A few weeks ago, while on a winter hike at Gunpowder Falls State Park, I found this tire partially submerged in the river, next to a large fallen tree. I wondered how it ended up in the water. Was it just highway trash, or had it once been a tire swing where precious memories were made?
Against a backdrop of trees, stone, and water, the tire was jarringly out of place. It was litter that inspired thoughts of carbon footprints and plastic islands in the Pacific.
It was also nostalgic. Memories of my childhood spent riverside were dredged up, and I imagined a child’s thrill as she let go of the tire swing for the first time, floating, full of suspense, just before she splashed into the cool water. I watched the current desperately and ceaselessly try to wash the tire away, attempting to sweep someone’s memories from a long gone season down river.
This was my first time drawing running water in charcoal. Capturing the water’s movement and translucency as it passed through the tire was challenging and engaging. I hope you enjoy this artwork!
The original and giclee prints are available upon request.