Just the other day, I got a couple new Schneider pens at the UNM bookstore. Schneider makes pens that are not totally water resistant, and that’s what I want for the mixed media drawings I’ve been making lately, and have made in the past. Pilot and Pentel are also brands that make water susceptible inks in some of their pens, so I use them as well. The particular Schneider pen I used for this drawing has slight colors of blue and yellow when it bleeds under the influence of water.
For the background colors of this drawing, I used alcohol based markers. Those colors can be seen in the bodies of the foliage for the tree, and also for the landscape for which the tree is rooted in. I splashed rubbing alcohol on these so as to wash, bleed, and blur it. The trunk and branches of the tree are made from the printed on pulp of paper media, such as magazines and books.
A guiding principle I consciously employed in the making of this image I learned from reading Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit manuscript. He emphasizes in his book that an artist should cover the plane with broad, basic shapes in order to furnish the soon to be picture with a structure upon which to add more detail. In reading Benedict Spinoza’s philosophical work on sharpening one’s wit, he suggests that a person’s reasoning abilities should start out with basic concepts and then progress into more complexity. This is much how civilization seems to develop, from the stone age up to now, the information age; at least Western civilization, that is.
I sometimes get bored and irritated with basic shapes in my art studies, but there’s no way around it. Everything in art starts out with the most basic, simplistic designs imaginable. These shapes then build upon one another as I imagine and act on developing a work of art further.
To skeletonize the tree, I drew black lines from my Schneider pen on the trunks and branches after the glue soaked cutout material dried on the surface. Using the pointillist technique, I dotted the sky with peach and lavender colors, and also the land below with grays. The middles of the leaves I carefully drew on the twigs of the tree are filled in with gold gel pen ink. I surrounded them then with a sky-blue ball point pen ink, and this is encapsulated by orange acrylic paint for which I painted with a brush.
The story is the colors and the season we are currently in—Autumn. I imagined a tree family called November Golden Leaf. This tree’s leaves literally turn gold in the Fall.