30 x 24 in | 76.2 x 61 cm
This painting marks a turning point in my life. I was just coming out of a difficult period of doubt and personal struggle, and it was largely the creation of this painting that brought me to a point of clarity. Whatever else I might do with my life, painting was clearly the most natural path for me. The thrill of seeing fresh and vibrant oil paint coming out of the tube, the feel of the palette knife in my hand, seeing a composition take shape—it is hard to explain the visceral feeling I had, and still have, as anything other than it simply felt right.
The composition of this particular painting just happens to be symbolic of the sense of relief and joyful clarity I felt at knowing what I really wanted to do most. The relative darkness under the boughs of the live oak trees opens up into the bright sunlight of the clearing beyond. My mother suggested that this painting could be called, “Out of the darkness, and into the light.”
Instead, I have chosen to name this piece after the majestic trees that form such graceful shapes, the live oaks (Quercus agrifolia.) It is true that for many people part of the story of the work is the journey of the artist. For me, the focus of this painting—what originally drew me to the subject—is the almost magical feeling that the live oaks evoke as we pass under the shade of their spreading limbs. The little beams of sunlight that filter through, here and there, dance around as if to suggest that this might be where the fairies live.