The idea of using dendrochronology as a self-portrait has haunted me for a few years now. I have yet to see or hear of anyone doing something like this… so after reviewing some well-fermented thoughts, I’ve spent the last 3 hours drawing circle after circle, and pushing in the semester-reminder of the callous on my right middle finger. Summer makes you forget your hands like that sometimes.
I can’t say I drew this without first studying the real and physical characteristics of dendro-terminology. I learned the effects of large insect populations, the scarring of fires, the thin sight of droughts, and the difference between growth release, and fast growth. Accordingly, I wrote out my chronology:
BIRTH BIRTH BIRTH FAST GROWTH
FAST GROWTH GROWTH RELEASE
GROWTH RELEASE GROWTH RELEASE
HIGH COMPETITION COMPRESSION GROWTH
HIGH COMPETITION GROWTH COMPRESSION
FAST GROWTH FAST GROWTH COMPRESSION
FIRE FIRE FIRE GROWTH
With that, I drew out how it felt. My scars. My droughts. Which way was East, and which way was West. Of course, I drew outwards, not inwards, and let the wood take shape around my stories.
To be honest though, I plan on revisiting this idea at some point this summer with a canvas, and with many more hours to spare. I don’t feel like I have even come close to completely filling-out the body of this idea.
And the more I stare at this… the more I realize it’s not just about the dark areas.