Art, Interesting and Inspiring

Tim Knowles and drawing on trees

I am always inspired by process. This combined with an ‘absence of artist’ is what compels me to make art. One of my favorite artists is Tim Knowles. I wrote a chapter about him in my dissertation (titled ‘Absent Artists and Performing Materials’)

“Tim Knowles is plotting the winds. His artwork relies on the force of nature to create his artwork. In his Tree Drawings, different species of trees are creating marks on paper from the pens tied to them due to the movement of the wind. ‘Weeping Willow on Circular Panel’ (2005) uses one hundred pens and draws on a five-meter circular MDF disk, which is separated into ten segments after the completion of the drawing. ‘Four Panel Weeping Willow’ is also separated: four segments drawn from fifty pens attached to the weeping willow tree.”


Throughout all my years of admiring what Tim does, I have never tried a tree drawing myself. A couple of weeks ago Lucy, Orlagh and I had a go at it. We tried two methods – one is making a big pen out of a massive tree branch, and the second was to hold the paper up against a pen-holding branch and let the tree draw.

I realise that tree drawings take a lot of patience – especially if you’re holding the paper up for the tree. once i get myself a big box or an easel, I’ll get some proper drawings done

There’s more information specifically on his Tree Drawings here. As well as Tree Drawings, Tim also created Vehicle Motion Drawings, Postal Works and Balloon Drawings, amongst other projects.

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