This Tree Has Written You a Letter. Good Luck Reading It.

By Rebecca Horne | June 18, 2010 5:03 pm


Artist Tim Knowles uses external forces to create his artworks through processes outside his direct control. About the “Tree Drawings” series Knowles writes: “These images are produced by trees, most of which are located in England’s Lake District. I attach artist’s sketching pens to their branches and then place sheets of [paper] in such a way that the tree’s natural motions–as well as their moments of stillness–are recorded. Like signatures, each drawing reveals something about the different qualities and characteristics of the various trees as they sway in the breeze: the relaxed, fluid line of an oak; the delicate, tentative touch of a larch; a hawthorn’s stiff, slightly neurotic scratches. Process is key to my work, so each Tree Drawing is accompanied by a photograph or video documenting the location and manner of its creation.”

Tim Knowles is one of the many thought-provoking artists featured in rich and satisfying new book from Gestalten, Data Flow 2.

Images courtesy Gestalten, “Data Flow 2”

Tree Drawing, Hawthorn on Easel #1 (part one of diptych)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Ideas
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  • Julian Strong

    This is pretty cool. I like how you are using such an unconventional manner of research. I assume this helps find alot about the tree, such as wood density, flexibility, how these things change in the seasons. It’s all very interesting and it’s an awesome idea.

  • T Hensley

    Scientifically, that is REALLY COOL.

  • Crow

    ? He’s being an artist, not a scientist. If someone wanted to characterize the various trees’ physical properties they’re going to be heavily out of luck if they’re planning to use those pictures.

  • Steve Edelman

    Could it be writing to mother nature, its bad seed, or its good seed? We don’t know. Perhaps by Fall, we shall see writing of a different colour/color. Ah, perhaps we should leave tree behavior to other branches of the life.

  • http://none Bob

    very thought provoking

  • http://none Bob

    appropriate and very thought provoking
    good job

  • Nanci Sayles

    Together with everything which appears to be developing inside this particular area, many of your viewpoints tend to be somewhat refreshing. In any case I did take pleasure in examining it.


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Visual Science

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About Rebecca Horne

Rebecca Horne ( is an artist, multi-platform freelance writer, and award-winning photography director. She launched Visual Science for in March 2010. She also writes about science and photography for The WallStreet Journal. You can reach her at


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