Becoming the Pine, 2017, colored pencil and acrylic, 90 x 66 inches
DeSando: Close to the Earth
Foraging: I remember my parents walking the woods near our house to forage for food. They would collect berries, mushrooms and greens to carry home to eat, or to jar or jelly. My father was Sicilian. He walked, drove, met with people to find amazing stuff to pick. We would also plant a fig tree wherever we moved. We planted fruit trees, peas, corn, and tomatoes around our property. My parents were always out in the woods and I would follow. They were close to the earth like no other family in our community. They learned where to go to pick what they needed. No more, no less. They gave me respect for the bounty of the land. They were fine caretakers.
Tree knowledge: I took my own walks. With young friends we explored the woods and rivers, following the cycles of life in my surroundings. I watched the fish, small animals, and bugs. My artwork is about becoming one with the tree. I look to the trees as my guide. They are very generous. Several years ago they invited me to join them, I willingly agreed. I was taught about the beginning of life. How things came into being, from object to living entities. My work shows those entities joining together, willingly or not. I watched and wondered if I could influence that process and perhaps change how the world works.
Big Blue, 2017, acrylic on panel, 30 x 26 inches
Stream and Island, 2018, acrylic on panels, 49 x 50 inches