Alien Infiltration (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.) SOLD!
The venerable giant is surrounded and caged by five Buckthorns - bushes that have grown into trees, stretching up to steal the light from its canopy, leaning, vine-like on its outstretched limbs. Reaching the sunlight, the oval coins of their leaves displace the dark feathery Cedar foliage - each year a little more.
I started by sketching with a rubber-tipped tool, faint lines following trunks and limbs into the dark purplish grey underpainting, noticing how a Buckthorn trunk leans against a lower Cedar limb and then behind the limb above, lacing itself up into the Cedar. Spidery grey dead twigs complete the impression of Buckthorn basketry.
Adam comes to photograph me at work and we talk about cutting the Buckthorns and releasing the old Cedar, but I think that kind of commotion would disturb the Honeybees that have made their home in the back of the tree, a little above head height.
Fred has measured the diameters of the Buckthorns at breast height. The largest trunk is 13 cm. and the average diameter is 6.8 cm.