#90 Cedar Pollen Cones Maze

#90 Cedar Pollen Cones Maze - This is a complete redrawing of a maze that I originally created in 2015. It depicts the pollen producing cones of a Port Orford Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana). The particular specimen of my inspiration stands in front of the 100 year old farmhouse where I live.

Sadly, this tree is marked for death in the name of fire safety. In the 1950s, a transmission powerline was routed almost over the top of the tree. As the decades passed, it loomed over the powerline. The power company notified us that the tree must yield to their right of way. Oddly, the rather scattered-brained contract tree cutters started the job in September of 2023, but did not finish it. The tree remains, though, now cut slightly shorter than the power lines. We assume they will complete the task sometime in the future.

This maze was drawn frantically. I wanted to complete it before a medical appointment with potential to upend my life: cancer. I finished the maze on time, only to be informed of a one week delay of the appointment.

So intent on diversion, I made my drawing job nearly impossible. When drawing a maze, I make sketches with short disconnected line segments. They define the general shapes and textures. At a later stage in maze making, I connect them together to make the pathways. Typically, I produce between 2000 and 7000 of these discrete line segments. This time, with my stressed head focused on my pen, I arduously created an absurd 18914 segments. To complete this maze, I examined, sculpted and connected each and every one individually. It was a monumental task.

I love the colors of this maze. When looking at the details, they appear vibrant, though, to my consternation, all together as a whole, they are more muted than I wanted. However, they're a pretty accurate rendition of the actual tree, as the pollen cones do not stand out. They are easy to miss entirely.

Perhaps my favorite feature of this drawing are the details that look like crazy stained glass or the rear illumination of a pinball machine backglass. So many the brighter colors glow as if there is a light bulb behind them.

I think one of the most frustrating things about my artwork is that the details of most interest are entirely hidden. I conceal things in mazes: poems, faces, epitaphs, etcetera. These are all created by the pathways themselves. There are two spiraling hurricanes echoing my current emotional distress in this maze. However, just like me, the surface remains calm.

Warning! Spoiler ahead

This last image is somewhat of a spoiler as it reveals the maze solutions.

This is what I call a maze path analysis. I draw one of these for each of my more recent mazes. This reveals the underlying complexity of the pathways. The red and green lines are solutions. The other colors represent long contorted dead end paths engineered to deceive anyone that tries to solve the maze.

I delight in knowing this complexity lies beneath this maze. It's a totally different image hidden within the countenance of the cedar sprays.