Ingrid Finnan's Story Behind the Art

Eastern Redbud
Cercis canadensis

“In the Bartram botanic garden, ... there is  a Cercis canadensis thirty-five feet in height, with a trunk three feet in circumference...” from The Trees of America; native and foreign, pictorially and botanically delineated...” by D. J. Browne, 1857.  John Bartram, or his son William, must have been captivated by this tree, collected it, and planted it at their home near Philadelphia.  The size of the tree described above is unusually large.  William  Bartram describes in his Travels throughout the American South from 1773  to 1776 coming upon stands of the Cercis or Judas Tree.  Both names are identified as the Cercis canadensis in the Glossary.

 
In my neighborhood in the Bronx the redbud grows to about 15 feet on rather rocky ground.  Sadly, Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, badly damaged a number of these trees.
 
With its tracery of pink/mauve flowers that pop directly out of the trunks and branches, the redbud is a welcoming sign of spring.  In my painting I sought to capture the contrast of delicate blooms against bare branch with just a suggestion of emerging heart-shaped leaves.
 
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  • (C) Ingrid Finnan