Once I had recovered enough breath to walk further afield, sitting around the trees was still the best feeling. Maybe there is more oxygen in their vicinity. I never really learned to draw or sketch formally. I had a few oil painting lessons from a local learning centre when I was a teenager. This is all entirely self taught. When I look at a blank piece of paper or canvas or wood, my intention is to create a finished piece, not a sketch. However I have made oil paintings from these drawings.
‘A tree beside the dam in the park.’, 8″ X 10″, pencil on paper.
‘The foot of the tree in the park across the road from the centre of the universe.’, 9″ X 12″, pencil on paper.
‘The other side of the foot of the tree in the park across the road from the centre of the universe.’, 9″x12″, pencil on paper.
These drawings were among the first I made following yet another health disaster. Lung disease from living in industrial cities. Doing industrial jobs, I was a sign painter when it was done with paint, also highly toxic, full of lead and every other element of suspicious sources to make real colour that lasts. Forever. That’s what it said anyway. At this point in time I was coping with the 8th time my lung collapsed. Like a balloon popping, you can hear it when it happens. I recovered by sitting on trees and drawing them. The roots mean something to me, the interface to the underworld. The part the tree knows but you don’t. They also look like foothills of mountain ranges like the Himalaya’s which are getting bigger as the glaciers disappear.
This piece is 5″ X 7″ in mixed media on paper. I would love to have made these 30 or so paintings in 5 feet X 7 feet. Large paintings do make an impact. Especially when they are larger than the person viewing it, it makes them look up and around far more I have noticed in shows. Maybe large prints on canvas would work, but they are expensive to create. Or a 72″ monitor positioned in your living room to show every work of art you have collected. The most expensive way to show art.
I made this slideshow type video for a show I had in 2012. There were more paintings than wall space, and the gallery had kindly offered a 48″ television with a USB port to carry a video on a loop. I made the soundtrack with garage band on the 2009 iMac I had. It worked well and I was able to show more of this series of paintings.
The idea came from watching what was going on in the middle eastern countries at that time, 2011. The first pieces are from Syria, and an echo from the past as the same people are doing the bombing on the Ukraine today.
The idea still seems relevant, considering what we are all seeing in Eurasia. It is murder on an enormous scale.