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This painting grew as each day brought new discoveries.
Wandering through old growth forests alongside large animal species: bears, cougars, wolves, deer, elk and beaver, and learning to listen to the sounds of the forest and live in safety among them, became a way of life that must have been familiar to ancient Britons before their forests were cut. This strange, branchless "staff-of thorns" intrigued me. It began to appear in my dreams. By day, I saw it growing in groves and along along the banks of pristine streams, 6'-14' high. The barbed thorns break easily under the skin, festering if left. It is there just as you need a handhold to steady you, and catches many unaware. The roots form an intertwined knotwork around smooth glacial boulders. The whole plant exudes a scent that seems to open the lungs and cleanse the body; you can taste it in the air. In the centre of a group is the grandmother plant, her roots reaching out and forming successive, connected generations.