In 2004, I did a dimensional mixed media piece called “Forest Alchemy”. I submitted it and was accepted as a guest artist at a new gallery for a local studio tour. It was my first art sale to a perfect stranger and I was so excited. I did a handful of these mixed media pieces before abandoning them to learn painting formally.
Life has brought me full circle creatively and I’m finding myself uncovering old ideas and trying them out again now that I have more experience under my belt. The result is the painting at the top of this post, appropriately named “Forest Alchemy II”. This took weeks to complete with all the extended drying times, but I like the feeling it gives me. This one is all local trees. Many species are the same or similar to ones in eastern Canada, with some new ones such as the tulip tree. Walking through the little piece of forest on my lot through the different seasons has offered me the chance to let it all in.
I love the forest floor. The magic of the forest is something we cannot take for granted. Our souls live there whether we realize it or not. The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is an example of how we might reclaim ourselves through walking amidst the trees.
For me, the decay of leaves is a beautiful process. Shortly after they first fall from the trees, they seem to glow, golden and red. This alchemy is almost a reverse, the rich colours fade and the net-like leaf structure is softly revealed as they decompose beneath the snow or cold rain of winter. But the richness of their content is retuned to the soil to feed the forest floor, to grow the mold and the system by which the trees communicate. ~~~~~
Are you revisiting anything from the past during this unique time? Something you loved to do once and abandoned?