"The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
- John Steinbeck
I spent three quiet days in the Redwoods about 15 minutes from the little town of Elk on the California coast. I had no phone service or internet and spent my days painting, mostly outside, wearing multiple layers and heavy socks, surrounded by towering, majestic redwood trees. When my hands got a little too cold, I went inside for tea and to read my book. When I needed inspiration, I walked around in the damp woods, photographing delicate ferns, pale mint lichens and the bark of these awe-inspiring trees made up of more shades of brown and red than I could mix. One late afternoon, when the sun was peaking through the clouds, I drove to Navarro Beach and collected drift wood and smooth polished rocks.
And while it's true, I don't believe it's possible to successful pain a redwood tree, every artist must still try.