Work in Progress–Acacia Tree

In the Australian desert, in a climate like the one around Phoenix, the Acacia tree is called a wattle. The leaves form a distinctive flat, triangular shape, and the branches are often twisted and multi-branched.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAcacias give us gum arabic,  used as a stabilizer in food and as a binder in watercolor paint.

Acacias don’t live long–15 to 30 years, but they grow fast. There are many varieties, all with different colored flowers–red, white, yellow. In the desert, trees form their seed pods in June and July, rather than fall. July and August are a kind of stasis–just hanging on to stay alive till it gets cooler in fall.

The acacia is the subject of my latest letter collage.

treeIn this one, I added a sun to give another dimension to the tree. While the sun itself is orange and red, all the light surrounding it is cut into triangle shapes. I used pages from a children’s book for the printed color.

acaciadetailIn the detail, you can see that there are sentences about trees that create the trunk and branches. My intention is to get people to see the whole tree, then stay a while longer and look for the detail.

-Quinn McDonald is working on minimalist collage. She’ll be teaching Monsoon Papers (useful as a base for collage) at Blue Twig studio in Colorado Spring on July 19.