100 Series: Tangle of Trees 

The 100 Project: Tangle of Trees is a series of 100 images of tree trunks and branches piled on a fallen tree in the woods near my home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I discovered this spot several years ago and began painting it in 2014. The goal of this body of work is to record how the space changes over time through multiple paintings and drawings. I am also interested in exploring the medium of digital painting and approaching a traditional genre such as landscape painting through a 21st century medium.

Since I was a student my work has focused on exploring and engaging with a natural space over the course of several paintings, drawings, and prints. I enjoy recording how a tree appears at different times of day and across seasons. By focusing on one tree or a specific location, I am able to keep a visual record of how time degrades nature. Returning to one spot to paint it over and over is a process of discovery and development. 

My relationship with an outdoor space has previously resulted in paintings done at intervals of a few weeks to several months. By imposing the goal of 100 images for this project, I am able to capture subtle differences in the appearance of the trees that occur day to day. By posting one image a day for 100 days, viewers experience these variations, and over the life of the project the transition of the season becomes apparent. 


In addition to recording how a space changes, and experiencing these changes through paintings and drawings, the way in which I approach this work also undergoes change. Many of these images are created with the Brushes Redux iPhone app. I first became interested in digital painting when I saw David Hockney’s iPhone drawings done using an earlier version of the Brushes app. Through this project I explore the medium as much as I explore the outdoor space. Not only do viewers see changes to the trees, they also see development in my facility with the medium in addition to the styles and compositions I choose for the images. 

This project challenges me to create 100 images of a tangle of trees. This body of work records how the tree limbs and branches look in different light. It reveals how fallen leaves wither and lose their autumn colors. Snow fall and snow melt are captured. Fall becomes winter over the course of this project. The paintings and drawings of this series show how time and weather transform a natural space. They also show how my understanding of a new medium deepens.

Instagram: @abrokentree