Tree of Light


Tree of Light, 30″ x 40″ oil on linen canvas, gallery wrapped

The original has found its forever home. Available as hand embellished canvas giclee (numbered, 5) or Artist Proof on heavy paper (numbered 5)

Tree of Light captures a dramatic moment in time in winter, at the golden hour, when the light is just right. We were on a family road trip to Detroit when I saw it on the side of a lonely farm road in Ohio. I slammed on the breaks. “What’s going on?” “What are you nuts?!” “What are you stopping for?!” It is a chorus of ridicule endured by artists who are always on the lookout for beauty. In fact, I’m going to produce a bumper sticker that says, “I break for beauty.” I hope everyone will buy it.

I love when the sun peaks through the clouds near sunset and streams its golden rays across the way to illuminate something spectacular. The illuminated tree is lighter than the sky, lighter than it logically should be. But the logic of nature often has other ideas. I could see this painting in an instant. I saw the thick application of paint, the dark, thin shadows, outlining the forms and emphasizing their importance. This was not just another tree passing by on our high speed rat race to Detroit. This tree called out, with a voice like thunder, “paint me!”

continued . . .

Where will you hang Tree of Light?

I can't help also thinking of a tree as a huge lung, with chambers and branches of air, down to the finest level of the corpuscle.

I also like the idea of painting a tree as if it were a portrait. In a way, it is a portrait. I believe this is a London Plane Maple (Platanus x acerifolia). The face of this tree is filled with bent and twisted branches, and a few leaves, clinging to them, long after autumn has passed. And everything is made into gold by the light. There is an intelligence to the reaching upward, as if yearning for the sun in search of meaning. The light shimmering through the clouds like this reminds me of how God finds an opening to light the way. I've done this treatment of trees before.


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Angel Oak



More gallery paintings by Robert Maniscalco

Additional information

Type of Work

Original Painting by Robert Maniscalco, Giclee – archival inks, stretch on canvas, Artists Proof (AP) – archival inks and paper


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