paulette's hypermeaningful weblog


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Under the Paint: The Rockridge Forest Painting

This is a painting of a house with a tree behind it.

It's held by collectors and historians to be one of the most important oil paintings of California ever, documenting the last surviving tree of what was once a 400 million acre forest in Oakland, California.  And there's a story behind it that we are going to tell you, and it goes like this.

Paulette set up her easel around the corner from her illustrious apartment, but she again forgot something related to painting and had to go back home to get it, and when she got back to her easel and canvas, she started painting in earnest.

Some woman walked by and talked about redwood trees to Paulette, saying that in 1847, the area they were standing on was covered by a 400 million acre redwood forest, and that the tree Paulette was painting was the last tree of that whole forest.  Paulette asked her, "What happened to the other trees?" and the woman answered, "They were harvested and used to make airplanes, but they left one just in case somebody in the future wanted to see what it looked like."

Paulette finished the painting and then went home and ate some cold cereal.


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