Sunday, May 8, 2016

Closer Than You Think (2016, oil on canvas)

I have been fascinated with bare trees lately and have spent a lot of time over the past few months making detailed pencil drawings such trees in the area around my home. The empty branches have such great movement in them, with lines twisting and turning and wrapping around one another, sometimes like a frozen dance. At first glance, bare trees all seem remarkably similar, but as I study and draw each one, I find myself becoming closely acquainted with the individual personality of each tree. Trees have taken on such life in my mind, that lately I have found myself walking in the woods and feeling like I'm surrounded by people rather than leafless trees. Like us, each has its stories – some good, some bad, some long and complicated, some straight and to the point. The branches hold the stories of things that have happened to the tree, challenges it has faced, visitors that it has hosted, storms that it has weathered. These stories and secrets are laid bare during the bleak winter months, ripe for the picking to anyone willing to take the time. Soon, all of the trees round here will be covered with leaves. The branches will be invisible, but somehow I know that when I see them, I will be keenly aware of what lies beneath the greenery.

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