The Shape of Shadow by Paula Martiesian
I didn’t paint a tree today.
Instead shadows have my attention. They appear on bedroom walls or on the ground outside, swaying apart then meshing together to form shapes entirely unique and unlike their origins.
Mutable and mercurial, shadows have no corporal mass. No amount of coaxing will quiet them to pose for me. The act of painting seems to subdue, giving shadows equal weight as rocks, trees and other less movable bodies. I search for a way to make them move again, this time with color and gesture and using the play of light that lies between.
And yes, this particular shadow was cast by a tree – a chokecherry in my backyard that the birds and I love.