|It was an exercise to learn how to see, to understand just one thing in its greatest detail. Stephen Taylor came across the 250-year-old tree while on a walk in Essex, England, six years ago, shortly after the deaths of his mother and close friend'a tragic time that brought him back to painting and then to an obsession with
||realism and color perception. He painted the same oak scores of times over a period of three years, in extremes of weather and light, at all times of day and night. Oak is nature's creed of endurance (the tree was standing when Jane Austen was just a baby) and of one man's promise to find beauty in a painful world.