In 2010, I was an artist-in-residence at the Obras Foundation in Portugal. This was a month long opportunity to focus on a project outside my usual studio work. Oil paint is slow drying and does not travel well, so I brought watercolors & paper with me. Having little experience with this medium, I could easily experiment. The Portuguese cork trees immediately caught my attention. Their trunks turn bright red when the cork is harvested. The red contrasts dramatically with arid landscape in the Alentejo where I was located. I began painting watercolor trees wet-into-wet. I simplified the tree images and experimented with juxtaposition of color. This work became my Cork Trees series.