Friday, August 15, 2008

Memories of Cottonwood Trees

This painting is about cottonwood trees, not just one like you see in the photo, but remembrances from my life that these trees bring to mind. There were the childhood tire swings that were so much fun, and the fallen leaves that needed to be raked into piles to play in.

I remember many trips across the Great Plains where these are practically the only trees you see for miles and miles.

There was the painting workshop I took, in the mountains on someone's ranch ,where one of the painters was holding used brushes in her mouth. (The rest of us were voicing whispered speculations about her early demise from heavy metal poisoning acquired from Cobalt, Cadmium, Titanium - all lovely ingredients of paints.) This had nothing to do with the tree we were painting, but the memory of painting the tree includes this scenario.

I loved the volunteer trees that came up in our yard from seeds along our driveway that we transplanted and watched grow into 30 ft. trees. Of course, there's the annoying cotton floating in the air at times, but as a child I remember chasing after it floating in the air.

Cottonwood trees are a part of my memories and therefore of me. I understand just how welcome is their shade in a hot snd treeless area. I appreciate just how fast they grow, but also remember cleaning up fallen limbs and green leaves from an unseasonal heavy snow.

This painting was taken from the photo of the cottonwood that I took on that 104 degree day as we drove through Oklahoma and Kansas a few weeks ago. I tried to capture the feeling of dry heat and the late summer bleached out dry prairieland grasses in my watercolor painting. Purchase information about the painting entitled Old Cottonwood can be found by clicking here.

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