The dragon’s blood trees are one of the trees I’ve been yearning to see in real life for a very long time.
I wanted to see baobabs too, and I was able to realise this dream about 10 years ago when I visited Madgascar.
But as to the dragon’s blood trees, it looks too hard, probably impossible to actually go to the place where I can see them. i.e. Socotra, part of Yemen, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs forbids us to go.
So, I’ve been checking a lot of photos of this tree, admiring the unique shape and structure.
Then, once I came up with the idea of a tree drawings show, I immediately decided to include a drawing of this tree.
This piece really shows how seriously cat-obsessed I am…more specifically, black-cat-obsessed.
I’ve often seen photos of black cats hiding in dark places with their eyes open and people usually caption these photos as “voids” or " When you look into the void, the void looks back."
Having been influenced by these images for quite a while, how can I not think of adding black cats’ eyes in each one of these “voids” included in this tree?
I’d love to reign as caretaker of all these black cats living in the dragon’s blood tree. Well, collocation-wise, “caretaker” and “reign” may sound pretty odd, but I believe that cats’ caretaker is a very respectable position.
Pardon my lengthy and absurd story, but this is the concept of this drawing.
Maki, as always I am fascinated by your drawing. And, cat caretaker could not be a more noble mission in life!
Thanks for sharing.
As always, an inspiring and intriguing piece of artwork as well as backdrop. I really appreciate the history and stories to all of your pieces. This one is no exception.
I hope that you also submitted this one to Matt for a critique.
I look forward to more of your artwork and stories. How is the preparation for your tree drawing show. (I think that you made up for the ones where there are no cats!!)
As Patricia said, thanks for sharing all of your wonderful artwork.
I forgot to mention how interesting it is as the tree takes you in and there are so many sets of eyes between the branches. Amazing idea!
I am so glad that your artwork and shows are getting so much exposure. The stamp rally seems like a wise way to do exhibitions and business. I look forward to hearing how all goes for you in September.
Hi Teri, thank you for your response.
I went to the café yesterday, with three of my recent tree drawings.
As it turned out, the café will be available in September, so I can do the show as planned. The café owner showed me an epic reaction to my tree drawings. She squeaked a bit and was speechless for a while. She loved the drawings I brought and told me that she would be very much looking forward to the September show.
I was really glad to see her being so happy with my idea. Because she is the one who prompted me to do the intensive tree drawings in the first place. When I saw her last December, she said she liked tree drawings, which somehow reminded me of one phrase I read in Jean Christophe by Romain Rolland a long time ago. I don’t know if you have ever read that book, but Jean Christophe is a composer and pianist, and the story is about his life as an artist. The phrase I remembered is something like “Is there anything meaningful for me in the music that you provide? If there is nothing, just quit it!” I think this phrase appeared in the context where Jean Christophe faced a conflict between “art for the sake of art” vs “art for somebody”. He was leaning toward the former idea in the beginning, but gradually shifted to art for somebody. And I remember that the author, Romain Rolland, concluded that the shift actually helped Jean’s music become richer and more mature.
I myself basically do not work on my own art thinking about other people. I draw because I find it interesting for myself. But when I heard the café owner say “well I love tree drawings”, somehow I thought it might be fun to hold a show exhibiting a tons of tree drawings for her. And I was curious to see how true Romain Rolland’s words would be in my case, i.e. I wanted to see if any positive changes would occur to my drawings if I have someone particular in mind.
So, basically the tree drawings I’ve been sharing here are all created to make one particular person happy. As far as I’ve completed about half of my planned drawings, I think it has actually affected my drawings in a positive way. I’ve become to pay a lot more attention to the variety of the drawings, what kind of aspects of art would work effectively for a person’s well-being, which considerations have made me draw something I’d never thought of drawing before. This experiment goes on until September, and I am going to see what else would occur to my drawings in the process.
Amazing! At first glance I did not see all the cats in the trees! Once I saw them, I couldn’t look away. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!
Hi Maki - OMG I just saw this and it’s delightful. I love cats too, even if they aren’t black. So glad you keep posting your drawings. I LOVE ALL OF THEM!!!
I love the story!! Ditto TLP’s reply!
Wow Maki! I had a feeling when I opened the forum page that a CAT theme would include you. I looked up both the Dragon’s Blood Tree and Jean Christophe as you mentioned them. I am wondering what drew you to Rolland’s work.
Regardless, I love the saucy attitude in your cats always. Isn’t this medium perfect for you subject? Thank you for posting, and Keep us posted about your journey to the show.