Thursday, April 06, 2017

Fish Witch 2

When I first moved to Grand Marais nearly 30 years ago, two natural features fascinated me. Devil's Kettle and the Witch Tree. We have many rivers and many trees here in the boreal forest, but these two oddities are unique.

I had been painting old growth white pines for a long time, then one day I saw a branch that looked like a fish. I thought I'd try it out. I painted a fish into that branch that hung with its mouth open. There's a beautiful stand of trees a little way up the Gunflint Trail that I have painted over and over. I've gotten to know those individual trees quite well, and when I approach them on the road, they greet me like friends.

As an individual tree, the Witch Tree is even more unique and recognizable. She's not so tall or easy to find, but is a symbol of survival against the odds. Perseverance in adverse conditions. Sacred to many. Mysterious and inspiring, clinging to rock, she is unlikely. Unlike the fish who come and go, swimming in her shadow, she is steadfast.

I am just one of many artists to interpret this amazing and beautiful cedar.

No comments: