Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hackberry Trees

Notes From My Tree Journal

I have found some interesting trees at Fair Oaks. They are in a narrow lane, behind Field Two, that runs along the edge of the property. Rick told me they are called Hackberry trees. They have an ancient look to them, almost as if they have diseased skin rather than bark and sort of an Elephant look to the limbs where they connect to the trunk. I did some research on them here:

Hackberry is a tree with an elm-like form and is, in fact, related to the elm. The wood of hackberry has never been used to any large extent due to its softness and an almost immediate propensity to rot when in contact with the elements. However, Celtis occidentalis is a forgiving urban tree and is considered tolerant of most soil and moisture conditions.
Hackberry forms a rounded vase reaching a height of 40 to 80 feet, is a rapid grower, and transplants easily. The mature bark is light gray, rough and corky and its small berry like fruit turns from orange red to purple and is relished by birds. The fruit temporarily stains. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer Palette

Notes From My Tree Painting Journal

I've switched over to my summer palette this week which I will use through September.  I like to adjust my palette at least twice a year. They are never more than 7 colors and often five or six. Lots of people think that Florida never changes with the seasons but north Florida definitely has seasonal changes. Many of them are subtle and the kinds of changes that the average viewer would not notice. I can always tell a person who understands the land when they walk into the studio because the get so excited in viewing paintings about the real Florida, not the tourist Florida. 

These are Red Cedars at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge on the east coast of Florida. It is a vast land with a large diverse plant and wildlife population. I love going there to explore.