Artist Statement: I paint trees. This focus developed after the death of my wife’s aunt who as an artist had been a source of inspiration and encouragement to me. For some reason, after she died, trees moved from being a part of the landscape to a primary focus.
The importance of trees is that they communicate strong emotional feelings. If I try to convey a feeling of warmth and safety as my starting point, I envision a tree with branches and leaves that are welcoming and comforting. In this case the tree would cover a good deal of the canvas. If a feeling of being alone is the starting point, the tree would be set in a field, dwarfed by the trees around it. There is definitely a spiritual meaning to the trees. I think trees touch our souls and can express our feelings.
My process begins is with sprinkling water on a blank canvas or paper. I drop ink onto the water areas and then sprinkle more water to disperse the ink. The result looks like the leaves of a tree. I use a liner pen to put in branches to fill out the image that has developed. Finally, I use watercolor or diluted acrylic to put in the sky and foreground. Lately, I’ve been using acrylic to put in highlights on the leaves.
This process leaves out the pressure of starting a painting. The ink flows according to its own path. My control is minimal. After the ink has dried, I make the decision regarding the sky and foreground.
Another process I use is to use the tube of acrylic and put down little bits of paint. I try to follow some general composition. After this, I take wadded paper towels and slightly move the paint around. Brushes are rarely used. Again, I try to keep my control minimal.
Creating art in this way is a very spiritual process. It isn’t consistent. It happens when the spirit moves me. Sometimes it is definitely out of my hands.
Improve – A few weeks after the lockdown, I felt very stifled every time I started to paint. This was until I happened on a video of Indiara Sfair playing a harmonica solo. Her freedom and abandon in playing the piece inspired me and overwhelmed me. I brought this uplifting feeling to my painting. I felt free to use colors and compositions that I would not have used. I felt this painting now expressed my feelings and emotions.