New Painting: Under the Arbutus Tree
Hot summer days, a salty west coast beach, waves gently lapping at the sandy shore. Find the cool sand hiding in the shade amongst the driftwood, sink in your toes. Look up, a gnarly arbutus hangs out, years of shoreline erosion slowly edging it downwards, but it withstands, roots growing ever deeper into the rocky bluffs behind.
The Pacific Arbutus tree (Arbutus menziesii) is the only deciduous evergreen tree native to coastal areas of British Columbia. Their habitat ranges from southern BC down to California, with several other Arbutus species found on warm coastlines around the world. Here on Bowen Island the Arbutus makes its home on dry rocky bluffs where it can catch some sun and breathe the salty sea air. Despite drought tolerance and relatively rapid growth populations of Arbutus are in decline, likely due to human development and a lack of natural wildfires. Fires help to clear the dense canopy of dominant Douglas Fir as well as germinate seeds found in the iconic red Arbutus berries.
For this painting “Under the Arbutus Tree” it was my goal to capture the feel of sitting beneath twisting Arbutus branches, the peeling bark in shades of rusty orange, dappled sunlight falling on weathered driftwood and grey sandy beach below, the distant ocean sparkling in the mid day sun.
Lay back, relax, hang out, watch the sunlight dancing on the water, let the Arbutus tree show you how its done.
36”x48” – 2017 – Acrylic on Canvas – UV Polymer Varnish – $1500