Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Southern Catalpa Trees at Chatham, Watercolor
Almost finished with this painting of Chatham Manor's Southern Catalpa trees. These trees are located on the north side of Chatham in Stafford County. The mansion was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Walt Whitman described the scene at the hospital for "worst case soldiers". The trees at this time were 25 years old and are located just outside the north window of the mansion. Sparing the details of Whitman's description, I will just say that my interpretation of the trees was greatly influenced by the images of that description. I couldn't help but see the ghostly, skeleton images in the trees and couldn't escape the feeling of a cyclic organic growth. The wholes in the trees: most likely precisely cut to have access to the metal poles inside that support the weight of the foliage of these hollow trunk trees.