"Tree Rock" Oil Painting,©John Stermer Estate/Stermer Art LLC; Thumbnail and Detail

“Tree Rock”: An Excuse To Paint

Greetings!  I would like to talk to you about the painting “Tree Rock” and  John Stermer’s motto,  “The Subject Is An Excuse To Paint”.

To explain, when asked about how he found his subject matter, John Stermer (Dad) liked to say that “the subject is an excuse to paint.  And, I find excuses everywhere: in the desert and the ocean; in a mountain or geranium; and in an adobe hut or human figure”.  

"Tree Rock" Oil Painting ©John Stermer Estate/Stermer Art LLC. Private Collection

In other words, I like to think that he found nature as both beautiful and interesting.  If you think about it and if you take a look at a collection of his paintings, you might find that the statement rings true.  There is variety in the subject material.

I think that Dad’s feelings regarding subject matter was not unique.  Nature provides us a rich abundance material to consider and contemplate regardless of our personal passions.  

So, it is not surprising, then, that Dad would do a painting of a rock and tree called “Tree Rock”.  You see, there was such a rock and tree not far from where we lived in Silver City, NM.  And, in the neighborhood, the place was known as, you guessed it,  “Tree Rock”.  

Looking through photos of John Stermer paintings, this particular one caught my attention.  It reminds me of the beautiful New Mexico sky.  And, of short hikes to “Tree Rock” at the end west end of town in Silver City.  It was such a nice view.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out the actual “Tree Rock” and the land around it was donated to nearby Western New Mexico University.  It is a special place to many who have lived nearby.  I invite you to read either articles, one by the Silver City Daily Press (21 November 2015), or in The Grant County Beat (21 November 2015).

I hope that you enjoy the painting “Tree Rock”.  And, just for fun, take a fresh look at what is around you.  Could you imagine it being a painting?  Or a poem?  Thank you.

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