Painting Of A Tree
09 Sep 21 by justatest
By the roadside stood a dead tree which, as a significant storm was brewing, I resolved to remove in case it got blown down.
After cutting away the upper branches and then about to saw the base, the tree whispered to me ¨Stop, that´s enough now¨ and added that it would reveal a secret if I allowed it guide me thereafter.

Tree by a place of pilgrimage

The tree is located next to a place of pilgrimage now occupied by the Middle-Eastern Christian religion but which nevertheless in ancient times was overseen by Celtic Druidesses or Women Priests of native spiritual tradition.


Birth of the helix

Rather than chopping it down for firewood, following the suggested forms of the tree I used the chainsaw to incise a helix the length of the trunk, the base of which revealed the spiral´s source as a delicate vulva-like opening.


Early spiral growth

It occurred to me that the helix was a form distinct from the tree somewhat like a sexual energy or the resultant new life in itself which at first slowly and meanderingly progresses it´s upward rise.


Breast of the tree

If the twist of the climbing spiral represents her offspring, then mid-way along the trunk emerged the shape of a breast symbolizing nourishment and succour provided by a mother to her young.


Heart of the tree

The tree´s heart here would then reflect that mother´s love.

Towards Independence

Change of direction in the upward spiral

Passing by both heart and breast, the spiraling motion of the helix changes direction (from clockwise to anti-clockwise) as if to indicate a newly-acquired sense of self and a growing independence from maternal protection.

New Generation

Branching out

Once the upward spiral attains maximum growth, it then divides and separates like offspring into individual and unique characters who, emboldened with their mother's care, spontaneously spring bravely free, up and out into the world.

Secret Revealed

Painting Of A Tree (view from road)

In conclusion, the secret of the tree as willed by the ancient Druidess turns out to be a simple allegorical celebration of bringing the next generation into the world, along with all the hopes and dreams which that inspires.

Moreover, I personally believe that she looks askance and incredulously across the meadow at the cloying religiosity of the current Christian occupants with their deference to virginity.

Incidentally (and unrelated to the above) as the county is well-known for it´s Plein Air painters, then this painting of a tree will be my particular contribution to that genre. For those particularly interested in Plein Air works, I´m currently doing a plein air drawing [LINK]


The original tree painting

A couple of shots of work-in-progress.
Here was the original painting done in a plain grey. I liked it best like that where it was all form and no colours, however wintertime is very bleak in these parts - grey with total cloud cover during the day, no leaves on the trees and already dark by 4pm - therefore in the end colour is truly vital.

Starting out sawing the helix