Artist Statements                                                             

Original tree bark photo

Solarplate image derived from photo

Large monoprint using multiple processes


‘Arborglyphs’ is the name for the Aspen trees that shepherds carved graffiti onto while they tended their animals in the lonely mountains of southwestern Colorado.  Documentation is currently being made of these older trees before they die and their legend disappears. 

My ‘Arborglyphs’ series of original hand-pulled prints is not necessarily depictions of those particular carvings by the shepherds, but the series does consist of artwork derived from any Aspen tree bark markings that intrigue me; either the natural scarring and peeling that occurs on the bark, marks made by animals, or tree graffiti carved by humans.  I’m particularly interested in the myopic view of all these beautiful textures and marks; how they can be magnified and transformed into abstract images that retain a semblance of symbolism. These marks represent not only nature and the passage of time through scarring, pealing, and cracking; but also man’s impact upon these processes by inscription. While trekking in the Colorado mountains, I not only enjoy the total picture, but also my personal affinity with nature is in quietly observing and recording the minutia in nature.  

‘Arbor’ pertains to trees and a ‘glyph’ is “a symbol used for non-verbal communication”.  My prints are reminiscent of other cultures and art forms which I’ve always been intrigued by (cave drawings, petroglyphs, pictograms, Asian art, calligraphy, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and cuneiform).  I have always enjoyed visiting petroglyphs in Colorado and Utah, and also toured the ancient Caves of Pielta in Spain and Lascauex Caves in France. Other travels to Aboriginal sites in Australia, Moorish architecture in southern Spain, the ruins in Egypt, and visits to Asia have all had a mystical impact on my artwork. Artifacts from these journeys often form textural backgrounds and patterns in my monoprints. “Making a mark” has been a common thread in these cultures. I also have created my own personal pictorial language with my 'Arborglyph' symbols.

My printmaking process in the 'Arborglyphs' series involves taking close-up photographs of Aspen tree bark markings, which are then manipulated and magnified on the computer in Photo-Shop. Transparencies of the images are exposed with UV lights onto 6" x 6" solarplates (printmaking plates with a photographic emulsion). The plates are etched in water, and cut into organic shapes to emphasize their origins in nature. These 6" x 6" individual solarplates are inked, and printed on paper via an etching press. To make the larger monoprints, I use one or more of the small square solarplates in conjunction with various printmaking techniques to create the textural backgrounds and larger 'Arborglyph' symbols. Techniques used are relief roll, monoprinting, gum arabic transfer, and collagraph; thus requiring many runs through an etching press. All my 'Arborglyphs' prints are 1/1 (one-of-a-kind) hand-pulled original monoprints on Rives BFK paper. My signature line includes the actual glyph symbols, instead of (1 symbol 1).

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© 2009 Linda C. Everson, All Rights Reserved