Kanab Artist “Speaks For the Trees” – Press Release 8/12/2003

DATE 8/12/2003 5:55 PM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Heritage Council on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Kanab Artist “Speaks For the Trees”

Laurali Noteman has spent many an hour lying beneath crooked, old trees, gazing up at the branches with one thought in mind: I wish they could talk.“Trees could tell you the history of what they’ve seen through the generations,” says Noteman, a Kanab resident for 30 years. “Every since I was a child, trees have always intrigued me. They are record keepers of what has gone on around them, of how the Earth has evolved. They are sentinels of time.”

Since trees cannot talk, Noteman has become a “Lorax” of sorts, speaking for them through her art, much like the beloved character in the Dr. Seuss story. Her pen-and-ink pictures are meticulously drawn, capturing every branch and weathered section of bark. “When you sit and draw a tree, you get to know every little line of that tree, and you can feel their story,” she says.

For the first time, Noteman is sharing her tree “conversations” with the general public. Several of her pen-and-ink tree drawings, along with some pastels and photographs, are on display at the State Bank of Southern Utah, 98 W. Center Street, in Kanab through the month of August.

A full-time human resources director for Kane County hospital, Noteman says she has “dabbled” in art off and on since she was a child. After she had three kids, “life got crazy and I put art on hold for a while.” Now that her children are grown with children of their own, Noteman spends her evenings and weekends working on her art. Noteman’s art was given the “stamp of approval” from the U.S. Highway 89 Alliance, which sanctions and promotes the work of artists and artisans located along Utah’s Heritage Highway.

Noteman uses a croquill pen to create her tree drawings. “It has the finest tip you can get, which you need for all the lines on a tree. Drawing trees takes an unbelievable amount of time, there are thousands of little lines.” It’s not uncommon for her so spend more than 20 hours on a single drawing. “I will draw just about any tree, as long as it’s not straight,” she says with a laugh. “I like them to have personality.”

She also does pen -and- ink drawings of animals, mostly wildlife. She turns many of them, as well as her tree drawings, into note and greeting cards. Her pastels are mostly portraits of people or animals, and her photographs tend to focus on people. “With a photo, you can catch something very warm and human, which is what I try to capture. Some of my portraits of my grand kids are so warm you just want to giggle. It’s a “feel-good” type of photography.”

Noteman took up photography as a result of her fascination with trees. She and her husband Mike often horseback ride into the wilderness. When she finds a tree she likes, she takes photos of it in order to preserve the memory. “Some of the locations are so remote that once you get in there, it’s just about impossible to go back again. So I started taking a camera along to remember the tree, and the shading and the light. My photos just started getting better and better.”

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502


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