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The Tree as a Processor of Gases


The Tree as a Processor of Gases
Computer Painting
Date produced: 5th May 2006, while living at North Adelaide (2005-2006).

Carbon Dioxide, water, nutrients from soil and light are used by the tree in its photosynthesis processes (within its leaves) to produce energy-rich compounds that are used by the tree. A by-product of this same process is oxygen (Attenborough, D., Life on Earth, William Collins and BBC, Glasgow, 1979). Enormous numbers of ancient plants over an extremely long time changed the Earth's atmosphere from having very little oxygen, to having a reasonably large proportion of oxygen within it (Attenborough, D., Life on Earth, William Collins and BBC, Glasgow, 1979). Animals require oxygen for their life processes. Without having enormous amounts of photosynthesis within the biosphere to maintain close to current levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, the effect on all animal life (including us, of course) would be catastrophic.

This computer painting tries to show a new (pale blue) gas coming from the foliage of the tree after the tree 'consumes' a yellowy brown gas (carbon dioxide) in the presence of sunlight. The other most important ingredient however is water, which provides the actual oxygen (as a by-product of having the hydrogen used in the photosynthesis processes). I've tried to suggest the presence of ground water being drawn into the tree in the final version.

The two coloured bars along the bottom try to indicate the processes involved in plants firstly converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, and then animals converting oxygen back to carbon dioxide.

 

 

The Base Image: Colour Overview of the Tree Alone

Colour Overview of the Tree Alone
50 cm x 35 cm, pastels on acid-free paper.
Date produced: While living at North Adelaide (2005-2006).

This piece was originally started as a colour overview of the tree. The surrounding trees were not included, so that the tree was seen as the only subject. The colours were originally developed to closely match those seen from the tree. After revisiting the pastel, I felt that it didn’t really feel like it was reflecting the sense of sunlight that it should have been. I then set about trying to improve that sense of sunlight, by increasing the yellow and yellow-orange intensity, and then looking at the feeling of the whole image.

 

 

 

An Early Version of "The Tree as a Processor of Gases":

The Tree as a Processor of Gases - Earlier Version
 

The base image (above) was worked on using the computer to indicate the exchange of gases that occurs via the actions of photosynthesis (from sunlight on the leaves of the tree). I felt that the final image worked better when flipped horizontally, so that the processing can be read from left to right.

 


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