48" x 34"
Click the thumbnails on the left to see a section of the painting in greater detail.
Whenever there is a telephone pole or barbed wire cutting right across an otherwise perfect scene I’m grateful that I’m a painter rather than a photographer. One of my friends once asked me if I intentionally “paint out” objectionable elements like telephone poles. Yes but it’s actually easier than that. I just leave them out. This scene of Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) and ferns was the exception. Nothing was in the way.
Even the balance was perfect. Okay, the tree on the right would have overwhelmed the scene if I had included all of it. It was massive. Bald Cypress trees get that way. So I didn’t show all of it. By the way, you won’t find many ancient Bald Cypress outside of this Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida. Most of the old giants were logged for shakes and shingles. The Audubon Society had the foresight to buy a piece of the unlogged Cypress back in 1912 to preserve it.
One of the features about a forest like this is the subtle variation between the colors of the bark. Although they are all the same species of tree each trunk is a slightly different color. The ones on the left are more reddish; in the middle they are decidedly yellow-brown; and the big guy on the right has pink tones.
Since the scene is backlighted you wouldn’t even know the sun was shining if it weren’t for the ferns. The sun can’t peek around the trees because it is directly behind them but it shines through some of the fern leaves and reflects off others. The combination of arching stems and angled leaflets produce every possible angle to the sun making the ferns come alive.