Friday, February 26, 2016

Remember Your Roots

Remember Your Roots
12x12 oil on canvas panel

I've long been fascinated with these giant Banyan trees at the Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Fl. They're actually pretty surreal looking in real life! This one in particular caught my eye recently, as I was scouting out a scene to paint for the Sarasota Paint Out. The bark appeared very orangey in places which contrasted nicely with the crisp blue sky, especially where the sun would hit it, making it almost appear to glow! 
Anyway, whenever I visit these gardens I'm reminded of the last time I spent an afternoon with my maternal grandfather nearly 20 years ago now. He was nearing the end stages of Alzheimer's when I came down to visit him and my grandmother, shortly after graduating from college. My grandmother- who was one of my first art teachers, is now 93 and to this day one of my most favorite of people- suggested I take him for a picnic at Selby Gardens, so I did. Unlike my "Muttie" and me, he and I were never very close when I was younger as he had a very abrupt nature and harsh demeanor. But as the disease took over he mellowed (considerably!) becoming quite child-like and docile, in fact. As a result, the last day we spent together was really rather sweet. Anyway, the title of the painting has a bit of a double meaning I suppose.

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