Trees of Life

“To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed.” ~Roger Deakin, Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees

When a sketcher is in the woods it’s hard not to sketch trees.

There is something special being at the base of a coast redwood and looking at it massive bole which would take an extended family, with linked hands, to encircle the circumference.

Looking up, following the redwood to it’s crown is literally a pain in the neck! Coast Redwoods, after all, are the tallest trees in the world.

On a Monday morning I hiked out and sketched an impressive specimen of Sequoia sempervirens in Fall Creek State Park, a redwood named the Big Ben Tree.

The Big Ben Tree is a giant amongst many second growth redwoods. The tree stands at one if the highest points on a hiking trail in Fall Creek.

From the trail junction, the tree is impressive. I walked around to the other side and the massive bole was scarred by fire, perhaps many centuries before. Here I wanted to sketch this scar, a record of the tree’s history. Redwoods can live to 1,500 to 1,800 years. They do have a long life line; a very long history.

Sketching is a language that is created over a series of experiences. I have sketched redwoods many times and over time, I have gotten to understand their language. Their shape, mass, contour, and there undefinable essence. This helps me create an artistic shorthand to render the infinite, finite.

A bench view sketched of mixed woods of redwood and Douglas-fir from the end of Shire Way.

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