Beyond but beneath the obvious, a story emerges from a cutting of alligator juniper, a lifeless slab of wood “beached” in my studio for over a year. I often looked at this piece of wood, imagining a design that never took place. Something else had to be released and it was an image created millions of years ago and now being revealed through the DNA of the wood and the mind and hands of a artists craftsman.
The whale has been released from its captivity, the DNA of eons of memories and layers of times ancient forests and a shallow sea filled with life. My imagination took over, remembering the times spotting whales against the backdrop of an expansive and seemingly empty sea, many times framed by the dramatic horizontal image where sky meets ocean. The composition of the piece with its long horizontal lines reminds me of the vast wilderness places; secluded mountains and beaches, the heat of the summer and the solitude the wilderness provides.I have had intimate moments with this creature in the wilderness and that was my direction and approach.
I feel as if I am “hovering” over the scene, exploring what might be here, looking for waves, or fish. I realize I have flown over these coves, physically and meta physically. Maybe there is a connection for this piece of Arizona wood and the desert landscape. I think of the past life of this tree, musing over the DNA, perhaps dating back to the Jurassic period, when great whales and fish inhabited a large inland and shallow sea that once was here in Arizona.
I cast the 67″ horizontal edge, vertically, allowing me to create layers of sky from my imagination. Distant green lights the color of an aurora borealis, contrast with the brilliant reds of sunsets and twilight times. The clear cast layers and multiple “spheres” describe a place of planets and distant stars. Thin blue and white layers reflect an ancient ocean where it meets an ancient land.
More musings to come as I continue to create the story of this piece.
62″x24″x3″ Alligator Juniper, cast resin layers.