Diana’s Tree by Paula Martiesian
For years I walked by the dogwood unmindful of its beauty, but one afternoon last October I stopped for a closer look. The tree bark was etched with wrinkles, the leaves small and fanned out in concentrated pinks and reds. Its branches looked a bit like a jester or a male ballet dancer with arms open wide.
Sometimes inspiration hits in the most mundane of places. One day, for no apparent reason, a scene you have seen hundreds of times before looks completely different.
Perhaps the autumn sun cast a particularly vivid shadow altering my perception of the dogwood dramatically. Maybe an early morning rainstorm seeped deep into the crevices of the tree bark creating an inky map. But I think nostalgia and regret played a part. The tree sat in the front yard of a friend of mine who was preparing to move out of state.
This is the moment of recognition, my “aha” moment.” It is the instant when I see a painting whole in my mind before I even stretch a canvas. For me, it is the moment when a painting is born.