9×10 inches. 140 # watercolor paper with muslin glued to surface of pages. Watercolor, acrylic, oil pastel, graphite, collage.
The Sacred Life of Trees an artist’s book I created from an idea I had about how much I love trees, and how much everyone values and loves trees. It seems, from my research, that trees have been a source of mystery from the beginning of time. I wanted to do a more in depth study, but was unable to complete the whole thing in time for the Illahe Gallery Invitational Artist’s Book Exhibit in Ashland, Oregon! So I concentrated on the most loved concepts of sacred trees.
Double page spread.
The Tree of Life with a guarding snake, and golden fruit!
The Apple Tree – worshipped by ancient celtic cultures for the bounty of her fruit. Some think it was an apple tree that instigated the downfall of man in the Garden of Eden! Maybe, maybe not. But she is lovely!
The quiet little Hazel Tree – also bearing life sustaining nuts. The hazel was considered by the ancient celts to be a magical tree. Her wood is used for making dowsing rods to find water. A hazel wand is very strong – be sure to thank her if you take her branches!
The Ogham is an ancient celtic alphabet – often referred to as the Celtic Tree Alphabet. The marks were made vertically on standing stones, many of which, are still standing in Scotland, Ireland, England. They are read vertically from the bottom up. I have written the Ogham name for each tree on the right hand bottom side of the drawing.
The beautiful Willow Tree – known as the Lady of the Moon.
The Birch Tree – Lady of the Wood.
The Oak Tree – royalty of all trees. Very strong, long lived, the king of trees, in this case the queen!
The sacred Hawthorn Tree – the wand made from a hawthorn twig is truly magical. The ancient celts believed the tree to have healing qualities, as well. If a hawthorn self seeded next to a natural spring it was believed that dipping a scrap from a piece of clothing in the water and tying it to the tree would bring good health, and good luck. Many of these are still honored in this way in the celtic countries and are laden with odd scraps of cloth. They are known in Scotland as a ‘Clootie Tree’. A clootie is a scrap of cloth.
Final page with a verse from Loreena McKennitt.
I apologize for the lack of quality in these photographs. The finished product really does look better than this.