Why trees? At a very early age I can recall a great fondness I had with a Large Mimosa tree that grew in our front yard. Like a monkey I would frequently climb and perch on one of it's larger branches. I think I somehow bonded with that tree as much as one does with a pet. I have always admired the impressive very old live oaks and very tall large pecan trees that were plentiful in the area of south Louisiana where I lived the earlier part of my life. When I moved to Dallas to attend college, what I remember missing most, after my family and gumbo of course, were the tall, lush trees. I then returned to Louisiana but after living in the lush green and very humid climate of southern portion of the state I suddenly found myself longing for the warm and arid climate of the rolling prairies and wide open spaces of North Texas. So after nearly ten years I moved back to the friendly atmosphere of North Texas. My paintings are therefore a marriage of the two states, Louisiana and Texas representing my past and my present.
In many cultures and religions trees represent strength, faith and/or life. The incredible growth of trees provides us with the essential element that nourishes our every breadth.
Especially in Louisiana, as well as other parts of the south property or homes were often listed for sale with the inclusion of how many Peca trees or Oaks were on the property. Old Live Oaks or large Pecan trees were considered assets and a selling point for a property. In the south, trees were seen as a focal point, from family gatherings to relaxing afternoons that take place under the protective and soothing shade of these Live Oaks or Pecan trees. It is not uncommon that these trees were given names and a place of honor and respect in southern families or communities. My paintings are a sort of homage to their majesty and grace, and to the bounty and beauty of the wide open prairies that create the infinite horizons here in north and west Texas.
My landscapes are design to become an adventure where the viewer becomes an explorer discovering splendor in this painted environment. The lone, large tree in the infinite expanse of lan reflects a feeling of oneness inspiring a sense that we represent a small but important part of our country, the world, and the universe.
Jay Maggio, 2006
Craighead Green Gallery
1011 Dragon Street
Dallas, Texas 75207