The Tree of Hope

“New things can be written.

“The right lower corner is all about returning to the wren, to new beginnings, to apple seeds in the bowl, to the rich embodiment of knowledge and love and comfort of all that is family and the ‘Tree of Hope’ is still there. The Wren is both on the Tree and looking down at the situation with light shining in its beak. The empty nest can become a positive, can mean flying the nest and welcome to return when needed. The trees are wound around the legs of the two grandparents not to restrict but to emphasise connection to all the narrative and our own connection with nature and of course our connection with Hope.

The Process
“I have spent many years creating illustrations with watercolours, pencils and also with pen and ink. I do tend to work with intense detail as I like hiding things that can be found by the viewer. I have also in recent years have been working with digital tools as I have done with the ‘Tree of Hope.’ Basically, I created the illustration with a digital canvas that was 80cm x 60cm. I work on a 12-inch iPad and can make sections of image very large to then be able to work in fine detail.

“In place of a pencil, pen or brush I use a digital Pencil. It has tiny sensors at its tip and for about 80% of The Tree of Hope, I have used the Digital Pencil like an old-fashioned pencil. If I press lightly it will give me a fainter or finer line and the reverse if I press harder. It can also become a brush that paints as if I am using watercolour or I can change that, and it is like a spray paint or a chalk and so on. All of this of course can easily be too much, so choice and practice play a large part in the many other possibilities.

“For instance, in places I have copied in real Low-res photos so that I have to completely rebuild them but use the colour formats embedded within the original which are put on the digital canvas almost out of focus. I used that process for the Tree of Hope and for the Children, building layers onto the original blurred area.  Other areas where the digital pencil can be very helpful is in reproducing a drawn image. So, I drew the apple on the digital canvas, then I made a digital copy of my finished apple and then put it in other areas. The Bowl is a good example. Here the apple can be stretched or squeezed to represent perspective for instance.

“I used this copy and paste process because I wanted the apple to be the same on the tree, as it was on the bowl and also in the hand of the boy, this is where the digital process allows exploration and new ways of working. I hope you enjoy exploring this narrative of moments and its many images.”

Paul Jackson