I was fortunate that I had begun the 3-dimensional figures at the end of my time in Chicago. It was the body of work that was the most creatively stable, that could weather this big disruption of being uprooted. I was excited about developing them further.
In Princeton, these figures became my largest body of work. Drawing and painting, although always important, were not my main focus in those 3 years. I am not sure why this was so, because my canvases were so vital in Chicago. But now, in such a different nature-filled landscape, I found it more difficult to paint inventively, and the mixed-media assemblages seemed to come more easily. Creative blocks are inevitable, but always so difficult & frustrating to go through. When they occur, I have always been able to rescue myself with another medium. My canvases had to wait until I was ready to reconcile them again. Works in various stages of completion were set aside for what seemed like an interminably long time.
Tree branches filled every view from every window dormer in our attic apartment. There was a very large window in our bathroom that dropped down to a roof overhang that looked out to the treetops. In the afterglow of twilight, Michael and I would step out onto this landing and lie back to watch the little brown bats, not that high above us, in a beautiful display of flight & feeding. It was like being caught up in this arabesque of movement between bats & insects against a backdrop of intertwining branches and leaves. To experience this frenzied dance was pure joy. Such moments were my most profound source of creative inspiration.
I decided to create my figures in the spirit of all the folklore that I loved and remembered from my youth, from mythology to fairy tales. As I mentioned earlier, our apartment was like a treehouse, and the the woods were part of my daily walk.
It therefore seemed totally natural to build more trees.
Here are some of the first ones from left to right: WellWisher, Giver, and CrownBearer.