Continuing through March 30, 2013
Beth Secor makes art constantly — if her hands are free, she is drawing or painting. Consequently, her work is highly detailed and labor-intensive, and the series “Trees” is no exception. It documents Secor’s visits to her father when he was in declining health. They would sit together at his nursing home near Wharton, where she grew up, and take comfort in the native trees — oak, pecan, magnolia, locust, yew and cypress. As the hours passed, the drawings evolved, a physical manifestation of Secor’s close connection to both the trees and her father.
Secor began this series in the summer of 2011 and continued working on it in 2012. “Oak Tree, Summer After the Drought 2012” references the drought that killed roughly 300 million trees across Texas (according to Texas A&M Forest Service). Secor focuses more on living trees, however, using gouache, ink, white out, and pencil to render their rich, colorful details. Their trunks have an anthropomorphic quality, with swirling patterns that suggest faces and branches that bring to mind arms and legs. The leaves are carefully rendered as well, with an attention to detail that causes these paintings to vibrate with life. Like Van Gogh, Secor uses undulating lines and expressive brushwork to render her subjects in a completely personal way. Executed by a fluent draftsman, these are no ordinary landscapes.