Trees and their environment have been my focus for almost 50 years. As an ecologist and professional forester, I have researched and managed trees on private and provincial/federal forests for 35 years. After a major stroke in 2005, I looked to art as a form of rehabilitation, and upon retirement, I earned my BFA at UBC in 2015. Since then, my art practice has evolved within formal and conceptual boundaries between abstract modernist, minimalist and representative art. The consistency across my work, however, is my emotional response to the function, form and patterns primarily occurring in small, overlooked, and seemingly insignificant components of the natural world. While trees and forests continue to hold a special interest, my focus now is mostly on the micro level - on bark and wood – and its textures, colours and the life forms that find a home on those structures.
My methodology starts by close observation afforded by digital colour and size enhancements of hundreds of images I shoot before choosing one, or a compilation of images, to make an interesting subject. The work is meticulous, closely cropped, without context, inviting viewers to draw near for a closer look and allowing a more intimate portrait to emerge. Colour, pattern and luminosity are enhanced to let the bark's complexity shine through. Drawings are on paper mostly using ink and colour pencils, while with bark paintings, I’m using metallics to highlight bark structures and the life forms that inhabit its surface. I search for that fluidity of line and sensitivity of colour that describes shapes and forms of the bark, giving voice to the tree's story. I celebrate what the eye often overlooks.