Each time I visit Joshua Tree National Park I invariably think, “it’s like I’m here for the first time!” The weather, or time of year, or just my mood that day allows me to notice a different rock formation, or a new quality of light on the Joshua Trees, or the way the distant horizon meets the sky, or the newly blooming wildflowers. This highlights for me how every place is a palimpsest made up of layers of significance and resonance, both physical and social: some that are immediately evident and visible; others that are activated by my own state of being that day; and those that I need to learn how to see and understand because they have been forgotten or obscured.
In these drawings, I take an individual element (such as a single rock formation from a larger group; or section of a plant, such as a piece of cholla skeleton or the galls that grow on creosotes) and bring attention to it. I repeat the element to reflect some of the possible ways it can be seen or understood, and color one iteration to highlight the here and now of its viewing. The repetitive creative process of drawing echoes the repetition of my visits, with each variation (as with daily life) being both the same and different; an opportunity for me to notice different traces and layers of meaning in the context of both human and geological time.
(Note: a few are shown with mats and frames as examples)