Christen Humphries 

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Arboreal Magic

 

The earliest memory I have is of the haunting shadows of trees. Walking through the dining room late at night as a little girl I had a thrill of terror at the limbs and fingers that would dance across the floor and walls.  Shape shifting and ethereal, these were the specters of the trees outside the window. That mysterious wonder has stayed with me throughout my life and inspires the drawings of trees I create.

 

Growing up and living in southern central Oklahoma, our trees are not grand, but they are gorgeous in form. The gnarled, aged Bur and scrub oaks, as well as the deeply fissured Cottonwoods growing along creek beds are especially beautiful. Each day I walk with my camera and then make a quick drawing from the photo of one particular tree or a gathering of many. We have an innate connection with the woods, and it is that which I seek to discover through drawing and observing these familiar friends. When one tree calls me back for further observation, I will then proceed to make a months long drawing of it.

 

Birds also frequent my paintings. They represent the desire to connect with nature. Hidden in songs and calls, we can interpret through our own experience these communications.

 

My art does the same, speaking in a familiar language, yet leaving interpretation open to the viewer.