Limb

Paint flowing into the demarcated tracks of wood boring beetles is like tattoos written on a body, calligraphy of a journey from larval to adult. ‘Limb’ references W.S. Merwin’s prose poem ‘Unchopping a Tree’, prescribing how to begin the arduous task of putting a tree back together. “Start with the leaves, the small twigs, and the nests that have been shaken, ripped, or broke off by the fall; these must be gathered and attached once again to their respective places.” ‘Limb’ mirrors these tasks. Reassembling this vine maple that grew in the yard of my family home speaks of irrevocable loss.  Sewing through the rings of a tree is to sew through time itself, the tree’s memory.

Living near water

I live in an older home built in 1938 that feels to be wedged between the forest and the sea, though both forest and sea are relatively tame and sheltered here.  The yard is an extension of this urban forest with overgrown rhododendrons and hydrangea bushes growing amidst native trees and ferns.   Early travelers to this place would have encountered an unbroken wall of thick old-growth Douglas-fir forest running down to the shoreline.   These trees became timber for railway ties and the building associated with a flourishing mill town.  The yard houses two tall Douglas-fir trees that were amongst the first to germinate after the initial logging of the hillside 125 years ago.
My art comes out of this place, both local and distant, real and imagined.