What tuned me into trees as an inspirational force is the abandoned and ruined homes in my routine environment around Detroit and its suburbs. One of the tell-tale signs of an abandonment is not necessarily the decrepit house, but the foliage around the house that is taking over. Plants are powerful destroyers of homes. In my imagination, this unabashed growth became creatures feeding on family failure and crisis.
So I draw trees in contour, so their shapes are flattened and animated. I mirror them creating Rorschacht-like imagery. Each tree is specific, and the titles reference their location. I locate the psychology, the beauty, and the crisis. The trees pay homage to the circumstance with its powerful presence. They are true to the chances of their time and place. By personifying trees, I recognize them as forces in the urban landscape.
The handwoven drawings are created in three phases. First, I draw on slats of soft wood. Then, I hand-cut the slats into even thinner strips. In order, each strip is woven into the warp on a floor loom. Essentially, the drawing is cut apart then re-assembled within the structure of interlacing threads. Finally, I manipulate the surface of the weaving.