Tree Portraits

Leg of Mutton Nature Reserve 2

For the past four years I have been painting portraits of trees in West London woods and nature reserves. The legacy of gardens, parks and woodlands found in London creates an urban environment with an unrivaled relationship to nature that cannot be equaled.

Barn Elms Sun Spot

The paintings explore characteristics and patterns of growth of individual trees found in London’s natural habitats. They are quiet reflections in a busy city expressed in dialogue between mark making movements of the hand and abstracted actions of nature.

Angel at abandoned cemetery Barnes Common

Locations include: Fulham Palace Gardens; Chiswick Park; Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve; Gunnersbury Park; Leg of Mutton Nature Reserve in Barnes; Putney Heath; Kingsmere Lake at Putney Heath; Beverley Brook in Barnes Common; Barn Elms Playing Fields; Dukes Landing Nature Reserve.

Fishing lake at Barn Elms Playing Fields

Each gouache painting on paper, created and completed in a single live session, is produced to an A2 (594 x 420 mm) portrait format to emphasize the individual nature of the tree.

Barn Elms

Tree Portrait

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.

Mike McInnerney / The Rowley Gallery

PS: Mike McInnerney was artist in residence at Kestle Barton in 2010. More details on their website – Routes & Branches.

Frames of reference
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2 Responses to Tree Portraits

  1. Diana Hale says:

    Amazing paintings – hard to believe they are done in one session!

  2. Michael McInnerney says:

    Thanks for the kind words – it is a bit like training for a sport – I sit down and seem to make all the decisions and take the actions I need in approx 3 hours – I do not need to look at a watch to know if I am taking longer

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