The Process of Painting the Angel Oak

rob painting angel oak

Working on such a large canvas was a labor of love.

cate painting edges

Cate assists by extending the painting along the 2.5″ edges, for a gallery wrap.

This is my largest work on stretched linen canvas. The painting is 5′ x 7.’ Yes, that’s right, I said FIVE feet!  It was commissioned by our neighbor/friends Amy and Justin Couch, who needed a large piece as a focal point with their cathedral ceiling. Cathedral ceilings are a challenge for any designer. The piece is gallery wrapped with finished edges.We went back and forth, considering a full mural, to a triptych, to a single canvas painting.

I used a variety of photos I’d taken in different seasons. Some in the thick of summer with the lush, beautiful moss in bloom. The trouble is in summer the light is obscured by the thick canopy of green. So I morphed a winter shot taken in bright sunlight to capture the light patterns. The fusion of the two images created an almost impossible idealization of the majestic Angel Oak. This large painting is not a mural, in that there is a tremendous buildup of paint, which adds to the volume and texture of the finished work. It is a visceral experience creating the desire in the viewer to reach out and touch it.

amy and justin couchamy and justin couchIamy and justin couchinstallation was a breeze. We asked our neighbor Todd, who owns Charleston Glass and Mirror, to lead the install process. He manufactured the perfect brackets to suspend the painting, attached it to the wall in the proper location, so that the painting fit snugly and securely in place.

Finally, after a year of discussions and brainstorming the concept, the proud owners, Justin and Amy Couch, stand in front of their new focal point. The iconic Angel Oak has found its forever home.

Below are some photos taken at various stages in the painting process.The early stages were mostly a building up of paint quality, constructing the forms and giving them a 3-D quality.

Angel Oak




Buy prints of this work. Contact me to custom order a larger size reproduction than is available on my shop.

Here’s another epic canvas of the Grand Canyon.

Find out about having custom work created by Robert.

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