Looking at a Tree | The New Yorker

There are two trees that have changed my life. The first was in Riverdale, the Bronx. It was in Henry Hudson Park, which was behind our b...


There are two trees that have changed my life. The first was in Riverdale, the Bronx. It was in Henry Hudson Park, which was behind our building. My mother took me to the public library. Big windows, light pouring in. I was able to take books out to the park. I am eight years old or so, sitting in the tree in the park and reading “Pippi Longstocking.” In my memory, I was alone. The book was about a girl bursting with self-confidence and force. No parents in sight. A fantasy with madcap humor and a touching sense of kindness. This was me. And in those decisive, enchanted moments, I decided that I would write stories.

When I was nineteen, I spent the summer in England, travelling with a friend and knocking about. We found ourselves in Ayot St. Lawrence, a little village outside of London. We were walking somewhere and passed a field with an immense tree in it. Maybe it was not far from a church or cemetery. Maybe I had just finished eating scones with clotted cream. At any rate, it took my breath away.

No tree since has made me feel that way. I have met many trees that I adore and admire. But that particular tree, on that particular day, has become one of the images in my life-is-good column.

Painting trees has always been very difficult. Like drawing hands. But these past few years some of the fear has vanished, and I have been able to approach them. The formidable task seems like a challenge well worth taking. The nice thing is that a tree is a subject that will never diminish in appeal. And, as old as I get, it requires nothing more than looking at a tree and then sitting at a table and painting.

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Newsrust: Looking at a Tree | The New Yorker
Looking at a Tree | The New Yorker
https://media.newyorker.com/photos/5f57b1cd694e236d3e6d3d4f/16:9/w_1280,c_limit/Kalman-Trees-1.jpg
Newsrust
https://www.newsrust.com/2020/09/looking-at-tree-new-yorker.html
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