Believe it or not, I once had a professor who was the grandson of Joyce Kilmer, author of that oft quoted poem,
I Think That I Shall Never See a Poem Lovely as a Tree.
Notwithstanding that, I have always been attracted by negative spaces and where better to study them than with trees. There was a time early in my career when drawing occupied much of my time, especially drawing ONLY within the negative spaces. This allowed the positive forms to come to their own unique organic shapes. The method was similar to that of needlework where one can enter into a type of trance as the hands take on familiar moves. The drawing here was one I did years ago that accompanied a genealogical study of my family.
The wonderful negative shapes of trees attracts the spirit, much like studying clouds. Coming upon this beach at Jekly Island, Georgia recently you can see that it was like finding a field of prehistoric figures.
These wonderful trees have given up their spirits to return to the earth and doing so in a way that preserves a beautiful shoreline.
This first photograph brought to mind scenes from Les Miserables where the people erect a barrier
in their fight for freedom. Victorious and wounded, inspiration for a modern day struggle to keep and preserve our own freedom....
A different locale, this time in Cedar Key, Florida. I find this a study of shapes, not of the tree itself, but of the beautiful negative shapes of its shadows. Playing with this photo on iPhoto or a similar photo software program, one can flip and crop finding fascinating forms.
My favorite time of the day for walking is The Hours of the Shadows....my mother's favorite photographing time...when shadows are sharp and clear and can hypnotize.
I will end this post daring to paraphrase Joyce Kilmer ( 1886-1918)
Drawings are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.