Odilon Redon (French), “Two Trees,” 1875, charcoal. I see trees as figures in motion. Actors on a stage, hitting their marks, performing a mysterious drama. They have bodies and limbs and gestures that suggest movement by the way they have grown in response to the available light or adjacent plants or rocks, and more. Charcoal is among the most soft and workable media for drawing. It’s easy to make a mess of it, but in skilled hands it can be refined. Like clay, it can be additive or subtractive. You can put it down or take it up. I think we are seeing that in this drawing. On the left, it appears the artist has added the horizontal marks on the upper trunk, suggesting texture and volume. On the right, he has mirrored the same effect in reverse, applying the charcoal and then drawing out the lights with a kneaded eraser, perhaps. Yes, you can “draw” with an eraser. Lay down the dark, then pull out the light. Notice the stippling at the roots of both trees, drawing dots of light out of the shade. Dark and light. Adding and subtracting. On and off. Give and take.