Initially, I started the leaf drawings just expecting that they would become something visually very beautiful. I could tell from some black and white photos of leaves that they would be excellent subjects for drawings by pen. So I started collecting some reference photos of different types of leaves and started to draw from the most simple one.
While I was working on the first piece of the leaf drawing, an idea gradually started to grow…i.e. this series could be something more profound. Something like, connecting the shapes, values, the way the leaves are etc., with our way of life.
Hence the series “life per leaf” was born.
This is the first one of the series:
Many people will notice that this is a pretty weird drawing of a leaf…this is not actually a drawing of a leaf but a drawing of contrast, a drawing of a set of different values expressed in the form of a leaf. If what I wanted to achieve had been a realistic drawing of a leaf, I would have made the transition of the values much more gradual. But “the smooth transition of values often observed in a photo of a leaf” is not a necessary element for this piece considering the purpose of drawing this work. So I did not try to express the strictly photo-realistic values transitions in this image, but rather left the haphazard arrangement of the values as it was; the arrangement which, in fact, naturally developed while drawing this piece.
So, how is this drawing positioned in terms of the series “life per leaf”?
While I was working on this piece, I was playing with the words “values of leaf…values of life” in my mind. Of course, the term “value” means a lot of different things and it may be even better that I do not provide any information about my own intention. Just by telling the title “values” along with the series title “life per leaf”, most people would interpret the piece according to the way they understand the values of their own lives. BUT I would like to keep a record of what I was thinking…I was thinking about values purely as “contrast”; the brightness and the darkness, the balance and the relationship between them. A leaf shows an infinite variation of values depending on the way you light it, so does your life. Something which looks very dark in your light may turn into something very bright in the light of someone else’s. The darker phase of your life may gradually change into the brighter phase, but you can also experience a sudden drop from brightness to darkness and vice versa. All in all. the values of life, i.e. the brightness and the darkness of life are unpredictable, can be understood only ambiguously, and make no sense. Therefore the values arrangement of this leaf drawing making no sense makes very much sense. Well, I can hear some people mumbling “The world doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”(which they say is Picasso’s words)
The following two will be very easy to understand:
“nothing goes straight”:
And the fourth piece is “bye-bye, elixir”:
While I was looking for reference photos to draw leaves, I found many photos of leaves with water-drops. Plants absorb water from the root, but leaves do not…like human skin, leaves may also be able to take in some water, but in most cases the water takes a spherical shape by the work of the surface tension and do not go into the tissues or the veins of the leaves…as though the leaves are rejecting water.
Water is one of the essentials for plants to live and why do the leaves reject water? Unlike the root, maybe the leaves are wise enough to reject “bad” water. There are, indeed, “good” water and “bad” water, and quite too often “bad” water is offered to you as “very good” water and they try to convince you that the water is one essential for your life, they try to make you believe that the water is “elixir”. The wise leaves are not deceived. They know they don’t need to rely on any sort of elixir. Elixir is something they can do without. So the leaves simply shake it off.
And…well, there was the fifth piece which I was working on a couple of weeks ago, but I did not like it and decided to work on something different. The concept of the fifth leaf is settled and I know which reference photo I want to use, so I am going to start working on it soon, maybe today or tomorrow.
This is the decor version of this series: