Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fascinating Stuff!

As an artist, I am drawn to texture.  I think we, as artists, go through phases.  Sometimes we are really drawn to color, other times we are fascinated by textures.  I am definitely experiencing a fascination with textures right now.  And a study of tree bark is really a study in texture.  Let me show you what I mean......
White Oak, photo by Starr White
The majestic White Oak.  I love its irregular, shaggy, silver scales.

Tulip Poplar, photo by Starr White
The fabulous rope-like texture of the tulip poplar.

Holly, photo by Starr White

The smooth, mottled skin of the holly tree.

Dogwood,  photo by Starr White
 The somewhat symmetrical scales of the dogwood.  I love the deep fissures around each scale.

Sweet Gum, photo by Starr White

A favorite of the winter landscape - the undulating, silvery waves of the Sweet Gum.  In winter, it stands out in ghostly relief against the dark blue-gray sky and surrounding evergreens. 

photo by Starr White
I love the colorful horizontal striations on this one.  I'm not absolutely certain what this tree is, but I believe it is a choke cherry.  Nevertheless, it's bark is wonderful! It has a wonderful sheen like silk and so many colors, ranging from gray to green to rosy pink.  Just lovely.

Eastern Red Cedar, photo by Starr White
And finally, the shaggy weathered bark of the cedar.

I find that the older, more mature trees are more beautiful to me; their gnarled and rugged bark showing the effects of age and years upon this earth.  Is it because that is where I am headed and I am trying to get used to the idea?  Would I have felt this way 20 years ago?  As I age, I appreciate more and more the rich beauty that only comes with age - the lines, the wrinkles, the scars, the fissures.  I am no longer bewitched by the smooth and perfect - the shiny and the new. 
And I am also amazed at the variety of surface and texture that is just in my small patch of Earth.  Why was this incredible variety necessary?  How and why did each tree develop its own unique skin?  How does the texture of each one serve its owner?
My hope, as an artist,  is to be able to re-create these beautiful textures in textiles.  I want to study and explore each one and experiment with how to express the feeling I get when I look at them.  I want the viewer to see their beauty as I do; to feel that their beauty has been earned by years and years of living and growing and becoming what they were destined to be.  Perhaps I want to see myself reflected in these beautiful beings, or them in me.


Emily said...

Oh, your photos are great! And your descriptions are just perfect. Now I have to go around and get some photos. We got a serious mono-culture here in Sweden, so I will have to go out of my way a bit.

Have a great day!

Cynthia Schelzig said...

What fabulous fotos of the tree bark...I love tree show some fab texture!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

A most wonderful post and expression of your thoughts while seeing the beauty of nature as most people pass and never see.

Starr White said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to notice the beauty all around us - if we just take time to stop and look....really look.

Meg said...

So I am not the only person who takes photos of tree bark. I am pleased to be in good company, rather than feeling like a mad woman out on a jaunt! I often use textures like this in my book lay-ups. Your photos and descriptions are beautiful!