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Hand drawn archival pigmented ink on acid free paper, approx 6 x 8 inches


Evolutionary Tree juxtaposes two Evolutionary Biology symbols or motifs.  One is the double helical geometry of DNA.  The other is the branching relatedness geometry of a tree.  I have several paintingstwining the DNA and tree motifs together.  In the paintings the juxtaposition of DNA double helix and tree are somewhat loose.  This drawing is a nice way to explore how well the image “works” when the two motifs overlap more tightly.

Visually, a playful use of negative space is articulated in the leaves.  Throughout the drawing pattern and linear ideas are used to suggest shading and perspective while simultaneously asserting their identity as patterns and shapes.

This is an idea that has fascinated me in drawings.  I’ve always loved how cross hatching and stippling could be used to  create the illusion of depth.  At the same time, traditional shading methods in drawing “pay for” the illusion of depth with a loss of detail at the very finest scales.  In a traditionally shaded drawing, a cross hatched line in a shadow conveys only darkness and depth and its identity as a linear feature is lost.  The “lines”  are lost and shading abstracts part of the drawn image to create depth.

In many of my drawings I’ve been trying different approaches to convey shadow and depth.  The lines, linear drawn features, and continuity of line are retained but line width, concentric line density, and line darkness are used to create depth and shadow.  This approach keeps the drawing and its outlines intact and even the smallest drawn details remain significant.  In return, the ideas of depth, perspective and shadow become abstracted challenging the eye and mind to create or discard the illusion of depth.

Evolutionary Tree” takes some visual ideas I’ve been exploring in my drawings and melds them into the “Tree of Life” series I’ve been working on.  The “Tree of Life” series references the branching tree-like patterns of ecology, molecular biology and heredity that connect the species on Earth while also pointing to the importance of actual trees to our ecosystem.



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