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Gallery Artist: Mimo Gordon Riley

Artist's Statement

Trees are much more grounded than we are. They throw their roots well down into the uncharted territory of the unconscious, while their trunks and branches rise jubilantly to the heavens.

At our house, we have planted many new young saplings; some bought at considerable expense, some dug up carefully and transplanted… maples, willows, birches, lilacs, evergreens, a peach, an apple, a black gum, and a katsura. Some are spindly and lose limbs during the winter or get bugs during the summer, and others thrive from day one. We love them all. We nurture them and watch them carefully for new growth, make sure they have enough to eat and drink, and a healthy place with enough sun and shade to grow.

Like children, we can admire many from afar, but then want a few to bring home and call our own. And also like children, after early care, they grow, take their own shape and make their own way in the world.

I have been painting trees for about four years now, some from observation, some from memory and some from, what can I say, my soul. I have experimented with various ways to make them mine; color, shapes, intensity, contrast. I don’t plan. I simply start and they emerge. I push them back and they come out in another place, and then after that happens a few times, we meet in a kind of truce between what I think I want to paint and what they seem to want to be.