Western Red Cedar – Guest Blogger Penny Peters
I have been thinking about the quintessential elements of the Northwestern corner of America. The Western Red Cedar is one of those elements for me. I love the yellow-green, drippy, scaly needles and the very tiny cones it produces as it climbs its way to the sky. It is amazing to me that such a powerful tree can come from such small kernels. I have represented these two characteristics of the tree.
A second intriguing element of the Western Red Cedar is its bark which is quite reddish, tough and stringy. Native Americans harvest it for baskets, and in the old days wove protective cloaks from it. I have worked with papers, mediums and paints to recreate the color and texture of cedar bark.
The Western Red Cedar decays very slowly and it fragments in a particular, almost geometric way. It looks quite map-like. On the right are several ways I have expressed cedar bark, attempting to capture the textural variety of its surface.