The Trinity River by Paula Martiesian
It’s clear I have a thing for trees. They populate most of my paintings in abstracted and figurative forms. They call to me, their stories silent but obvious to anyone who bothers to look.
On trip to the west coast last year, my husband and I visited the redwood forests with friends. We hiked alongside a fallen sequoia twice the length of a football field. We climbed inside a redwood charred and cut down by lightening. Even though the tree no longer lived, it was brimming with life, host to all manner of plants and creatures. The forests astounded me with layer upon layer of life and death, the ancient growth a marker of time oblivious to mankind.
Yet I returned home with not one sketch of a tree. They were too magnificent for me, too large a presence to capture on such a small thing as a canvas.
Instead I hunkered down near a lovely jade-colored river named Trinity. It was there I found inspiration in the movement of the waves and the undulation of the plants growing in the water. I’m not sure anyone would recognize the painting as a river, but to me it embodies the constant motion of the current and the subtle shifts of color as sunlight glimmered across the water.