John Slavin

Portfolio: 7. The Tree Woven Lands

A Suite of Twelve

Deep Wood

Two ancient chestnut trees lean across the forest path. Painted by torchlight, this nocturne on a muddy path shows where the wild boar run after rain.

Original
Acrylic on canvas
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Le Jardin de la Foret

A studio painting made from more than a dozen detailed pen and pencil drawings of sycamore, oak, chestnut, mountain, rock and herb.

Original
Acrylic on canvas
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Montagne de Taube

The foreground consists of light-play in grass either side of a stony track which descends to a tangle of bushes out of which rise two Scots pines. In the distance the valley is a sea of cloud from which rise high mountains. Overhead the golden limbs of a cherry tree descend, their leaves catching sunlight. The last cherry of the season hangs in the top left.

Original
Oil on canvas
30" x 24"
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Pine Tree Campoussy

Viridian green pine needles in a darkness where the mountainside is obscure and the foreground littered with smashed rocks. The painting is very heavily worked and seeks to capture this ancient wooden character, riven, distorted, blasted by drought and wind. The central pillar of the tree sends branches out beyond our picture space. In ancient stasis we find gesture and a mirroring, in brush stroke, of human muscle and brain. a primarily important subject for the artist; a tree.

Original
Oil on canvas
40" x 32"
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Pine Trees at Gruissan

Pine trees distorted by mountain wind and sea wind writhe. Beneath shaded boughs serpentine forms weave. The tree trunks themselves are surrounded by sunlight which is rendered in short vertical strokes. A scene of many arching curving tree forms beneath a blue sky on a sunlit hill.

Original
Oil on canvas
24" x 30"
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Red Canigou

A view to sacred Canigou from the foot of a great pine and chestnuts on the Col Roque Jalere. September, and already the chestnut leaves are brown. The valley hides itself in a sea of mist above which the mountain rises red as a heart.

Original
Oil on canvas
24" x 18"
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Serbairou

Orchids, grass, massive tree roots, overhanging leaves and standing dead trees are arranged against a distant mountain Bugarach beneath a troubled sky.

Original
Acrylic on canvas
60cm x 60cm
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

The Overgrown Path

Oak trees line a path deep into the afternoon forests. A shattered mosaic of light, leaf, branch and rock litters the way.

Original
Acrylic on canvas
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Two Yellow Mushrooms

Smooth contrasts with thorny, light with shade, in a celebration of hot colour where bright leaves are decked out like flags above the path. Two yellow mushrooms post the way.

Original
Acrylic on canvas
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Une Chenaie

From the stillness of the deep dead river course one looks through the leaves to a summer blue sky. Tall oaks lining the bank suggest an inner voyage of serpentine and capillary meditations.

Original
Acrylic on canvas
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Cardou from Las Heiros Forest

The pilgrim's way to Cardou comes through here. Obscured by green leaves and primeval forest the mountain is merely an orange triangle -- the point of two lines meeting high in a night sky where legend says the bones of Jesus are laid to rest.

Original
Oil on canvas
24" x 24"
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery

Le Bezu

The sun is visible in a yellow green sky beyond red oak branches. The distant mountains although sunk in blackness are corrugated with perpendicular red rock in light from the sun ray. The foreground is black like the mountains but the forest is alive; as if burning with leaves of flame, dancing in its last moments of visibility to carry flower forms of light toward dark night.

Original
Oil on canvas
30" x 24"
Can be seen at The Secret Gallery