I drew the Flying Tree during my failed attempt to go to Tibet, Nepal and Mt Everest Base Camp. I had already obtained Chinese visa, bought anti-diarrhea drugs, waterproof rainwear and wool underwear, arranged for a sidecar trip around Beijing, a trip on the train to Lhasa and a 4 wheel drive across the Tibetan Plateau. Couple of days before the trip the results from my physical exam blood work came in and it turned out I was severely anemic. My doctor recommended I do not go on the trip as it involved high altitude -I panicked and never went. I spent a couple of days crying.
I closed the doors to my studio and drew for three weeks straight, all my dreams flowed out, into and with the ink. Flying Tree was one of the drawings I completed during that time.
I dedicated the Flying Tree to my late grandfather Spas who passed away September 28th, on the day I was supposed to hang the Tree in a gallery in downtown San Francisco. He was just like the Old Man and The Sea, he made fish cakes and raspberry wine, he grew large tomatoes. All my friends and my brother's friends came to see him at his house on the Black Sea. He used to say a Macedonian soldier never turns back - just 180 and forward.
Eventually I learned that in Hindu religion, in the beginning mountains had wings.. they were cut off by thunderbolt. The Flying Tree was the foothills of my Govardhan, the imaginary mountain I needed to climb instead, perhaps to ascend mentally first before taking my body there. Ultimately, I gifted the "Flying Tree" to an anti-cancer benefit a former colleague of mine organized at Pixar.