plop as they jump away from me into a vernal pool, the shy Brown Snake who quietly disappeared under the detritus. I tried to convey all of this activity by rendering the painting with busy brushwork. I also had another theme in mind.
When I painted this, I had recently learned that my outside understanding of a particlar long term relationship was very different from the reality as experienced by those within it. I couldn't help but compare and contrast this new understanding with an life event that I am currently planning for: My own wedding. On the far bank of the river, there are two old trees side by side and their roots have grown to be intertwined. They remain planted in the soil as the river runs by. Their foundation is interdependant, not necessarily based on love, but as a result of time and proximity. Along the surface of the river, two Belted Kingfishers chase one another in the Spring ritual of courtship.