After we stumbled on Amy Cropper’s Inverse —ash and hawthorn branches painted bright red —we wondered why more people didn’t simply paint dead trees and branches to tranform them, and turn them into…something else… form/artwork with a mysterious story. It sent us hunting for examples. And we found lots of inspiration…
Artist Henry Bruce painted an oak tree suffering from decay vivid pink:
One Earth Day several years ago, the Chicago Park District presented a multi-colored “Living Forest, ” in Lincoln Park: seven 30-foot trees were painted orange, yellow and blue. The trees, which were either damaged or deemed invasive species were, in effect, made into art before being removed.
We discovered that dead and dying trees are not the only ones humans occasionally paint.
In China, the roots of live trees are sometimes painted white to protect them from invasive insects. We find them to be very beautiful.
In Algeria, poplars, ficus or eucalyptus are often painted reflecting white at the bottom for night time drivers.
During World War 2, it was common practice in England to paint white marks on trees, curbs and other things that could be seen from ground level – even in dim light – but not by the Luftwaffe flying high overhead.
Dig these striped trees!
Now that we see these images, trees – especially dead ones – seem like a perfect artist’s canvas, ready to transform.