These small drawings came out of seeing a tiny pile of twigs on my drawing table. The twigs had broken off apple tree branches with which I was making a large sculpture. I made the little pile because I knew that there was something interesting there.
In order to find the vision I imagined I would have, I photographed the pile. I enlarged the picture on the computer and made it black and white.
I traced individual black and white images on light blue paper and made each a different color, intending to span a legitimate “spectrum.”
I couldn’t have done this series without imaginary and sometimes actual conversations with Allan McCollum.
These drawings are derived from photographs that were taken of the hanging wrapped branch sculptures, the All Tied Up Series (https://lynhorton.net/category/art/2019/). Individual photographs were traced along a dividing line placed on a 15 inch by 11 inch piece of paper. The same traced image was then flipped and positioned in the other side of the dividing line to create an entirely new shape.
I could not have done these without an imaginary conversation with Allan McCollum.
These pieces are all on canvas. They each measure sixty inches in height by twenty-two inches in width.
They are made with acrylic, colored pencil and marker. The first layer is acrylic and forms the background. The second layer traces the shapes left by the dripping paint with permanent silver marking pen. The last layer uses a stencil made from a drawing I made of a tree a long time ago. The shapes left by tracing the stencil are colored in with colored pencil.
The title of the series comes from a statement made by Gene Youngblood in a talk on the internet celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of his landmark book, Expanded Cinema. In the talk, he and the moderator were in an exchange regarding how the global society can change using technology as one of its means.
My affection for trees stems from a lifelong interest in how they create intimate spaces in which to linger and how the shadows of the branches are embracing and graceful and evanescent.
Trees are integral to the earth’s environment. The more that trees are brought into human consciousness, the more concern we have for them. Trees have their own forms of growth and communication. They demonstrate when they are hurt and when they are thriving. We cannot take them for granted.
As I graze newspaper article headlines and sometimes read the articles if I am allowed, or review my emails which are unbearably all political or about saving the planet, or open them to unveil the Paris Review or the Daily Om, or some other intellectual, art-related, museum oriented news, I just have realized how I will look at what is the most important, especially regarding the pandemic, and dismiss everything else with the delete button, because I cannot deal with it for the most part or assess that none of this information matters.
Nothing takes my attention away, except cursorily, from the ongoing angst. The onus of the angst.
Sure, those issues I am directly involved with or my friends warrant an direct response.
But caring seems to have no draw on me anymore. Perhaps it is my age, my fear of the future.
The satisfaction of observing the natural theater of the blossoms on the overgrown apple tree and the myriad of birds that flock to the tree is fleeting but nonetheless exists outside my office window.
The sun disappeared for today.
I cannot imagine the truths of hope and optimism. Perhaps, if I could only step out of the emotional and intellectual box, it would be easier to experience this time. Perhaps, by writing this, I am compelled to attend to the next thing and then the next.
We, and by we, I mean many presently living people in my coterie of kind, have built ourselves of cavern of delight walled by screens to the outside. We have lulled ourselves into believing in the infinite “everything’s going to be ok” syndrome.
I believe so much in those who are doing right by the world to improve it. I wish that I had seen myself in that active role beyond how I studied it in the ’70s.
…How we do with our minds to shape our world, not necessarily with materiality but with experiences, takes precedence. Makes me think about how to dissolve my work as soon as it has been seen. Something there about wrapping it all up. And then going somewhere else…
Maybe not. I have been thinking about how to condense 50 years worth of work into a tiny space for ages. I am closer to solutions.
I want my impact to be how I thought about things…
And how people responded. And how many people I truly loved.
In 1978, my husband and I moved to Western Massachusetts from Buffalo, NY. We bought a house neither of us had the financial backing to support.
Through innumerable life changes, I have survived only by living here. It is now 2020.
The collective global society is going through a vast economic, emotional tempest due to the CoVid19 pandemic. Had I not been rooted in this house, I would not be able to cope as an artist, as a human being.
The subject of my work is lines and how I can best put them on paper, on the wall, and, sometimes, on canvas. The subject has been consistent since my first exhibit in CA in 1974.
Art is my job. The ideas for my work flow from one body of work to another.
In this time, the ideas continue to flow. The safest place to go for me is my studio.
I do not need a mask. I only need my mind, my materials, my eyes.
The drawing above was done in 2015. It was the culmination of a series dealing with the densities I could create with horizontal lines drawn with two different widths of pen nibs.
Yet, from 2016 on, my lines moved into a less abstract context and more into one I identified by simply looking out my studio window.
My time in my studio was reshaped. The drawings to do accumulated in my imagination and I produced one after the other of trees branches. These are from series which each have ten drawings.
This drawing is a long horizontal piece called West Street Maples. From memory of a walk around the block.
Art becomes for me how to relate to nature.
Every Sunday, I take walks and photograph what catches my eye. These walks affect my internal make-up. I breathe in my environment. Its energy incorporates myself into my being.
I am fortunate to be able to do my work. It is a challenge to maintain motivation.
This series was started in the Fall of 2019. The branches are trimmings from a winter-killed holly bush and cuttings from two apple trees by my terrace. The series will continue slowly as I collect new branches.
They carry on from earlier installation pieces done in my studio in 2018.
My intention is to highlight the arresting beauty of the natural forms in a new context. Wrapping the branches with faux leather cord is a means to relate the branches explicitly with my drawn lines.