This tree embodies a returning theme for me, of compassion for the natural world, a world greatly compromised by human development. This painting represents the last of two dozen historic “ancient” Oak trees located in Beaver Brook Reservation, Belmont, Massachusetts. These trees are rare and said to have been known since the 17th century; they inspired the creation of the first regional land trust. They have
been written about for over a hundred years, yet all but one have died due in part to the weight of visitors compacting the earth above the roots. I painted this as a portrait, the large hole in the center of the body / trunk representing the most recent loss of a limb in a storm. There are plaques near the tree that identify it as “The Last Waverley Oak.” I have painted a likeness of the tree as it stands today, but
also aim to convey the question of human impact, the ethereal nature of its history and the complicated emotions it evokes as the sole survivor.