The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Beneath Walt Disney's boyhood "Dreaming Tree" (Marceline, MO)
August 5--11am
"Belly Botany (Under Walt's Tree)"
Watercolor      12x16
Inspiration and Design: View subject
I was standing beneath the large cottonwood tree that Walt Disney made famous, his "Dreaming Tree".  I was looking up and towards the west.  The day was a typical warm August day in Missouri.  There was a breeze, however, that was unusually stiff and gusty from the south.  The sky was mostly clear with only a thin layer of high clouds.  The cottonwood tree is huge and magnificent, but unfortunately will not survive many more years.  Most of its primary branches are dying or dead.  Walt Disney used the term, "Belly Botany", to describe drawing inspiration from nature through up-close and non-hurried exploration of it.  My goal for this painting was to depict the merit and magic of "Belly Botany".  Looking up from under Walt's cottonwood tree, what struck me was the "magic" of the leaves rustling in the brisk wind.  In this composition, I depict a lone branch of the cottonwood tree extending to the heavens.  The limb is backlit by the bright summer sky, and its leaves sparkle and glisten as they shake in the summer breeze.  Did Disney find inspiration for Mickey under this tree?    I suspect so, and in tribute I depicted the very last cottonwood leaf as a rough sketch of the now famous "Mickey Mouse".