Odin’s horse. The enormous Ash tree of life in Norse mythology. If I could imagine the tree of life, it would be covered in roots and crimson veins coiled around a human hand reaching up into the ether. We share remnants of DNA that our ancestors shared with trees billions of years ago. That makes all life connected in some way.

Trees have long been my inspiration, so it was easy for me to feel connected to Yggdrasil. I drew first, with intricate detailing of the branches and roots, reminiscent of double exposure photography. The Muse wasn’t done, so naturally, I gravitated towards oils to tell the story in its entirety.

As I was drawing, the colours swirled around me in misty greys and pinks: the stark contrast between life and death, blood and earth. The background is a light grey encapsulating the central image, creating a floating sensation.

We’re all just spirits floating through space, learning as much as we can in one lifetime.

Each branch is captured as it bent and twisted up and outward, right before the final movement, to force the eye to follow through – evoking dance. The roots fade into a mass of veins clamouring to fill the canvas with the manifestation of an arm. So delicate that a small gust of wind could blow them apart.

How frail life is, gone in the blink of an eye. Soon we’ll all face the eternal sleep in the bosom of mother Gaia.

”An ash I know there stands,

Yggdrasill is its name,

a tall tree, showered with shining loam.

From there come the dews that drop in the valleys.

It stands forever green over Urðr’s well.”

– Völuspá