Friday, April 17, 2009

Here Is the Painting of Poppies I Promised

Months ago I promised to put up the first painting I did after overcoming my "painter's block" of many years. I finished this first painting in the early fall of '08, but, as I said yesterday, couldn't figure out how to post it. Last night my son (Bobby Jameson) helped me figure out how to do it, so now I can finally show what I've been doing since challenging myself last August on this blog in a specific way. The painting below represents a wonderful breakthrough for me. I hadn't been able to paint for a long time. I think the problem that had me so tied up was lack of specificity of intention. Now I am a happy artist, painting almost every day and loving the process.

I am now working on a painting of oaks, wonderful California oaks. I admire them because they are so enduring and adaptable. Out on Bob Jones Trail, south of San Luis Obispo (where I live), a huge oak was ripped out of the side of a hill by its roots in a big storm. It fell right across the trail. County people came out, removed it to the side, and cut it up into pieces small enough for people to carry away. Gradually most of them disappeared, taken, I suppose, by people who had fireplaces, and were happy to get free firewood, oak at that.

There was one rather long bough, not the right shape or size for a fireplace, that was left behind. Not too long after the dismemberment of the tree, this bough began to sprout. Now, many months later, there are branches reaching upward from where it is lying on the ground, and a new tree has begun!

Depending on circumstances, I have seen that an oak trunk can become root, or the root become trunk, whatever is required for life to continue. With such adaptability, no wonder so many of our California hills are covered with oaks. I love them.

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