Not every artist feels this way. Leo Mol, the brilliant sculptor, could tell a big and personal story in a few elegant lines: my favourite Mol sculpture is of Tom Lamb, a renowned bush pilot. Mol solved the problem of evoking a bush plane by portraying Lamb reaching up to pull down hard on a single propellor blade (and thereby start the engine). Mol’s problem-solving knocks me dead; I only wish that Lamb did not look like all of Mol’s other subjects.
Even in the plant family, rugged individuals deserve highly individualized treatment! Old trees are a case in point. Especially when paddling, we pass the odd one who makes me gasp with delight; unfortunately if we pass it too quickly and don’t paddle that section of river soon after, it can take years to find it again. I never stop looking, though, and “The Ancients” series honours the gloriously entangled root systems of those trees who have somehow survived decades (even centuries in the case of white cedars) of extremes; they are my arboreal heroes, painted as faithfully as I can manage. In this one you will even note a few river-smoothed rocks captured in their winding roots many years earlier.
By the way, I expected to have this painting in the spring show (if you didn’t receive an invitation yesterday, please contact me to request one), but I should have read the fine-print for the COAA Juried Show. It is committed to The Art Gallery of Hamilton until the end of April, but will probably be in the July Twist Gallery show.