“Forest Edge” is the first painting from David Sites’ collection, “The Nature of Suggestion”, to make SEAD Gallery’s Piece of the Week feature. The title suggests almost as much, if not more, than the piece itself. The piece is most certainly an embodiment of an “edge.” Although it is not certain, it seems the artist left the possessive apostrophe off of the word “forest” intentionally. It is not the forest’s edge, but rather an edge or a transition much like the physical act of stepping into a forest.
In two dimensions this piece is marked by its dichotomous composition, stitched together by a half-dozen violet vertical strokes. The top half of the painting is primarily a dark, foreboding sort of red, while the bottom half is a glowing, welcoming shade of warm yellow. There is a tension between the top and the bottom, highlighted by the claw-like violet strokes that span them.
When viewed in the three dimensions, the reds on the upper half of “Forest Edge” are clearly set in the background with the warm yellows occupying the foreground. The violet verticals suggest the trees that mark the transition into the unknown “forest.” The yellows beg the viewer to bask a little longer in their comfort, but the mysterious voice calling from the depths of the forest is harder to resist with each passing moment. In this way, the piece is an urging, an exhortation – to take a chance, to leave familiarity for the potential of what is to come.
Although it is not at all like his other landscapes, and perhaps because of that, “Forest Edge” seems to stand out among David’s landscapes in his ethereal “The Nature of Suggestion” series currently on display at the SEAD Gallery.