Phyllis Fannin

Artist Statement While riding horseback amid the charred survivors of the Missionary Ridge Forest Fire, Durango, Colorado in 2005. My awe gave way to study as I photographed and drew many trees in differing stages of life, with various degrees of devastation and growth. My focus, initially, was on the effects of catastrophic disasters in our environment on the forest and trees. Then these living towers spoke to me about life's power and the persistence of strength, beauty, and character under duress.


My tree portraits have become deeply personal, as I have continued to study the forests on our travels as well as here in Ohio. The Cleveland Metro Parks has been a continuous source. The stark nature of the trees in winter, reveals the barren skeletal structure and the delicate surfaces of these monoliths of natural beauty.


Conservation of designated forestry is important to our planet, our mental and physical health. They reveal and support the harmony of nature.


My "Still Standing Suite," translates the experience of being in the company of trees through my engraved intaglio printed tree portraits. The large scale of these prints is vital to the impact on the viewer. Each portrait is monumental and is intensely delicate when viewed up close.


The engraved print begins by carving into plexiglass plates with various engraving tools and a power dremel to achieve the individual texture and tonal qualities of that specific tree's surface. Each plate is hand inked and wiped in the traditional intaglio process. Then it is pulled through an etching press and printed on either Rives BFK or Japanese Kozo.