The Oak Year and Oak Leaf Panels
The Oak Year was painted in the year 2013-2014. It is made up of many hundreds of individual oak leaves painted from real-life specimens gathered week by week. It comprises 24 panels, each 5ft x 4ft. Each leaf's portrait is an immediate response to colour, form and character. These lovingly painted specimens are a trace of observation and experience, a trail of time passing through growth and change and decay. The whole work follows tiny emergent leaves breaking the faded browns of winter, through to the bright green of spring, the tough, dark leaves of summer, the colour bursts of autumn, and rich tobacco browns ultimately giving way to decay.
The Oak Year had its first public showing as a floor installation in Perth Museum and Art Gallery. As part of Platform 17, the inaugural festival of Perthshire creativity, it was also translated onto Perth Concert Hall's 22-screen digital display, which is now part of the permanent collection there. A set of four limited edition giclee prints "The Four Seasons", taken from these images is for sale at the concert hall. (£50 each or £150 for a set of four).
Having embarked on Oak Leaf depictions, I cannot seem to stop. I currently produce, now and then, single panels that depict leaves from a single tree. Each panel shows leaves from my chosen tree for the duration of a month. The Birnam Oak panel was shown at Birnam arts and my Birky Bank Oak shown at "Grown Together" exhibition. All of my subjects thus portrayed are trees well known to me, and with which I have a long-term acquaintance.