I have a friend named Tom, who does absolutely beautiful carvings of birds and waterfowl. He is meticulous... every feather matters, as does the correct colours from beak to feet. I have asked Tom a couple times if he would carve me a duck to paint.... he is quite reluctant as he is aware of my sense of colour and style of work. It is kind of a standing joke between us.
On occasion, people have looked at my work and asked what kind of tree is that, or what kind of flower. I think Tom has also pointed out that he can't quite figure out my birds. This is understandable as he has studied birds, and has actually written a field guide ... so accuracy is pretty important to him.
So i started to think about why I paint the way I do, and how i view the world..
I think that my trees are a celebration of trees in general, a homage to bark, and bark patterns and patterns in general .... also a celebration of the fact that there are trees. The same goes for my flowers, landscapes... pretty much anything that goes into my work.
As I am painting... (especially trees)... my mind swirls and wonders what these trees have seen... what is their history, what have they endured. I wonder about emotions.
I think i've said before that painting is an experience, and that the process of creating a piece is spiritual for me. If I had to start thinking about answering the question:
What do you paint?
I guess my best answer would be .... I paint how I see .... not what I see.
Liz R. Derksen is an artist living in BC.