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Link - by Avi Abrams

Psychedelic, "Grateful Dead" Trees - Revived!

We've seen Painted Castles, Painted City Blocks and even Painted Forests. Well, here is an artist with a truly unique subject: Curtis Killorn paints trees - dead trees - in all the colours of the rainbow:

(all images by Curtis Killorn, exclusively for Dark Roasted Blend)

Curtis tells us about his art: "I paint dead trees in bright colors in the mountains of Colorado as public art. These trees have been featured in many local and regional newspapers and magazines and have really taken on a life of their own. I am now receiving requests from the community to provide my work on their properties."

"Nature is already so beautiful and full of such depth and grace... and it is NOT my intention to mask or enhance it in any way. Much in the way that we paint each other's skin out in the desert, the intention is bring out the beauty which is already there."

"I have a "thing" for trees and see the relationship between humans and trees to be an ever evolving idea which continues to inspire. The trees that I paint are long dead and weathered by hundreds of years. What I do is bring "life" back to the tree in a completely new way. This tree which was once dead is now vibrantly alive to be noticed by all, no longer blending in with all the other dead trees."

(Artist Curtis Killorn in front of tree over the town of Salida, Colorado)

"It is this rebirth which I wish to impart to the participants. We as humans all have dreams, visions and ideas which for most of us are what make us uniquely who we are. It is those dreams, visions and ideas that we are to see in each other and breath back to life, no longer dead - and blending in with the other dead dreams we have stored in our lives."

This unique artist's motto is "Always Giving Gratitude". We find it significant that he finds hidden beauty even in dead trees - and brings it out in bright psychedelic colours!

(all images by Curtis Killorn, exclusively for Dark Roasted blend)

Another painted dead tree - this time at Mount Annan Botanical Gardens, close to Sydney, Australia (more info):

(images credit: Mike B., Visual Infinity)

Spot a dead tree sticking in your countryside like a sore thumb? Well, turn it into art - ask Curtis to paint it!

(interesting "ghost tree", found via)




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Blogger Jorge said...

In Spain we have a similar art concept: the Oma's forest http://www.bizkaia.net/home2/Temas/DetalleTema.asp?Tem_Codigo=4960&Idioma=IN
A beautiful and huge pice of art. Enjy it!!

Blogger BIll said...

Wow, OK man that really does make a lot of sense.


Anonymous Friendiversary said...

Curtis, I'm in Colorado...where are some of the locations of your trees?

OpenID saintneko said...

That is just some amazing stuff.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A similar concept was developed in San Luis, Argentina, after a fire took place and devastated large extensions of forests in the year 2005; as a reminder of the tragic lost.

Anonymous WTF said...

That is phenomenal, great post.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As striking as these painted trees might be visually, I still prefer seeing trees in their natural state. This just seems too 'kitschy' to me.

That said, I can still appreciate the work that goes into this project.

Blogger Michael said...

Spot a dead tree sticking in your countryside like a sore thumb? Well, turn it into art - ask Curtis to paint it!

Um, or you can paint it yourself...?

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Yes, Michael - what? actually go out and create your own piece of art in nature? What a strange idea.

But all jokes aside, we just had to give a little promo push. Otherwise, go ahead, paint it, just check with your neighbour.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can see some people would like this, however - I'm a landscape photographer, and I would hate this :/ What's wrong with a dead tree?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that a US National Forest marker in the foreground? If so, then this is graffitti within a protected NATURAL area and I cannot support it. The last thing I want to see when I have escaped to a primitive area is art by someone whose ego has convinced them that they must improve the place (graffitti, cell phone tower, paved trails, etc.).
However, if this IS a legal 'paint tree' area... carry on? Sherman Williams' slogan, "cover the earth" makes my stomach turn every time I see it. I will never purchase their paint.

Blogger Aggrazel said...

Yeah I think this is a pretty terrible thing to do. Lots of things live on dead trees and I'm sure the paint isn't good for them. I don't want to leave the glitz of the city to see a bunch of neon painted dead trees. Leave nature alone.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is the worst thing I have ever seen. If I ever come across one of these that is not on private property I will make a fire with it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhhhhhm, wouldn't that ruin the tree...or at least be detrimental to wildlife?

Anonymous Simply Ridiculous said...

Beautiful.. Love it!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anonymous: how, exactly, can you ruin a dead tree?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: "that is the worst thing I have ever seen"

@ anonymous: how is you deciding to "make a fire of this" better than his deciding to paint it? At least he's creating some art and not removing it from everyone else's view, simply because he doesn't like it. Who do you think you are?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christo and Jeanne-Claude will be jealous ;)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anonymous removing it from people's view because he doesn't like it is exactly what the painter is doing as well. He is removing the natural dead tree, with bugs and everything, from people's view. He is also removing the natural landscape.

But given this, I am split on it. I personally think that it is an interesting idea to have in a few reserved places, or perhaps as one big installation all together. But to have them everywhere would ruin the landscape for me. Therefore I agree with the keep it on private land statement. I'd go to see it, but I don't want it to always be there.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mr. Killorn but your art is anti-nature and abrupt. And the rainbow theme is kitschy and meaningless. For inspiration look at a great artist like Christo or the amazing Andy Goldsworthy who provoked thought and created beauty within and around nature. Not like yours which lisps "look at me instead of natural beauty."
Keep trying, don't give up, but don't continue down this path.
-your critical viewer

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to my comment above...

Just looked farther down the page and there was a link to pictures of works by great environmental artists:

Take a look at those and you will see what is possible when true inspiration strikes and an artist with mastery of his medium takes control.

Anonymous Marsha said...

I have never seen this before. What a wonderful way to give a dead tree a new life. I may try this at home on the beach. Thank you for sharing these. I am in the process of building a website.

Blogger Linzi said...

I think it's beautiful and pleasing to the eye... Sometimes nature by herself is boring...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are awesome. I love all the nasty comments from the tree huggers.

Anonymous SHarper said...

This. Is. Beautiful. I live in Colorado and have NEVER seen any of these but now I might have to just keep driving up through the mountains until I find one...I mean, treasure hunts are sexy. Are there any ideas as to where some are (besides the one in Salida)? I would really appreciate it...I'm sensing an obligatory photo shoot...

Anonymous Ryan said...

Before I read you say it yourself, I couldn't help but think wow, what a great way to bring life back to a dead tree! The spirit of Colorado is bright, vibrant, and colorful, and while many of our trees accomplish this all on their own, once they die however, they could use some help. My only concern is that the paint may be hazardous to the surrounding ecosystem, have you taken any measures to prevent that?

Great artwork! I'd love to spot some of these out on my own.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like dead trees as they are. What 'hidden' beauty? When you can't see it, then no 'art' will show it. When you think nature can be boring then you're blind. Leave those trees alone. Who does this so-called artist he is? I think he's just painting his ego covering it up with a cheap 'message'. Hundreds of years of beauty ruined by one ego-tripper, and the whole landscape with it. It's plain vandalism. 'Bringing dead trees back to life'; what a joke, what a destructive stupidity!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy is highjacking nature and the natural landscape to get attention for himself. All his pep-talk can't change that. This kind of 'relationship' with nature is exactely what's ruining this planet. 'His' trees are no more art than an oil rig in the gulf of Mexico or any other destructive nature exploitation. Chop them up, but don't burn them. To anyone that sees a dead tree as a sore in the eye: stay at home in your suburb watching your lawn.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do very simular type of art. I havnt done any in nature yet. Mine are all on plat forms. Thought bout it but I personaly don't want to get in trouble for grafitti or have it burned! That would make me kinda sad to c my art burned. I'll keep putting mine on plat forms. So I can put it where ever I want it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Same anonymas as last.)I also make creatures out of dead wood that would have ended up in a landfill. I'm working on creating a "enviroment" as a art instalation. All in life size. But my art is kinda recycling, not obstructing a landscape. But if its all on privite land let the guy b.


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