We are one and the same

Most of my paintings come about during hikes or walks in nature. Sometimes there are so many ideas and images that I have to stop and draw a sketch or take note in a tiny booklet I carry with me. I cannot wait to start drawing these i ages and stories as soon as I arrive in the studio.

This painting was one of those hikes that cake back with this elk resembling a tree and the tree who thought she may be an elk. The rest is the painting. Hope you enjoy it. This is the story:

Autumn has begun and ended.  A crisp winter air is palpable to all creatures.  The tree has let go of all her leaves and senses a presence as the majestic elk approaches.  First, the elk stares at the huge and expansive antlers stemming from a trunk rooted on the ground, and suddenly realizes they are the bare branches of a young sycamore tree.  This makes him question his proud antlers and wonder if he is a sycamore too.  “Am I still an elk?  Am I a tree?  Maybe I am a ‘treelk.’ Maybe we are one and the same,” he mumbles to himself in wonder.  He had not thought of himself as part of one universe before, and the idea begins to sink in. On the other hand, the sycamore tree, deeply rooted and with all her branches exposed to the elements, senses the elk and marvels at the resemblance.  The mycelium in her roots sparks up and expands as she rejoices in this new encounter.  “Are we related?,” she asks out loud, assuming the elk understands her. In our universe, the sycamore’s question is enunciated as the elk mumbled that maybe they are one and the same.  This synchrony reaches the bare tree’s bark and travels through her seasonal diminishing sap, giving her roots a jolt that will keep her strong and delighted until next spring.  The elk experiences this synchrony with a joy that makes him feel grounded and in peace.

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