When I was young I loved to climb and play in trees. On finding a comfortable branch I would rest and whilst doing so serene and sublime feelings overcame me and seemed to dissolve me. Today, I still feel this way around trees.

The images included in this video have been taken in the wide-skied heathlands and fenlands of Suffolk, on the hills of Gloucestershire, the wind-sculpted-wonky-treed coastlines of Cornwall, and in New South Wales, Australia – where the light feels so surreal to an Englishman – the shadows are so airy, bright and colour filled by comparison.

Below are some links to subject matter that inspires me:

1. A series of tree paintings by Michelle Dovey – inspired by memory and responding to the landscape traditions of earlier generations (painters such as George Stubbs, JMW Turner and Antoine Watteau).


Info on these paintings at

2. Tree close ups by Constable.

Study of tree trunks - John Constable -

Study of the Trunk of an Elm Tree, c.1821


Van Gogh, Cypresses, Saint-Rémy, 1889
When I saw this at the ‘The artist and his letters’ exhibition at the Royal Academy, I was greatly impressed – the impact of scale and use of impasto just can’t be grasped from reproductions.

5. Tree paintings by Emily Carr

Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky, 1935

Old Tree at Dusk, 1936

Plumed Firs, 1939

Article on Emily Carr’s identification with trees (passage from Carr, O’Keeffe, Kahlo: Places of Their Own, by Sharyn Rohlfsen Udall).



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