I have always been fascinated by trees. This began in early childhood when I would sit on the branches of the huge oak trees near where I lived in England. Perhaps it was the influence of the great illustrators of childrens books at the time who often personified the trees in their pictures, but I always felt the oaks were aware of my presence. I certainly felt theirs.
After coming to Canada I've spent most of my adult life living in an area dominated by trees. Here the canopy is made up mostly of cedars, fir, arbutus and big leaf maples. I find each tree has a unique look and personality forged from their beginnings as a tiny seed embedded in the ground. Depending on the environment they grow in they can take many different shapes. I am fortunate to have a fir tree that is about 800 years old near my house where eagles have set up their nest. I feel very protective of these great giants and hope we can enjoy them on the planet for many years to come.
ABOUT THIS BODY OF WORK
‘The Trees of Hornby Island’ series came about after we had a harsh winter that saw many familiar trees blown down. After walking along the bluffs and finding one I had done a painting of the year before now cut into firewood, I decided to immortalize select trees and walked around Helliwell taking reference photographs. Normally my paintings are quite abstracted, but in this case I decided to encase the flowing colours inside the shape of each distinct tree. They are painted on a background of gold on old growth fir wooden panels.