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When Trees Roamed the Earth

An artist I'm learning from these days online asked the question, "what do you want to be remembered for?" The idea that immediately arose was "When Trees Roamed the Earth"

Manito Art Festival

Big and little Kids stopped at my booth to color in trees

For those of us who grieve over the destruction of nature, the fear that trees might actually become extinct is real. And of course, unlike dinosaurs, without trees, we could not even continue to exist, unless of course, human’s come up with some other way to create abundant sources of oxygen or a way to survive without it.


One of my earlier careers was as an Eco Therapy guide. Over a period of 15 years working in this role with groups of anywhere from 10 to 100 participants, I spent mind altering deep dives with a few thousand heart centered nature grooving people. My teachers Joanna Macey, Jane Goodall, and Mathew Fox taught me how to acknowledge and address feelings of loss and grief inflicted by the destruction of nature, both within myself and others. I spent hours and days in nature, slowing down, flirting with nature, slithering into her embrace, body, heart and soul. Silence was the alchemical ingredient that facilitated these deep dives, and the rich field we created as a group amplified the experiences. Solo time in nature is amazing, but when a group holds the same passion and intention to go deep into that numinous place, it’s such a profound experience.


So when I asked myself what I want to be remembered for, the answer was clear, I want my tree paintings to be my legacy to our children and future generations as the tree population on this planet steadily decreases.


Having spent so much time with trees on my backpacking trips, as a student of expressive arts and as a guide with groups, I feel they’ve accepted me as a confidant and share their deepest secrets with me. I’ve sensually opened to experience them and they have reciprocated.


When I dive into my tree paintings, I dissappear and I let each tree come through me. I don’t plan out a composition and then fill it in the way many artists do and the way I’ve done with other work. My tree paintings are meditative adventures that come to life in their own time. I love this because it’s like coming upon any stand of trees in any forest in any new moment; you don’t know what you’ll find and if you can stay present and open the gifts will be many. And just because you’ve seen one tree, you most definitely have not seen them all.


Wandering in these imaginary Arborscapes awakens a deep place of innocence within me. If I can impart this and contribute it to the lives of others, I have merged my art and my mission. This is what I believe art is for, each piece a living story that cradles lives in its embrace.


When trees roamed the earth, hopefully this is a thought that will never be realized, but just in case.....

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