My paintings reflect hikes in the Northwest, Intermountain West and the Southwest. In my observation of trees in the forests, both coastal and intermountain, deciduous leaves were dropping during a coastal drought while the mountain evergreens were becoming skeletal, losing needles to fire and pine bark beetles. At the time, the structures of trees appeared to resemble a type of “forest calligraphy”. Beautiful in its visual appearance, yet pointing to the devastation from natural events in the wilderness.
My responses in paint reflect a dichotomy. I celebrate the beauty of the land, however, I include a sense that things have changed. The calligraphy is of course interpretive. Those who appreciate the creativity of urban graffiti may find a similarity to nature’s “graffiti” of the forests. Yet for me, this “natural graffiti” indicates environments at peril.
My paintings of the southwest respond to desert rocks that were scoured with ages of natural events. Ultimate droughts have resulted in deserts, but not wastelands. Thousands of centuries of forests have given way to changes in weather systems producing rock formations eroded by further weather systems.