I am now painting the portrait of a tree with limbs stetching out in all directions. This big leaf maple looming on Hobbs St. is cited in the District of Saanich’s list of Significant Trees. The tree has a condition which makes it have a huge skirt at its base. My daughter Sage and I, would drive by it every week for years on our way to her ballet class, so I always felt the tree was wearing a tutu.
My canvas size is almost 6′ long by almost 3′ wide. For some reason, children are very drawn to my painting of this tree and they have been stopping all day long. “It’s a tree”, they confirm.
One Mother stopped to show her son how carefully, I was applying the paint. The stage in which a putty knife had laid paths of paint, had already been done. I turned to look at them and she continued.
“He mixes up all his colors together and makes brown. Everything he paints is brown”.
The boy looked at me and wondered what I would say. He was about 4 years old.
I knelt down and showed him the photograph of this basically brown tree and then showed him the areas where there was red and blue in the bark of the tree.
“And there is green in the bark of the tree. The green isn’t just in the leaves”. He looked where my fingers pointed and never said a word. But he was listening.