At the heart of Zen Calligraphy is the state of "no mind" (mu-shin, no shin), in which one eschews notions of practice, of emotion, and simply creates by focusing on the meaning of the character one is brushing. I am not willing to say that this is exactly what I have attempted to do with these images or with my photography in general, for, at the very least, white trees in white landscapes, are quite different than language characters; however, trees most certainly do resonate with unspoken meanings-- and I do my best to express without thinking, without speaking, the possible meanings of trees and their landscapes. This is, of course, more about my act of creating and has little to do with how anyone might perceive my images.
In addition to my studies of Zen Calligraphy, I am equally intrigued by the art of Bonsai, trees that are, typically, miniature in comparison to trees in the wild and contained in pots. These images are trees contained in the borders of a composition. Interestingly, in the early days of Bonsai, practitioners found and collected the miniature trees in nature itself, the trees having naturally weathered the harshest of conditions but, as a result of such extremes, also having formed beautiful shapes. In a very over-generalized sense, I have gathered these trees found in the hills of Marin and Sonoma counties and contained them within the walls of these compositions. I am also concerned with the dual experience of bonsai via its creator, who expresses his or herself, and its viewers who contemplate the shapes of such trees and receive a glimpse into our perceptions of nature.
In the end, these are just infrared images of trees that people can look at quickly before going on with their daily lives, but these qualities that I have described come from my studies of the art of Zen calligraphy and Bonsai and are, therefore, part of my experience of expressing these images. All of that said—there is always a relationship between the creator and the viewer—even if the creator is never present to influence how the viewer comes to understand an image or the viewer never catches a glimpse of what influences led the creator to his or her expression of the work.