Delighting in a raucous crowd of bottle greens and luminous lime hues, The Tree exudes an experiential quality that is instantly recognizable in Ellen Altfest's oeuvre. Working from life, rather than a photograph, this work revels in intoxicating detail, flirting with reality and dream as each delicate and meticulously captured part becomes a reverie of its painted form on canvas. It marvels at the staggering beauty of simple, natural things offering the viewer a contemplative and quiet image, a soundboard for self-meditation.
Slicing the canvas in half, a majestic tree rendered in a jostling crowd of burnt umbers and earthy Indian reds dominates the foreground whilst a flurry of luscious, vivacious leaves embrace and caress its weatherworn branches. The entire work is consumed by the sheer physicality of the glistening drops of oil paint upon the woven ground; it is consumed by its making offering the viewer a very intimate vision of the artist.