I have made a bet with myself that I can find something every day in my ordinary neighborhood in Deepswamp, Georgia that is beautiful enough to paint. When I walked to the mailbox this afternoon I thought I may have lost that bet.
Then I saw these trees. I have seen them many times before, they grow by the local dumpster. But today the sun was hitting the trunks and they were glowing almost white.
The branches in the sunlight looked white and the branches in the shade looked black. So what color are the branches of this tree?
Trees have personalities as JRR Tolkein noted. Some are graceful, some are solid, some are even menacing, as he depicted in his drawing of Fanghorn Forest. Tolkein wandered about as a child drawing trees. Remember the trees being chopped down to fuel the evil war machine in “Lord of the Rings?” It was a metaphor for the unthinking destruction of life and beauty in all warfare.
What personality do trees growing by a dumpster have? They might be straggly, depressed and full of self-pity because they have been born into such a ignoble environment. But instead they dance. It is the personality of these particular trees to do ballet and the audience is irrelevant. They dance.