Friday, June 10, 2011

big on trees

I have a thing for trees. There was one in the back yard I could climb as a child because it was right next to a huge rock. In one of my favorite books, The Magic of Trees, Deena Metzger wrote this poem:

It seems
the story of my life
is the story of trees I've loved,
some were standing, some fell down.

I was honored to be commissioned by the Peaks Island PTO to create a pastel for Kathy Newell, an island girl and artisan retiring from the school staff after 25 years. And she's a tree lover! I was asked to capture her favorite tree, just outside the school yard, one that turns red before all the others.

I had not noticed it before (too early to show it's colors) but now I have a new relationship with it. And my daughter, also an alum of the Peaks Island Elementary School, made sure I included the lighthouse hopscotch, a memorable feature, since Kathy painted it!

Trees have long held symbolic powers for me. I made a series of handset type posters back in art school and recently came across this vintage copy.

The tree was at the end of a road, and it's shape fascinated me. I made a photo silkscreen from my photo, which I printed in a darkroom (those were the days) and then ran the type through the press. The quote is from an Ernest Hemingway book I was reading at the time.

Later when I was a young freelancer in Boston, I drew this birch girl for STUFF magazine. Be the tree.

Once I moved to Maine, I noticed all kinds of magical trees. This one's down by the beach, and I call it "Buddha Tree." So gnarly, so wise.


This one is our solstice tree. In memory of our first daughter, we light it every winter.

Another favorite tree sits on a bluff facing the Diamond Islands. This is "Soft Morning."

Happily, our tree love is contagious. Our daughter, Daisy, did this piece a few years ago.

Yes, the same Daisy I wrote a book about. Now published by DownEast. In this scene from the story, it is Thursday, good for thinking. 

Our rope hammock fell apart a few years ago. We finally realized we needed to loll about again.
A new one arrived the other day. Ahhhhh. Some things don't change.

But there's no rest for the bookish. I'm back to making blank booklets for my book launch party on June 18.

When we draw and write, we heighten our awareness. I want everyone to write and draw about seven things: places on the island, summer moments, or perhaps the trees you have loved!

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