Here is “Coastal Tea Trees in Golden Gate Park.”
Last summer, I went on a road trip with my family through California. We spent two full days exploring Golden Gate Park in San Francisco! I highly recommend this experience if you ever have the chance to go. The park is enormous, with a variety of ponds and streams, fields, wooded trails, and botanical gardens.
One of the coolest things in Golden Gate Park is these amazing trees with winding branches that weave together low to the ground. You can climb inside the shelter created by the weaving branches and play inside this space.
It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky when I took the photos that inspired this painting. The sun was bursting all the way through the dense winding branches of these trees. Everything was glowing gold in the warm summer air.
Along the trail we took to get to this spot, we walked under ancient blue gum eucalyptus trees that were planted in the 1800s to establish Golden Gate Park. The air was strongly scented with eucalyptus. I kept a few of the scented eucalyptus acorns that littered the ground, as an aromatic souvenir.
I googled “What are the amazing trees with winding branches in Golden Gate Park?” and discovered that they are coastal tea trees.
I originally considered titling this painting “Wonderland” because that day, that setting, and that sunlight, felt so magical. But this title gives more context to the viewer for what they are looking at, to better share the experience
Because these trees are so wildly unusual, if you haven’t seen them before, you may not understand what this painting is depicting, beyond the sun shining through tree branches. That is okay, because it reads well even if interpreted as a semi-abstract painting.
It is a dramatic image, with the branches at the top deep in dark shadow, and the ones at the bottom illuminated in golden light. The shafts of sunlight bursting through the center of the canvas reach diagonally almost from corner to corner.
In the center, where the sun almost completely obliterates the small thicket of horizontal branches, you can see when you look closely that the branches are not completely invisible, but washed out to a subtle yellow within the powerful white light.
Close-up details show clumps of tiny weaving twigs, and the many tiny shimmering negative shapes created by the sunlight shining through the complex winding branches.
Grass along the bottom edge shows the horizontal nature of these trees, like undulating snakes with their curves touching the ground, frozen in place into wood.
The painting itself appears as a source of light, that can bring sunshine into any interior space.
It has a huge impact when displayed on the wall, with its large scale of 36” x 60”.
Contact me if you are interested in purchasing the original painting or a print of it.