Life Beneath the Forest
“Life Beneath the Forest” was inspired by reading Peter Wohlleben’s anthropomorphic descriptions of scientific research in his book, “The Hidden Life of Trees.” I was especially intrigued by his descriptions of the underground networks of roots and the little known systems they used to help sustain neighboring trees. This painting began in response to that concept, and to Wohlleben’s notion that roots are the brains of the tree. After reading the book, I came upon a complex pattern of tangled roots and fallen branches at the eroded shoreline of a river in the forest—and I anthropomorphized them as well. Many seemed like human body parts. A smooth, newly-bare root appeared to be legs, while rough, grey branches seems to be bones. Soon I saw an eye, a mouth, and organs. But most intriguing of all was the birth of new life. Inexplicably, life-force was asserting itself in the form of green leaves within the damp, dark, cave-like tangle of nature.
Oil on Canvas