Archives for the month of: April, 2012

I’ve done many illustrations of trees for wedding invitations or as wedding gifts.  I’ve drawn them as places of safety and as places to hide.

Trees are so full of symbolism that they are almost cliché, and yet they are a subject I go back to over and over again.  I might change the shape of the leaves into stars for one drawing or circles for another.  I tend to place my trees in a composition that would have surely been frowned upon in art school: A solitary tree with a straight trunk and symmetrically fanned branches positioned centrally on the paper; no interesting angles or perspective.

Yet there is something about that composition that appeals to me.  It’s direct and it’s strong.

Here are a few samples of my trees:

The Caring Tree   (mixed media)

Tree for Barry  (mixed media)

Tree of Life  (mixed media)

Student (mixed media  2003)

This year, Arbor Day falls on what would have been my sister in law’s 58th birthday.

Sharon was a woman with branches full of fruit and a trunk with a heart carved into it.   I still see a long shadow where she once stood.

A number of years ago, my husband Bruce, gave me a 1952 edition of The New Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia Vol.1 (A-Ames) that he found on one of his book hunting expeditions.

It sat around my studio waiting for me to find it inspiring.  Just the one single volume, 5 ½ x 8 ½ “, with old but not particularly charming black and white photos, published by a company called Unicorn Publishers, Inc. New York.

One morning, during a lull between jobs, I was bemoaning my inability to get started on doing some artwork just for myself. The A-Ames finally caught my attention.  It was unattractive enough that tearing out pages wouldn’t have been all that difficult for me and according to Bruce, the one volume wasn’t worth selling either.

I decided I would give myself a challenge to pick a word or a name from this volume and illustrate it giving myself a quick deadline to complete it.  It turned out to be a great exercise and I was happy with the results.

I began to do one every day or two….some more successful than others.  Entries like:

Alien and Sedition Acts, Alcoforado, Marianna (1640-1723), Airmail, Alectryomancy, Adams, Algae, American Literature.

At one point, I had thought I might even do a blog of just those images.

I also thought of turning them into my own book of Vol.1 (A-Ames) one day. I have done close to 30 of these now.

Here’s a few of them:


American Emily


I didn’t think that they were what art directors were looking for though so I never actively promoted them that way.  Some of the pieces were included in a few art exhibits but like my early sketchbook pieces they had that too “fine artsy” “not commercial enough” quality to them.

If you happen to be an art director reading  and seeing this, I’d love to hear from you!

I will post more of these from time to time….

I recently created this piece for a CD of Bruce’s music for the staged version of Nosferatu by Alex Dawson.

The play will be performed April 19th-22nd  at the Edison Valley Playhouse in Edison, NJ.

For ticket information (and Kickstarter link)