In Paradisum II (Latin for In Paradise #2) is my latest painting.
|In Paradisum II 20" x 16" / 51cm x 41cm|
|In Paradisum II (Detail)|
I can't say that this is my Tour de Force of redwood forest paintings, but I'm working toward it. Hence, the Roman numeral I for the first piece I did, and this is the second. I expect there will be at least one more that will be my best redwood painting ever!
The first time The Wiffee and I were in the redwoods was in June, 1982. We visited Redwood National Park; in particular, Lady Bird Johnson Grove in early morning. I planned on taking lots of pictures but was disappointed when the sky was clear and sunny. It's difficult shooting photos in an old-growth forest because sunny patches next to shadowy patches exceed the range of film. So the sunny spots wash out, and the shadows turn completely black.
But we continued hiking in, went around a hill, and all of a sudden, like an answer to prayer, we walked into a section of forest that was enshrouded in a light fog, with sunbeams breaking through the trees and the very air luminescent. With the tall coastal redwoods and ferns, with rhododendrons and Douglas irises in bloom, it looked like we were in heaven! I had never, before or since, felt like I was standing in the cathedral of God's own making.
Lady Bird Johnson Grove is on a ridge at about 1,000 feet / 305m, so instead of peering into a deep, dark forest of overlapping redwoods, the sky is visible beyond the trees. Thus the sky appears blue, lightly foggy or densely foggy (as it was the second time we were in LBJ Grove in 1984).
I decided not to paint any critters this time. No hidden bunnies or birds, just a group of irises that may not be noticed by the viewer right away. (In Paradisum III will have critters, I predict!)
I've wondered which I would enjoy living in more -- the desert or the redwoods. Still, I don't know if I would ever again feel the way I felt that day in June, 1982, when I rounded a corner and entered the glowing mists of heaven.