Sunday, 17 June 2012

Drawing the Zoeschen Maple

The Maple that I chose to draw as one of my Westonbirt Series pieces can be found just off Broad Drive in the Arboretum. I photographed the tree during February and March, in the stark light of winter mornings, when natural structures are clear of any surrounding growth:


I was equally fascinated by the web of shadows cast by the tree as I was by the interlacing spread of branches. The short trunk held a special appeal; such a strong support for this graceful maple.
Fortunately I was able to find quite a broad piece of maple to draw on, and I was able to work out a composition which hinted at the broad reach of the branches.


Once the wood was trimmed - I have a much improved sawing action these days! and sanded I was able to prepare the surface with gesso, ready to draw.

Finding the dominant branches to get the structure correct

Working out the angles of the shadows
Strengthening the tonal qualities, too heavy and solid now, but ready for sandblasting
The finished Zoeschen Maple, softer shadows reaching across the floor to the viewer
and light coming in through the upper branches.
At the final show the pieces drawn on the wood seemed to take the attention of people who appreciated all things natural but also those who had a love of wood. The fact that the natural qualities of the actual pieces of wood were still visible seemed to be as important to them as it had been to me in the drawing.


2 comments:

Printed Material said...

A little bird told me you received a 'distinction'! How could it have been anything else? If only you knew how inspiring your drawings are Wendy. I envy you this talent enormously.

Mavina Baker Printmaker said...

Hi Wendy, just a line to say I visited the degree show on the penultimate day and just loved your work! Returned home inspired.