The early part of March in Michigan is dismal. The trees are leafless and have been brown slashes sitting on top of the horizon for months. In every direction these thin brown sentinels stand guard over winter. There is no snow to brighten their disposition or soften their stark outlines. Drawing Michigan in March can be an emotional challenge.
I took up the challenge, though, and faced those lifeless lines and angles. I drew them in the morning when the sun made each branch and tree trunk glow with a thin bead of light. The view from my window was an endless matted maze of thinly highlighted branches and trunks. I could not draw them all and I did not want to. I started with a dark background and then picked out a few trunks and branches nearest me to divide the drawing in a pleasing way. Then I chose a few more behind those to divide the divisions. Next I drew even smaller pieces of geometry. I carefully darkened each branch and trunk and then highlighted each with a thin tracing of light.
The drawing was not bad, overall. Its geometry was soothing and it had a minimalist quality that spoke to me. It was depressing to be sure, but I’m normally depressed this time of year so the drawing was a testimonial to my mood. I would show the drawing to you, but it’s lost. I’d drawn the scene on my computer and hadn’t been saving it. When I finally tried, my computer refused. It more than refused, it completely froze up. The drawing could only be viewed for the moments it existed on my screen.
I couldn’t blame the computer. I wouldn’t have wanted to take that scene into myself either. I drew it, more or less, to get it out of my own soul. We aren’t meant to hang on to things like depression and the seasons. If I wait long enough my mood and the scenery will change. Drawing Michigan in April is delightful as I recall.