There are times when I feel compelled to write about a certain topic. Today I would like to share the story of my Treescape series.
On September 15, 2011 while I was at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, Treescapes was born.
I purchase a number of my stones from Mark Lasater of The Clamshell. On that particular Thursday in September, as we greeted each other, he was very excited about a new batch of Dendritic opals he had. Mark knew this was (and still is) one of my favorite stones. He said to me, “You won’t believe what these look like”. Each one had a beautifully shaped tree, formed by the black dendrites in perfect contrast to the white in these stones. It was remarkable and this was the first of those stones he showed me.
The minute I saw this, I knew exactly what my design would be. That was a first for me. What I didn’t know at the time was I was about to find my artistic voice.
Treescapes has grown (yes a bit of a pun here) and evolved since then. Initially I was just focused on the Dendritic Opals that had tree shapes in them. The response to those designs was wonderful and I started to think I could use other stones whether they had any tree elements to them or not.
Variscite with Orange Garnet tube set
It’s in my nature to try to understand the ‘why‘ about things. I wanted to understand why this series was becoming so important to me.
I love trees and that is the foundation of Treescapes. My work has always been very organic. While I find symmetry beautiful, you will rarely see that in my pieces, because I am drawn to the uniqueness of leaves, flowers, trees; those elements in nature where nothing is identical. I explain to people that just as no two snow flakes or leaves are exactly alike, neither is any of my work. Each pieces is designed and made by hand, my hands. The goal with my art is to reflect that uniqueness found in nature.
In addition to that, my father was a landscaper, as was his father. However, as I look back on the work they did, they were true artists. There were many times I went with dad as he worked his magic with a landscape. His father taught him how to create beautiful lattice work accents (bridges, decorative elements for buildings, etc.). I watched, observing the care my father had for the trees and plants he tended. I believe that is where my deep appreciation and respect for nature started. This is the ‘why‘ behind Treescapes; my dad, his father, it’s in my blood.
This is one of the last remaining works of my grandfather in the park of my home town.
As I create the pieces in the Treescape series, things just flow for me. The ideas, designs come easily and it feels almost effortless. Each piece is unique like my fingerprint.
I am so grateful that this work still calls to people. I will continue to make these pieces because they are my heart, my voice, my essence, my soul. My dad’s birthday was this past Friday, January 23. While he left this world in 2005, never seeing his influence on my art, I have this sense that my dad is happy with these works and smiles knowing his influence is there. I have my ‘why‘.
Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.