Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Even before I met Armando Williams, I was becoming friends with a pepperwood tree on a nearby bike path. I felt the tree extending care & protection.

When I learned that pepperwood is the principle medicine of the Pomo, I focused more attention on that tree and other pepperwood trees as I met them.

Now a sense of pepperwood spirit infuses all my work on the project, as well as all my prayers for myself & my family. Of course they're showing up in my paintings.

A while back I heard my friends David Barnett & Jim Wilson playing recorder music by John Cage. This left me with an irresistible urge to paint rust/green lines on raw canvas strips. I gave in, adding pepperwood leaves I'd painted & cut from fine polyester & heavy paper. I made 2 of these strips, 45 x 6" & 43 x 6".

Next came a patchwork of canvas, plus one patch of screen & one of wool batting, stitched together with embroidery thread. Since the pepperwoods were in bloom, these painted & cut leaves include flowers. Medicine, 28 1/2 x 25".

The other two images here are simple watercolors, each 9 1/2 x 7". Bohem Trunks was painted in a dense thicket of pepperwood at the Kule Loklo village at Point Reyes, my fingers numb with damp cold. New Growth was painted on the bike path just a few days ago, when I was appreciating how the flowers come first, then weeks later the new leaves.

As time passes I love these pepperwood trees more & more. I hope these paintings nourish their spirit as they continue to nourish ours.