Experiments in Natural Paint Brushes and Mark Making

As a child my father would take me on various hiking expeditions. An explorer himself, we often joked about his meandering drives and so-called shortcuts. As a young adult I returned to many of those places, and have become quite the meandering "longcut" taker, myself. I suppose my deep love of and reverence for nature started then.

The first time I experienced the California coast, I was hiking with friends somewhere along Highway 1 and Big Sur. The summer before there had been a brush fire, and the bases of the red wood trees were charred. I took one of my notebooks and pulled the page along the massive charred trunk of the red wood, and behold, my first encounter with mark making using natural materials. It brings me great joy to responsibly collect materials from nature to create tools, to take 'dead' pieces of plants and carry on their legacy by perpetuating creation. It puts me back in touch with a more primitive self, and informs the work created with such devices in a truly unique and beautiful way. I like to think that the marks made express the voice of the plant, that the tools are a conduit for the souls of the trees and shrubs and flowers speak out.