The Bareness of Bark

Once in a while, I like to get back to a feeling of bareness, of looking at what is essential, setting aside all the superfluous and complex and agitated in my life. Winter is a good time to do this, as nature itself is devoid of adornment.

For some reason, the bark of trees gives me the impression of bareness. Perhaps because I notice it more when the leaves have gone, or could it it be the restrained palette of browns and grays?

Yet, upon looking carefully at a single patch of bark, I see a whole world: intricate in patterns, complex in textures, with a great variety of nuances. Muted, certainly. But also rugged, strong, protective, and so discreetly appealing.

And so the humble bark conveys an invitation to see more in less.

Louise Jalbert, “Large Bark no 7”, Watercolor on Paper, 2017, 22 x 30 inches