Drawing of Tree
Words In Tree: Ink and Colored Pencil; 9″ x 12″

Shortly after I started learning to write stories, I discovered it would be difficult to publish anything with real names. I was mad. Silence is what protected people for decades. Silence and fear are what created the mess in the first place. It felt like protecting the guilty.

Drawing over the story

I started by writing out the drafts of the story then drawing back over it. I used a super hard pencil which dented the paper while leavingĀ  light grey letters.

When I colored over with colored pencil, the texture created by the dents is what was interesting to me.

Carving the truth into the paper

Tree with words incised into bark
Watercolor, Ink and Colored Pencil: 9″ x 12″

Next I started using a bamboo skewer to write into the paper before I started painting. The water swells the paper moreĀ  and I press deeper in certain areas, making the words more evident in some places than others.

It was a lot like my experience of trying to remember what happened thirty years ago. Some of the details were clear, others not. The visual effect was mirroring my writing. Many of the words were there. My truth was there with all the names and details. Most of it could no longer be fully seen.

The reality of the words being present was more important to me than whether they could actually be read.

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