Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I {Heart} Trees

I don't remember when it started, my fascination with trees. I just know that I'm drawn to them; to photograph them, sketch them, stand beneath them and stare up through their branches. If I had any upper body strength I'd probably climb them more often, rest in their arms, learn to hear the world as they do. They have great lessons to teach us about strength, character, wisdom, endurance. It's really too bad we don't take as much time to experience them as some do trying to save them!

One of my favorite ways to think about trees is to frame them with the four seasons: the trees of Spring are just beginning to blossom and grow, full of potential and hope; Summer trees are in full bloom, with flowers, leaves, or fruit, providing shade in the heat of the day and whispering songs in the cool of night; Fall trees are among my favorite, as Jeffrey McDaniel says, "I realize there's something incredibly honest about trees in autumn, how they're experts at letting things go"; and the trees of Winter so bare and silent, persevering under the heavy layers of snow and ice, so clean and simple and sparkling.

I have several photographs of trees in my collection, some that I've taken, some have been taken by friends, others still I've found online during one of my many adventures. There's one tree in particular that I have wanted to visit for many years - on a hillside to the right as I head West into Colfax from Pullman. One of these days I will find a spot to pull over, or a place to park and walk to it. When I do, I will most definitely share it with you. I love it because it sits all alone on the top of a hill, and yet it's loneliness feels so safe and right. I imagine if other trees were around it, it wouldn't speak to me in the same way.
Albert Schweitzer once said, "Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf." The knots mingle with the sleek branches, ugliness with beauty. Each one is as unique and different as each human being, and yet its growth is entirely dependent on its environment. I wonder how the nature vs. nurture argument involving child rearing would apply to growing trees.

As for my art journal I'm not sure which direction it will take. I joke sometimes that everything I draw looks like a tree, when in reality, I can't even draw a tree to look like a tree! So perhaps drawing won't be the approach I take. I have a really cool stencil that has birch trees, it makes an interesting background. I used it in my first art journal:

For the page opposite this one I laid a piece of paper on top of the stencil after I sprayed the ink onto this side so what's white on this page is blue on the other. It was an interesting effect. I added these signs later, but that's as far as either page has progressed. I'm not sure what other images will fit, or how I want to journal about this idea of time. Perhaps I will give it another go in my new journal. I love the possibilities of new ideas! I'm off to play, who wants to join me?

No comments:

Post a Comment