Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Trees

One of my "meeting" trees.
Notice the hole punched
in the top of the paper.
It seems I have a thing for trees. Dead trees, especially.  They fascinate me.  I love to photograph them, and I have been sketching them for years, while sitting in meetings at school.  I listen better when I'm drawing.  Seriously.  I have students who do, too.  As a result of the circumstances under which they were created, most of my trees were drawn in blue or black ball point pen.  Many on notebook paper, still others on white, hole-punched copy paper.  Actually sitting down to create a tree on drawing paper using a proper instrument intended for the production of "art" never occurred to me.  Drawing trees with pen was just something I did to keep my hands busy.

And then one day, My Sweetheart asked, "Why don't you ever use colors in your trees?"  Frankly, I had never thought about it.  I thought the trees were fine the way they were, and I was just playing around with them anyway.
"No one creates actual art with ball point pens, sillly!" I insisted.
"Oh, really," smirked He, ever so smugly.  "Google 'Ball Point Pen Art'.  Go ahead.  I'll wait."
So I did.  And in that moment, my whole world changed.  Sometimes I hate it when he is right.  This was not one of those times.
The next day I bought a pack of cheap Bic Crystal Stic pens and started to play with color in an actual sketch pad.

My First Tree in Color

Then Dad went into the hospital.  And all of a sudden I had way too much time just sitting still on my hands.  I had to sketch to keep me from completely freaking out over the fact that we were in a hospital with dad, facing The Big C, facing surgery, facing whotheHellknowswhat, facing hours on end of waiting, and powerlessness, and no control over anything.  

I suck at waiting, and powerlessness, and lack of control.  I suck at it in the grandest of style.  
So I drew.

I started this while Dad was in surgery.
"The Waiting Tree"

Before releasing Dad, the doctors confirmed that it was Cancer.  And this tree was born.  It was utter chaos at its inception, I assure you.

This was originally called Tree of Panic,
but it actually soothed me very well.

The surgery was a success.  They got it all.  No chemo.  No radiation.  Just monitoring.  They got it all!!!  Dad is going to be okay!  

Tree of Life
I posted pictures of my trees regularly while Dad was in the hospital.  People were so encouraging that I decided to experiment with different kinds and sizes of paper, but I'm committed to the pens.  Many have made observations about the look of the trees giving keys to my state of mind when they were created.  They may be on to something.

Tree of Possibilities

Then I started to find my rhythm.  It takes about three nights to finish a tree right now.  I feel so at peace during the time I spend bringing them to life.  This is better than any therapy, and healthier than any addiction.

Tree of Life Two

Tree of Love

 It blows my mind that anyone would want to have one of my trees, but people have asked.  I will do everything I can to make it possible.  I'm working on it as fast as I can.  When they are ready, I promise to let everyone know.

Branching Out

Tree of Inspiration

 Today My Sweetheart and I celebrate Seven years together.  He honored the day by making it an art anniversary.  He gave me a light under which I can actually see the colors in my trees. We live in a very dark house.  I had no idea all those colors were in my trees!  Now I can actually take better pictures of them, too!  I am also the recipient of a new drawing board and portfolio.
Once again I must count myself the luckiest girl I know for so many reasons.  I have an incredibly talented mother who taught me how to draw to keep me from losing my mind. I have a father who is healthy.  I have an amazing family and incredible friends who support and encourage me in all that I do.  And I have My Sweetheart who sometimes knows me better than I know myself.
My life is good.


  1. Allow me to be the first to comment. We are lucky. And strangely blessed. The trees are amazing. As are you. Hug. Must have been what was supposed to happen.

  2. Thanks, Dad. I would have preferred it to happen a different way, but making lemonade always works for me. Or margaritas.
    Love you.

  3. I love you darling, and your beautiful family. And your trees. Your heart is amazing.

    1. Thank you, Kari! I love you, too, so much. Can't wait for that hug in September!

  4. Fantastic!
    I'm glad you were able to unlock your trees, and even happier that that part of the story ended with Tree of Life!
    (And just as happy that Sweetheart gave you such useful gifts and encouragement!)

  5. Thanks, Guap. That does seem like a great way to end it. I am so lucky. So happy to count you among those amazing friends.

  6. These trees are past amazing! They make me feel as if they are talking too me, telling me that everything in my life is going to be all right.Thank you Amy for your inspiration through your art, I hope that one day you can share it with the world.Love to you and your family.

  7. Barbara, thank you fir your beautiful words, you are so kind. I'm glad the trees bring you comfort, too.
    Sending you peace, love, and light.

  8. Did not know your sweet daddy was going thru that! ( I really should pay better attention) Soo glad he's gonna be okay and I love every single one of these trees and I will be the one to purchase at the auction!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE

  9. I'm so glad your dad will be ok! Your trees are even more beautiful now... I've had a thing for tress myself. I have one at Fort Fisher Wilmington that I call mine, though it's clearly not and many people visit it. I take pictures of it every time I go visit it, which is often.

  10. Thank you so much, Carole. Trees are so incredible. Thank you for taking time to read and leave a comment.

  11. The waiting tree is beautiful. And full of so much meaning.

    1. Thank you! I truly appreciate you stopping by and taking time to comment.

  12. Amy, this is absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing it. It's nice when your Sweetheart is right sometimes. :)

  13. Thanks, Annette. It is good, indeed. ;-)