Routes and branches

I spent some weeks last summer painting daily portraits of trees by Frenchman’s Creek as artist in residence at the Kestle Barton Rural Centre for Contemporary Art. The daily portraits where then hung on the gallery walls to form part of a developing ‘live’ exhibition. The paintings attempt to capture some of the immediate experience of people walking the paths around Helford. The following poem accompanied the show

Action painting, standing trees.

Wild growth meets improvised mark

As paint tracks cover paper.

A journey growing into being.

One moving, passing, restless

The other rooted to the place.

Dual portraits, viewer and viewed.

Tree formed by climate and conditions,

Man touched by weather and light.

Both alive to their moment of performance.

Painting proclaiming the poetry of the eye,

Nature the rhyme and rhythm of being.

A short conversation,

No conclusion reached,

But a kind of tenderness.

The wall map acted as a guide to the location of the days painting so that people could drop by to see work in progress. The portable gazebo was an essential part of the painting kit for on site picture making to a specific schedule in very changeable weather conditions.

I have included a selection of paintings that follow paths to Kestle Barton, Frenchman’s Creek, Helford as well as Manaccan. More can be viewed at

A tree bench was installed in the show courtesy of Matt Robinson (sitting on the right)

and two hikers view the show.