The Tree of Life was done while I lived in Beaufort SC. It remains one of my more sucessful paintings and I'd love to do a series of tree paintings similar to the Driftwood Series but live trees.
Trees have always had a great appeal for me. There's so much I can see in the branches and foliage. I figured teh giant live oaks would make perfect models for my tree of life painting. I knew the trunk would split- there would be Adam and Eve and from them would come other branches representing their children. I looked around town until I found the perfect tree on Bay St. It was divided near the base and since it was winter there were no leaves.
It's bit hard to see their forms but in the correct lighting it's easy. Around the base of the tree is a serpent representing the lurking evil all families face (as well as the serpent in the Garden of Eden). The branches have some human forms and there are some faces in the negative space of the tips.
After I moved to Winston-Salem I displayed my art at a concert at Salem College featuring some of my string quartets and original instrumental works (I have tapes of the concert BTW). An elderly woman pulled me aside and asked if I was selling the Tree of Life painting. I said, "No, I'm not selling any paintings they're just on display." For some reason she persisted and her friend joined her. They approached me again- they wanted the painting. I told her she couldn't afford what I would charge trying to get rid of them (at the time I was making good money and didn't need the money). She asked for a price so I told her maybe $3,000. She talked it over with her friend and came back to me, she would accept my offer. I was flabergasted, I had only sold two major paintings for money (who knows where they are). I was in a hurry and I just flat turned her down saying I'd rather not sell it now.
I'm clearly not a good businessman.