Spirit through the Trees

Piece description from the artist

This painting is of a beautiful grove of London Plane trees in Prospect Park, near the Lincoln Statue and Music Island. These trees are some of the original trees in the park, putting them at 150 years old or more. This is not a long time in a certain sense, but in the landscape of the United States, it is fairly old.

The trees shed their bark, producing a camouflage like pattern that you can't miss. In fact, the London Plane was a favorite tree of the infamous NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. It currently comprises roughly 14% of all street trees in New York!

These trees were planted fairly close to each other for such large old trees. But I noticed they will not grow into each other, almost as if they know a friend is nearby—they must communicate somehow! Because of this they grow outward, forming a whalebone like structure that reminds me of a cathedral.

I wanted to paint the sunlight coming through the tree canopy, hence "Spirit in the Air." This is one of my favorite areas of Prospect Park.

Other works by Noel Hefele

About Noel Hefele

Bronx, NY

Noel Hefele is a talented landscape painter with a diverse background in the arts. Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, he received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002 and later earned a MA in Arts and Ecology from a school in England. Throughout his career, Noel has had the opportunity to exhibit his work internationally and has pieces in numerous private collections. He has also served on the board of the non-profit community arts organization PLGarts in Brooklyn, New York and co-teaches a graduate course at Brooklyn College called Human Tracks in the Urban Landscape. In 2013 and 2014, Noel was the Artist in Residence at the Barbuda Archeological Research center in the Caribbean.

Currently, Noel resides and works in the Bronx, New York where he is in the process of exploring Van Cortlandt Park and creating a new body of work. As an artist, Noel believes in the power of art to help us move towards a more responsible and holistic understanding of the environment. He sees the landscape as an entangled field of relationships that includes humans, animals, plants, minerals, and more, and believes that by viewing the non-human world as more than just objects, we can take responsibility for our impact on the planet and recognize that we are not the sole subjects of the Earth's narrative. Through his art, Noel aims to collaborate with the landscape in order to produce effects in himself and others, aesthetically and emotionally reconfiguring the way we see the world.

For more information and to see more of Noel's work, visit www.facebook.com/NoelHefeleStudios.

See Noel's portfolio here

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