Welcome to my blog and my art work.
I have been drawing almost all my life. I took art classes all through high school. I studied Illustration and Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts. I have worked as a graphic designer and didn’t find much time for drawing and painting.
In 2003, my brother Michael’s widow, Toni; my sister, Margaret, and her husband, Ed; my brother, Tom and I went to Ireland. During our travels we visited an old estate in Longford. On the grounds we passed some wonderful ancient trees. I was blown away by these trees. Their structures with thick trunks, gnarly branches, places where the bark had grown over the places where it had been pruned, injured or struck by lighting were so interesting. The strength of these trees really spoke to me. No matter what they had been through they kept on growing.
Surviving is what these trees symbolized to me and I wanted to draw them. I thought I needed to go back there and spend a couple of weeks just drawing them, pulling as much strength and healing as I could from them.
Of course, when I got home the realities of life and work pushed away the thought of going back to Ireland to draw. But I still had the desire to draw trees. What’s the big deal? There are tons of trees here in Westchester, NY. What was stopping me? Lack of discipline, laziness, no time?
Lo and behold, in 2005 I got a continuing education catalog from the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx, NY. They had a “Drawing Trees” class. I knew that signing up and pay for a class would guarantee that I would find the time. However, there was a prerequisite I had to take Drawing 1 and 2. I have a BFA from SVA! I am a trained professional!
I called the Botanical Garden to find out if this applied to me. The fellow who answered the phone asked if I had studied botanical illustration? Of course, I hadn’t, but all I wanted was to draw trees, What was the big deal! But I sucked it up and took Drawing 1 & 2 and it was the best thing I ever did.
I have had a wonderful experience in these classes and I am so glad I have done this. I have learned tons about drawing, painting, plants, science, people and myself. I have made friends and produced a group of work I am really proud of.