The Tuning Fork


This is a framed original oil painting on Claessens portrait-grade Belgian linen – which is a very fine, archival linen, considered to be the best quality material available for artist canvas. The frame is a custom wood float frame, black. 1.5″ deep with a satin finish.



About the art:

Trees can grow into a fork if they get damaged when they are saplings, attempting to send up a new crown. Sometimes it’s not needed after all, so then the tree has two. This formation can result in a weakened tree, but the tree in this painting seems strong and healthy to me – but I’m no tree expert by any stretch of the imagination!

At the time that this scene caught my attention, I was reading a book on classical painting by Juliette Aristedes – who I took a workshop with a few years ago. She explained in the text about the connections between music, mathematics and pictorial composition. I find this kind of thing fascinating, and it opened my mind and eyes to a myriad of possibilities for the forest/river paintings I was beginning to make. I experimented with the proportions of the canvas first, using a ratio of 1:5, five being a growth factor in nature.

The tall, narrow canvas reminded me of Gothic Cathedrals, and expressed the valley environment I live in very well. It is a difficult shape to compose, so I don’t use this format for all of my landscape work. I wanted to capture the sense of this forked tree towering over the snowy riverbank, so this shape felt very natural. The S shaped arabesque of the river reflecting the light above leads the eye up and down the picture plane, in much the same way my eye did when I visited this spot. The colours, movement and light felt like chords, and I could almost hear the music of the forest. The afternoon sun cast long, beautiful blue shadows, columns of light and sparkles in the spaces between the branches and needles. A transcendental moment.

Additional information

Weight 15.9 lbs
Dimensions 42 × 4 × 20 in