"Mercury on Silvered Glass"
11 x 14 Faber Castel India Ink Brushes (Black and Grey)
Zig Millenium Pens
"White Out" Marker
On Smooth Bristol board heavy Weight.
At the end of March, I was a guest at Texas A&M's Aggie Con, in its 38th year, the oldest college sponsored convention in the world. It was a looonng 4-hour drive, from Dallas through those rural parts of the south, I thought had vanished into History. Acres + acres of pasture differentiated only by the odd, somehow creepy billboards of phantom churches with solitary quotes like "America, where is your Shame?" and vaguely veiled threats of eternities in hell should one wander from the path of the righteous. Though I have grave doubts God had parceled out this authority to swamp woods churches only inches removed from "Deliverance". Along the entire route, however, I saw hundreds of these lightening burned trees sitting in open fields, jet black and gnarled like broken hands, crushed fingers reaching heavenwards. They bend and twist back upon themselves like a snake on fire, no symmetry at all, branches like furballs of blackened wire. I've seen them in paintings and comics for years, (Bernie Wrightson's in particular), but this was the very first time in real life and oddly enough no one could give me a definite answer as to what type of tree this is. I heard Dutch Elm, Pecan, Oak, and half dozen others that I am familiar with, so I know they were wrong. Maybe they should just remain the "Broken Finger Tree". I don't need a lexicon to tell me these burned, blacked, skeletons are, if not reaching up out of hell, then at least are trying to escape. I think you'll see them a lot in my future work, another one of those beautifully ugly things that hold such fascination for me. And I kinda like the angel in this one, too.
[Editor's note: This piece was sold on James' eBay store.]