I recently hung up this large piece, about 3.5 feet by 1.5 feet, which consists of painted small illustration board squares with drawings on mulberry paper glued to them. Then I glued them in a line, joined by string, to a painted black framed wooden board. Quite the complicated mixed-media thing in the end. I’d like to share one of the squares today. It’s only maybe 4 inches by 4 inches.
I received this blank accordion book years ago, beautiful paper and a gorgeous Japanese painting on the cover, from my dad and stepmother. One day, after going on a road trip all over the South with my best friend in 2005, I decided to paint trees. Now, trees are basically my favorite thing to draw or paint anyway, but what I particularly wanted to paint were trees from Mississippi – the ones that made me feel like “I am really in the South now.” Pine trees with vines. Here’s what they look like:
So I started this book years ago with an ink painting and got as far as approximately one page in. Back in 1999, I received a book from a loved one and managed to fill all 80+ pages with ink drawings, without pencil or erasing (my personal rule for that one). Then I gave it back to him as a surprise several months later. They looked something like this:
My goal was to do the same thing with the tree book, but clearly I didn’t get very far. However, I recently picked it back up and slowly, slowly, I’m trying to progress. The problem is that the ink I’m using now appears to be a different opacity than the ink I started with (I seriously think it’s the same ink, because I always buy the same brand, but who knows), but I’m going to stick with it despite the inconsistency. I want to bring it forward with the trees changing into different species as the book goes on, but I haven’t figured out that transition yet. Anyway, here’s where I am now:
Wish me luck. I guess it’s not a surprise for the people I want to give it back to anymore, but since it’s apparently my life’s work, maybe it’s best I just show it now anyway.