This is a detail of a drawing entitled " mensis Ianarius I", meaning the month of January. It is one of two drawings.
It was made, appropriately enough, in January, 2007, and was inspired by the appearance of trees in the early part of the year, often blackened with rain above, and seemingly lifeless. It is below the soil that life begins, when the sap starts to rise in the months of Spring. In January all is dormant; we have only remembered experience and hope, to sustain us through the difficult early months of the year.
This drawing shows the form of the tree to be dark above, yet green below, the green may be read as a promise of new life to come.
The drawings were made using a stencil, the shapes of the trees taken from the cut- out paper trees that come with a childrens' toy, a "Magic Crystal Garden" kit. The kit comprises a plastic tray, upon which paper shapes of a mountain ( Mount Fuji), trees, and shark toothed rows of grasses are to be set, and sachets of Potassium Phosphate held in solution. The sachets are poured into recesses in the tray, and within hours crystals appear to "grow" on the boughs of the trees, on the tips of the grasses, and on the slopes of the mountain as these soak up the liquid. The paper cut-outs are pre-dyed with coloured inks, thus influencing the colours of the resulting crystals. The cut-outs have a charm and simple beauty, the trees are themselves lovely objects, in two pieces, one of which slots into the other so that they become three dimensional. I made a stencil by drawing around them, one above the other. Graphite powder and crumbled pastels were applied within the stencil and rubbed against the edges. I then drew into the image with graphite pencil.