Timeout for Art: Happy Trails


This week’s Timeout for Art is all about happy trails and the Chilamate tree. A friend visited us from the states last week, and she had never seen monkeys. Knowing that the Howler monkeys hang out in the Chilamate trees, we went on a quest for the largest and most spectacular trees in tropical forests.

Also known as strangler figs, these majestic trees begin life as an epiphyte in the crotch of another tree, then produce roots that snake to the ground to eventually anchor in the forest floor. Eventually, it strangles the host tree like a boa constricting its prey.  As the support tree decays, some Chilamate trees end up with interior passageways from base to crown, becoming true jungle gyms for the Howler monkeys who like to hang out in the trees snacking on the leaves.

Wandering through happy trails with Chilamate trees shading the worn, dusty paths, we fulfilled our quest. We spotted several Howlers lounging in the treetops lazily sleeping through the heat of the day. By the way, I was going to draw a monkey in the tree, but I wanted to focus on the splendor of the tree itself.

Happy trails to you my friends…. until we meet again.

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18 thoughts on “Timeout for Art: Happy Trails

  1. well well… look what i found thanks to the ‘related- suggestions’ at the end of your ‘when great trees fall’ post! i am so sorry that i missed this – i think i was in mindo and then near quito during that time.

    i never get tired of drawing trees!

    z

  2. Pingback: red trees | the terrain of symmetry

  3. Bravo! Oh my god this is just simply beautiful!! love it!! Great Detail!!
    Practices does help!

    I will be late on my post the one that I was working mess up…so started a new one last night…it is trees too…I was going to do a big tree like you but did something very simple will post later and will link to your post. 😉

  4. I learned a lot just reading the comments. Never heard of Chilamate tree, but know the ficus well.
    I don’t know much about drawing, but I really like what you did with the trunk and limbs. Leaves must be tough. Pat offered some good suggestions.

      • Lynne, I’m drawing a little everyday, instead of checking Facebook. lol I don’t know how many hours, but it is relaxing and a feel good activity…much better than Facebook. Now, I’m going to take Ruth’ suggestions and redraw my tree and post the new drawing in comparison to my old one. Thanks for the kind comments. 🙂

  5. Wonderful texture in the trunk of the tree, Debbie. And thanks for including the path so that we can go in and explore your forest. (As I was looking at the picture while reading the post, I confess that I was looking for a monkey.)
    Instead of drawing individual leaves, look for areas of lights and darks and shade those. If the edges of the shapes convey the impression of leaves, then our brains will assume that the interior is leaves as well. Also, I don’t know if your tree was as short as you drew it. A trunk that large logically would support more foliage, so try drawing the tree up to the edge of the picture frame and then our brains will know that there is more to the tree than you have drawn.

  6. I just read yesterday about the new canal planned through your lake. Sounds like a problem bigger than the airport. What do you and your neighbors think of the news?

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