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Update: 2 April, 2019 21:19 PM
I talk with trees every day, they smile at me and I had never spent a dull moment with them: Artie Barksdale

I talk with trees every day, they smile at me and I had never spent a dull moment with them: Artie Barksdale

Artie Barksdale. Photo: Courtesy

Artie Barksdale is an American visual artist with a deep love and connection with nature. For several years he has been doing ‘tree art’ without any harm of nature.

He gives new life to a destructed tree. He turns a neglected tree to attracted one. Gives life to old and torn trees. It is obvious that if you see any tree painted by him it will surely make you happy or you will have extra feelings for that tree.

For this task, he needs to expend a huge amount of money, but he does it only to have satisfaction. In his other paintings, there is the touch of nature. His friend, Dhaka based journalist Tarique Choyon has regular discussion with this nature-loving man over the phone. Some of these are here:

Tarique Choyon: Hello Artie. How are things going?

Artie Barksdale: I am fine. Thank you.

Tarique Choyon: You are doing an excellent job with trees. Why did you choose this field?

Artie Barksdale: I grew up close to New York. Once I moved to North Carolina I become surrounded by trees. My mother was a professional artist too. She inspired me and introduced me to this world.

Tarique Choyon: Do you have to chop out or use any material that hurt a tree in the process of your art?

Artie Barksdale: No, never! I use sponge materials that don’t hurt a tree. I don’t chop out trees. I never hurt even a single tree in my life. Rather I can see my 'tree art' saving trees from being cut down as well as being used for children’s parks and nature trails in the near future.

Tarique Choyon: What are the criteria to select a tree for your work?

Artie Barksdale: Actually, it’s a spiritual thing. There’s a spiritual thing between me and the trees. They talk to me. I think it comes from real life experiences. For example, once I found a tree with a hole on it. So I took total advantages of that, I gave it a shape that looks like a human face.

Tarique Choyon: Once you paint a tree what does it become?

Artie Barksdale: It becomes a guardian. You can talk to it. Something become bigger than you, it helps you to remove depression.
Tarique Choyon: Please share more…

Artie Barksdale: I talk with trees every day. They smile at me. I had never spent a dull moment with them. It’s not creepy as I am the creator. But you must have an open mind to see or to feel these. If you wake up in the morning with a smiley tree, that makes yourday.

Tarique Choyon: Do the people take your work seriously? Have you ever had trouble with anyone?

Artie Barksdale: To be very honest, I don't care what people think about me. That is their business and I do my part.

Tarique Choyon: You need money to paint a tree. How much it cost to do a single 'tree art'?

Artie Barksdale: About 700 US dollars.

Tarique Choyon: A large amount of money! What do you do for a living?

Artie Barksdale: I am a professional artist.

Tarique Choyon: Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Artie Barksdale: I am 43 years old. Have my own family, have kids.

Tarique Choyon: Thanks. Can you tell the similarities between you and your trees?

Artie Barksdale: They don’t have any plan. I don’t have too.

Tarique Choyon: A research published in the journal Nature suggests people cut down 15 billion trees each year and the global tree count has fallen by 46% since the beginning of human civilization...

Artie Barksdale: Yes, people cut down trees for many reasons. For example: making Paper, building something on that land, to make furniture, etc. I am not against these. I just try to show that- trees have faces, they are alive. So that the perspective of people changes by it. They will think before cutting trees.

Tarique Choyon: Thank you for your assistance with this interview.

Artie Barksdale: Thank you too. I truly appreciate it.

সম্পাদক : ইমদাদুল হক মিলন,
নির্বাহী সম্পাদক : মোস্তফা কামাল,
ইস্ট ওয়েস্ট মিডিয়া গ্রুপ লিমিটেডের পক্ষে ময়নাল হোসেন চৌধুরী কর্তৃক প্লট-৩৭১/এ, ব্লক-ডি, বসুন্ধরা, বারিধারা থেকে প্রকাশিত এবং প্লট-সি/৫২, ব্লক-কে, বসুন্ধরা, খিলক্ষেত, বাড্ডা, ঢাকা-১২২৯ থেকে মুদ্রিত।
বার্তা ও সম্পাদকীয় বিভাগ : বসুন্ধরা আবাসিক এলাকা, প্লট-৩৭১/এ, ব্লক-ডি, বারিধারা, ঢাকা-১২২৯। পিএবিএক্স : ০২৮৪০২৩৭২-৭৫, ফ্যাক্স : ৮৪০২৩৬৮-৯, বিজ্ঞাপন ফোন : ৮১৫৮০১২, ৮৪০২০৪৮, বিজ্ঞাপন ফ্যাক্স : ৮১৫৮৮৬২, ৮৪০২০৪৭। E-mail : [email protected]