Monday, January 19, 2009

Lone Oak

Oil on Canvas
12 x 16

I used to think a tree was just a tree. Then I grew older and possibly wiser, and found that trees were much more. At one time I was real big into bonsai trees. I still am but not to the same extent. There's a distinctly romantic component to bonsai. One tree is supposed to represent all of nature. Ideally it will take you away to a place.

Many bonsai artists also begin to dig into some of the folklore regarding trees. Let's take a brief look at the oak. The oak was considered the cosmic storehouse of wisdom by the ancient Celts due to its growth and expanse, and was honored for its endurance and noble presence. The wearing of oak leaves was a symbol of honor in several cultures such as the Greeks and Romans and is even continued on today in military medals (oak leaf clusters in lieu of duplicate medals). Sometimes the name druid is traced back to the Celtic term for the oak, duir. The usual translation for duir is door though. According to lore the spiritual Celts would "access the ethereal planes of higher thought" (visions and such) by "opening the oak door." Further merit was given the oak as a consequence of it's apparent ability to attract lightning. Personally I'm not so sure I would consider this a plus especially if I were a tree, but then I'm not a druid. The oak is said to represent "all that is true, wholesome, stable and noble." So if you're having a rough day picture the oak and draw into its strength.

Not much about art today I'm afraid, but maybe this was interesting anyway. So what do you think of all this? Does this painting give you any of those feelings? Nobility and strength cutting through the mist maybe. If it doesn't I guess I screwed up or maybe sometimes a tree is just a tree.

If you're interested in the symbolism of trees and other assorted things you might want to drop by

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