Art Project: Leaf 1 (colored pencils)

Leaf1_1Inspired by my Tree Project, I collected fall leaves from miscellaneous trees, dried them, and photographed them to draw them later with colored pencils.  This drawing of a leaf which I found under a tree in front of Charleston’s City Gallery is the first result of my efforts.

Tree Project: Goethe’s Ginkgo Leaf Poem

Ginkgo Biloba

This tree’s leaf, which here the East
In my garden propagates,
On its secret sense we feast
Such as sages elevates.

Is it but one being single
Which as same itself divides?
Are there two which choose to mingle
So that one each other hides?

As the answer to such question
I have found a sense that’s true:
Is it not my songs’ suggestion
That I’m one and also two?


As I discussed my tree project with my mother, she made me aware of this profound poem.  In a very clever way, Goethe used the Ginkgo leaf as a means to illustrate the human condition: our experience of being separate while in truth we are all one.


(Copy of the original of Goethe’s poem with Ginkgo-leaves pasted on it by Goethe himself. 15, September 1815. Original in Goethe Museum, Düsseldorf, Germany.  Poem from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Poems of the West and East, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, München, 1979, pp. 108-111)

Tree Project

Today marks the beginning of a new year-long project.  For this, I will select one or two trees and follow them photographically, artistically, and poetically throughout one entire year.  I want to study what the tree looks like and experiences at different times of the day, during the cycle of the seasons, and during various weather conditions.  Who visits the tree?  To whom does it give shelter?  I plan on taking a closer look at its leaves and fruit, and perhaps other things that grown on it.

This project shall help me examine nature’s natural cycles.  It shall also provide a focal area for my development as a photographer, artist, and writer.   At the end of the project, I may prepare an exhibition of my work.

I will share the results of my study on this blog with you as they become available.  As always, your comments and feedback will be much appreciated.