Greg Thatcher on Yew Trees

We never know what will inspire and move us deeply and plant the desire to follow a creative path. We need to be awake to what inspires us and most importantly, be open both internally  and externally.

My connection with trees began in the 1990’s when I felt what a tree was experiencing. The tree in question was projecting fear as it perceived that I was trying to harm it. This experience changed my understanding, perception and ability to communicate with nature. Plein air work has grown out of this. To work plein air over an extended period allows me to capture the personality and grace of the yews. When I am asked why I draw them, I answer that I have to tell their story.

St. Mary’s churchyard has over 100 yews in beautiful rows along pathways that crisscross the churchyard. These yews, planted in the Middle Ages are the most beautiful topiary yew trees in Great Britain. People also ask me how I choose which tree to draw. I don’t actually. I allow the trees to inform me. Some of the plein air drawings have taken me 300 – 650 hours to complete. Do understand that my drawings are literal depictions of what I see. The work is challenging and requires dedication, skill and perseverance. Please review my first video tape on my website and see how the video pictures of ‘Yew Trees #66’ merge perfectly with the drawn image. This relationship between the tree and my work is of utmost importance, and helps me to create artwork that invites the viewer to experience some of the deep silence and spiritual essence of the yews.

Since I started this series in 1991, I have completed 122 images and I have exhibited this work widely in the US and the UK.

Greg Thatcher – Yew Series

Greg Thatcher – Painswick Yews

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