Thursday, May 3, 2012

Speaking to the Trees.

Well, I am one class, 2 crits, and 1 final away from being done with the semester. Too bad one of those crits and the final are both NEXT Friday :/

I want to start this post with a disclaimer, that it is very image heavy. Also I am sorry they are so small and tinted weird. I highly recommend clicking on one of them and letting the image fill your screen. You won't regret it, I promise. These drawings are epic.

But what are they exactly? Well I will give you a hint:

Ok, so let me explain this a bit. Our last assignment in my drawing class was to research an artist and have a visual conversation with him/her. The artist I chose from the list of them my teacher gave me was Tim Knowles. Tim Knowles attaches pens to trees. Naturally, my mind started thinking about my spindle drawings and how much this related.

So for awhile I was just hanging sharpies from trees and putting the paper undernigth, while I just sat there and watched. That's basically what Tim Knowles did. Well my teacher wasn't a fan of that, even though the images I yielded were pretty nifty.

I was pretty frustrated that day, but looking back I am so glad she pushed me forward, because the drawings I ended up with are so much better than the above image.  I took a bit of time to brainstorm and such, for I really had no idea how to take these to a different level. Then I was at the book store getting print making paper and I stumbled across Velum, which is a thin, somewhat transparent paper (not to mention on $.65 a sheet!) and I had another of my many art epiphanies. 

I bought a few sheets and decided to experiment. I used them instead of the normal paper I had been using and let the trees blow for a bit. What happened next was pure genius (or I think so). I decided to start drawing on top of what the trees had already done. At first I started by just drawing directly onto the same sheet as the tree had, and then layered 2 of those together, like this one:

Then I realized, "Wait, the paper is transparent, why not draw my own lines on a different sheet?!?!" and that's where the magic started happening. It began with just geometric lines, like connect the dots.

 As I started experimenting I realized I could do whatever I wanted. I could make nothing but dots, or connect the lines, or make shapes, or leave the lines by them selves. I could put my drawing behind, or put the tree's drawing behind. I could make a few marks in response to the tree, then take it away and make my own from there. I could flip mine over to have the 2 drawings contrast each other. I can use different widths of sharpies, or even brush and ink. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.  And the best part about these drawings?


Maybe even more than my spindle drawings...Holy cow did I just say that? It's so weird, but every time I look at them or think about them or work on them I get this amazing sense of pride that I am finally coming into my own as an artist and am doing something original and fun! 

So what do you think? I am just so excited to get to share these with all of you! I have one heck of a semester, I feel like I discovered so much and this project just brings it to an amazing close.

Not to mention my teacher loved them too :p She has some stuff she wants me to think about this summer, but it's safe to say I may be doing these for awhile...



  1. Oh wow, Lisa! This is simply fantastic! Don't you love it when you stumble randomly upon some totally new idea or method? I really, really love the second to last one! I'm so glad that you have been able to produce such inspired and great work for this class! Good luck with finals, you can do it!

  2. I ADORE that idea! Tree drawings, how cool! I really like the effect of the directed marks you made with the all-over marks of the tree pens. Clever!

  3. When I saw the first picture the line, "Can you paint with all the colors of the wind" came to mind! I Love how creative you are Lisa!!

  4. Awesome!! I love the transparent paper idea. My favorite one is the bottom left. :) I might have to try this with my daughter, I could see her thinking this was awesome, the whole talking to the trees and them talking back through art, very neat!

  5. I love them two. They have a very appealing organic feel to them.

    I'm so jealous that you are in art school. If I could live my college years over, I'd major in art!

  6. I just love this idea and how you expanded on it. I love elements of chance and improvisation and the places they can lead you. Also love the last photo of you. Hope this next week goes really well for you!

  7. Lisa, this is awesome. It's like you're collaborating with the trees! I love them all, but the one on the bottom left with all the dots is my favorite. Good luck with the end of the semester! :)

  8. I love them too! Sounds like you had a ball - enjoy!

  9. That is absolutely amazing! There's almost a kind of architectural or graphic design element to it. Wow!


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