Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Lennox Woods Project

Autumn Sunrise- Lennox Woods
18 x 24

I am so excited to announce the Lennox Woods Project. Over the next 18 months or so, we will explore and record the pristine beauty and magnificence of the Lennox Woods Preserve in northeast Texas. Underwritten and sponsored by Galerie Kornye West of Ft. Worth, Texas, the project will encompass over fifty works of art- including paintings, drawings, etchings and drypoints-to be be exhibited in multiple venues during 2014 and beyond. A film documenting the project will be shown at the exhibitions and film clips from throughout the project will appear on this blog over the course of the next year. A full color catalog will be produced which will include a DVD of the project film and other content. This blog will chronicle the course of the project, recording what happens in the Woods, in the studio and elsewhere in connection with this unique multi disciplinary project.

Although the Lennox Woods Preserve is only about 10 miles from my home/studio I visited it for the first time in late summer 2011. Northeast Texas is full of beautiful woods, huge trees, and streams, and I had spent the last five years painting mostly what could be explored within a few miles of my studio. My husband Steve visited the Preserve with friends one weekend in late summer. He thought it would be the perfect subject for a large body of work and a major exhibition. I was skeptical. But, when I stepped into Lennox Woods I knew I had come to a place that is unique and special.

As an old growth forest Lennox Woods presents an opportunity to step through a door to an earlier time. Unlike other old growth or ancient forests like the redwoods, Lennox Woods represents not what is unusal but rather what was common, and is now rare.

Honestly, I have a difficult time describing the effect of the Woods on me. When I first went to the Woods I began to consider what I might have to say about them in paint. I worried at first that there might not be enough material for a large series of work, and then I worried that there was too much. For the first month, I simply observed, walking, listening, closely looking at every little thing. The more I did that, the more I noticed, the more I understood, and the more I fell in love.

Slowly, I began to draw and then to paint. I took these first attempts and other treasures, like pine cones and leaves, rocks and pine needles back to my studio. I went back again and again, waking early as late fall approached, knowing that fog might envelop the Woods. I wanted to miss nothing. I wanted to see each leaf fall.

Steve encouraged me to dream big about what was possible. We drove to the Woods in fog and rain and he waited patiently at the truck while I wandered around exploring. He shot some of the original footage we took at the Woods and acted as lookout and bodyguard for wild pigs that happen to cross our path. He has come up with wonderful ideas for how to promote the project and expand its reach.

When Paula Kornye Tillman and I first began to discuss this project, I honestly wondered if I could convey to her what I saw and how compelling this place is to me. After all, at that point, I had only drawings and a few field sketches to show for months of intense observation and study. But, Paula understood immediately and embraced my vision for a large exhibition and desire to bring in other artistic disciplines to document and enrich the project.

Soon after, Steve recruited Allen Phillips to document the project. Allen's creative and unique talent and his deep roots in the northeast Texas soil make him the perfect partner in this endeavor.

I hope you will join us in the journey!

Deborah Paris
February 2012


  1. Wow Deborah, what an amazing project! Thank you for sharing the journey with us!

  2. Looking forward to taking the journey with you. Fantastic!

  3. This should be a wonderful and rare experience. Getting to know the land on such an intimate level is something every landscape artist dreams of. It's simply inspired!

  4. I also look forward to sharing your woodland adventure of documenting your journey into the Lennox Woods by sketching, painting your way through.

  5. Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey!