I think about the destiny of the natural world for the next generations. With the climate change prognosis so uncertain, I worry that we will miss the window of opportunity to protect such diversity and beauty. I hope it is not slipping away.
My two young grandnieces are the future. They love the outdoors and see it all with that new sense of wonder so common in the young.
I had visited Bath, in the UK, a few years ago in November, when the leaves were falling and everything had a muted, mysterious end of season look to it.
Walking through the botanical gardens, I came across these birch trees, hanging on to their last leaves, framing a gorgeous color palette of greens, rusts and gold. I had noticed a woman pushing a baby carriage earlier and decided to place her moving in to the distance of this scene. My nieces, Lilly and Abby, became my models from a photo their mom had taken in a different setting. I placed them in to this park, put fall jackets on them and had them enter this special space.
This was a difficult one to get the sense of shadowed uncertainty I wanted, but still keep it fresh and hopeful. I hope I succeeded.
Note my last, final changes in the small details. There is always a moment when I am not sure I am finished and spend time, often days, just looking, thinking, looking again at other artists work (Doig, Wyeth, Wiesenfeld, Celaya) and making those final decisions that mean it is finished.
I added a leaf over the girls’ head, and a falling leaf between them and the viewer, changed the tone of the green lawn, some subtle rays of sunshine and edited Abby’s hat to be smaller and less “matched” to her jacket. I was finally finished telling the story.
“Will The Trees Still Be Here Tomorrow”, oil on linen, 40 x 30″