As I see it: LIGHT BEAMS


Shot in the afternoon sun, shadows of beams and rays of light onto a brick wall.


This third installment contains more foliage, but much less translucent. I maintained a lightness about the leaves without strong backlighting from the sun or my high intensity flashlight. You can also see I clearly took advantage of the beautiful changes in the trees this time of year. Autumn is by far my favorite season to photograph trees because of the subtle changes from day to day in each leaf. It is constant new material for inspiration. I can always capture a new frame on the same tree as long as the weather patterns hold.

Translucent Study © 2012 NATE METZ

Life Lessons Learned

After reading Pam’s guest blog, a lot of emotions got stirred up around trees. My life is going through a series of rapid changes, and as I cope and adjust as best I can, I visualize myself as a tree firmly grounded yet bending with the wind and change of seasons. So, I’d like to open up more about why trees appear so often in my work and provide a wider context to my work. My intuition is pushing me to include this information as part of my evolution as an artist.

Journey of the Fall © 2012 NATE METZ
Journey of the Fall © 2012 NATE METZ
Trees are very important to me because of the found memories of climbing trees when I was younger (okay, even just last year!). Whenever I picture my happy place it is always in a forest surrounded by beautiful trees. In recovery, my earliest interpretation of a higher power was The Tree of Life. My spiritual journey has taught me the interconnectedness of our lives and symbolically the tree connects the below, the here, and the above … the past, the present, the future. The symbol of the tree goes much deeper, repeating the connecting branching patterns in many areas of nature and appears in most every religious faith. Trees also continue to grow through their entire lifetime, adding a new growth ring each year, always growing.

So what lessons have I learned from trees about my artwork?

I wrapped up my class: Cultivating Collectors with the Art Biz Coach one week ago. I’ve spent the last week reflecting on what I learned in the class (a lot!) and how it dovetails with many other life lessons I’ve experienced in recovery. I honestly believe that what I learn in recovery is much bigger than just sobriety and what I learn in art is much bigger than the work. These lessons are the trunk if you will, rooted in a history and collective wisdom, and then branch out into other areas of life.


  1. I can’t do it all. I can’t do it all alone. I can’t do it all right now. But, start somewhere. Start now.
  2. Practice gratitude daily.
  3. Make a plan. Set goals. Write action steps. Reach for my dreams.
  4. Connect to other people. Find the common ground between us.
  5. Recognize my accomplishments. Honor and reward myself.
  6. Ask for help when I need it.
  7. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the journey.

Thank you for sharing in my journey. I’ll have the next set of my translucence work up soon!