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Delicate Armour

Walking into the woods, I begin a dialog with willing trees. Our conversations start with bark; the furrows, layers and evidence of time. I contemplate their stoic presence always standing, as they whisper. Wrapping paper around their bodies, I begin with graphite. Subtle texture emerges as calligraphic notations. I am exhilarated with the directness of this process and always surprised with the depth of variation and complexity. I continue with my conversing. We are merely the newest visitors in this ancient world of trees.

The trees record their experiences to their delicate armour and I examine, interpret. I see gnarls and skin that demark time in patterns. The trees are cold recording ambient temperature. They are at once solid and spongy creaking in the wind. By placing paper over the surface I expect to take a reading like a stethoscope checking for pulse. My resulting maps reveal a language in need of deciphering.

Later in my studio studying the drawings, which read like Braille’s dots and dashes I begin to flesh out by enhancing or erasing, lightening, darkening, summoning the complete story. This work takes some time. A life’s moments come forward like a photograph’s invisible image being rendered. The final residue of marks combines the physical act of recording with memories of the encounter and desire for a readable composition. The collection of drawings from different trees shows an enormous range of light and dark marks, patterns, age and species.  Each drawing pays homage to the character of the tree. Some seem stoic, others bold and extraverted. It is a meditative process focusing on the intricacies and subtleties that are before me. Often what is visible becomes enhanced by the invisible world available only through touch.