“If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” It’s a silly question, but I like to ask it. I think what people say is telling. I’ve noticed that some think they’re strong, solid trees (and often think in terms of furniture and the use of the wood), while my female friends are more likely to call themselves aspen, or birch, or even magnolias. I’ve always loved dogwood trees myself, but there is something wonderful about a tall, white pine. Or the vanilla-scented ponderosa pines. Trees tell stories, I think.
Judging by his work, Bryan Nash Gill probably has thought about my goofy, getting-to-know-you question. How could he not? His art works are so deeply inspired by trees, from his gallery installations and sculptures to his fantastic prints. He creates these images (like the one above) by covering a tree stump in ink, and placing the paper directly on the wood. It makes an imprint of the rings, of the entire history of a tree. It looks like a fingerprint, but it’s much better, for unlike our static prints, these uneven loops change and grow every year (that is, until someone cuts them down and looks inside).
While I like the tree prints best, he has a fantastic body of work. See more on his website.