I believe any object can carry a powerful message and I don’t want the viewer to depend on verbal explanations of my work. Instead, I offer a direct encounter with the subject I have interpreted in paint. When portraying trees, I want to give a dignity and directness that transmits the sense of a lived presence; although they are never idealized, they convey an atmosphere of physical and psychological beauty. Each tree is a living individual and a forest is a place of magic and comfort. The quality of the light and how it attaches to branches and trunks gives the sense of permanence and peace that most people absorb from a walk in the woods. The extraordinary personality and loveliness of each tree moves me to paint them much as artists have always painted the human figure; as a deeply meaningful object.

Shelley Mitchell, The Old Tree and the Sea, Oil on canvas,2018

 

Shelley Mitchell, A Walk in the Woods (diptych), Oil on canvas,2018