Once again, I beat the month to the punch and started on my Feb. buckeye rendition in January. Lately I've been noticing that from a certain angle, the tree looks like a checkmark. This particular tree has not had an easy life, we've had to prune off some dead branches, and the result is a little lopsided. It will grow out of it, they always do. But I wanted to capture that simplistic single stroke that represents the way that tree looks at this time.
Ok, it's a checkmark with a stem. I picked out a piece of hand-dyed silk for some color in my life (it's been rather grey around here) and the texture in it. I decided to keep things simple and do the tree with a brush and Tsukineko ink. I started out with brown, and while it was still wet added some yellow to shade it a little. I went back in some places with more brown. Left to dry, some of the yellow blossomed out of the left hand branch--which kind of resembles how plants are trying to force the season with the warm days we've had recently.
I added some words (February The Hope Springs Forth if you can't quite read them) and some yellow rays of sunlight, and finished off the edges. It's probably done, it's just a journal piece, only 8x10 inches, and it says everything I want it to say.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole abstract/realism thing. I'm kind of put off by photorealism at the moment--why not just take a photograph? And I'm sure I don't quite understand the official definition and meaning of abstract art. But for me, what I'm doing is taking an inspiration from my microcosm, and capturing the essence of that in fiber by whatever means works. The question is, does the viewer understand that process without a long caption, and does that even matter? What my art is to me may or may not be what it is to the viewer. And I'm pretty sure I'm all right with that. While I make my art to sell, I also make it for me.