You may have noticed that the artist John Stermer has a lot of tree paintings. That is, trees are the primary subject matter in several of his paintings. So much so, that you might wonder why and what was the significance of all those trees.
I have been thinking about these trees for a while. You see, years ago my father and I had a discussion about trees as part of a larger existential discussion that ran the gamut from mail boxes to Tolstoy. You might imagine it was an interesting conversation.
But, what sticks in my mind is that trees were special to my father. I got the feeling that they were somewhat like daily reminders of the mysteries, spirit, and beauty of nature. Perhaps the meaning was as large and diverse as the types of trees themselves.
Back in New Mexico, where we lived at the time, we had trees like pines; cottonwoods, junipers, and oak. Many of them grew old and gnarly so that when you looked at the limbs, what you saw were these wonderful rhythms of nature. Also, the thought occurred to me that the difference between new growth and old limbs is fascinating. Here we see the hope and vitality of youth adjacent to the experience and resilience of the maturity.
In any case, I think it is telling that trees were among the last subjects my Dad painted before he died in 1991. The painting of the ponderosa pine posted below, is among the last paintings John Stermer completed. It can be seen in the New Mexico State Capitol as part of the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection.
So, I hope that you enjoy a few of paintings John Stermer created featuring trees.