I'd been busy in the studio a couple weeks back, trying to start another painting. I often work from things that have sat too long in my head. A problem that arises from this "storage" is my original idea becomes changed by time and when I finally can get down to fleshing it out, I'm not sure I'm finding the original message!
"Late Summer Day - Bur Oak (The Wolf Tree)"
Oil Painting - © Bruce A. Morrison
I think this piece is looking like I originally envisioned it. It's of a "Wolf Tree", a Bur Oak in this instance, one we came across in "Southwood" a state wildlife area down in southern Woodbury County, Iowa - in the Loess Hills.
Wolf trees characteristically have broad, spreading crowns that dominate the area of ground lying within their shade. They monopolize the available light, water and nutrients for their own use to the detriment of other nearby trees thus allowing them to dominate. Old dominating Bur Oaks survived countless prairie fires with the help of their thick cork-like bark and stand as a testimony to their perseverance through many, many years on the tallgrass priairie.
Bur Oaks are probably my favorite tree but extremely slow growing. We tried starting many here on our prairie remnant and have failed a few times due to the rabbits and deer ending early attempts. We now have one caged in the back yard and another persistent seedling in the north pasture. We'll never live long enough to see them in their glory, but someone will and that's important too.