It is no secret that I love naked trees. On this, and a few other things, my mother and I don't quite agree. The bareness of winter makes her melancholy, whereas it makes me smile. Here is a snippet of Facebook conversation that says it best, though my comment in response to my mother is written in letter form. It all started with a photograph looking up toward the sky from beneath a tree with barren branches that my NYC friend, Diana, posted on her Facebook profile on the second day of December.
on December 2, 2012 at 9:53am my mother wrote:
I always feel a bit saddened when the trees are barren of their leaves. Janean Baird loves to see the "bones" of winter trees. I find the different perspectives intersting. I still miss the color and collage, but am not quite so sad.
I replied on December 2 at 1:12pm
I'll tell ya again…here is the reason I love naked trees, I do. This is the season they are dormant. They are still living, breathing and offering windbreak and some shade, all winter long. Yet, they are also storing up nutrients, so they can bloom, thrive, grow leaves in the spring, and stand straight and true during summer's heat, enduring. Then in the fall, they shine brighter than a candle, and put on their finest clothes of the year, for the glory of fall color. Oh, Autumn.
Gradually their leaves dry and fade and fall. It is not an ending, just another beginning, a sign of winter's rest approaching. A time to soak up from the roots the nourishment they need, even as they stand bare and quietly, for all to see. Every twist, every knot, every lightning strike and imperfection is plainly seen. Yet they don't cover themselves with leaves of shame. They stand. Strong. And true. Yes. I love the naked trees of winter. Yes. I very much do.
The other reason is less poetic, it is significant though, as well. With just their trunks and branches on display I can see through and also around them. My view of the horizon is not obstructed by those leaves so welcomed, as shade in summer sun, and color in autumn's glory. In winter, I can see further.
My mother replied yet again, at 1:18pm on December 2, 2012
I meant to write "foliage", but "collage" works too. And yes, Janean, I love your description and reasoning. See what your picture provoked, Diana? A perfectly beautiful picture that elicits many diverse feelings! Thanks.
I read this Facebook conversation aloud, titled "Winter's Rest", at Art Circle, held on January 10, 2013. The theme for this first meeting of the year was, "New Beginnings OR a New Direction in your artwork". The words I wrote on December second, were coined the day after my 41st birthday. That's a New Beginning too. I also shared the drawing I'd made just that afternoon in white pencil on black paper, for the words and image were meant to go together. The drawing wasn't much, a simple thing, a quick example for my Art Club students before they drew their own winter scenes earlier in the afternoon on January 10, 2013. While the tree is bare, without a leaf upon it, the lifeblood drawn from the roots is coursing through it. The circle to the right is full, like the moon while we sleep, for it's always a perfect sphere, just not always with visibility, complete.
© 2013 Janean Baird, Turquoise Tangles
Art Circle of Bloomington-Normal: https://www.facebook.com/ArtCircleBN