Oil/Encaustic on Panel, 36″ X 36″
Ltd. Edition Print
My infatuation with trees began when my parents would take us walking through pine forests scavenging for wild strawberries. But the underground truth about trees captured my soul when I learned that they ‘depend on a complicated web of relationships, alliances and kinship networks’ and that there is a Mother tree in a forest. In an article written by Richard Grant in the Smithsonian magazine he teaches that a substantial body of scientific evidence shows that forests of trees live in cooperative, interdependent relationships, maintained by communication and a collective intelligence. They are connected to each other through underground fungal networks, sharing water and nutrients and even distress signals about drought and disease, or insect attacks causing other trees to alter their behavior when they receive these messages. I devoured a book written by Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate and the result is the centerpiece of this painting, the tree with the underground heart.
Knowing there’s more to learn from our indigenous family of humans, I sought images, some representing plant medicine, others showing the storytelling that cultures have used for eons. This deep quest made me feel totally inadequately informed about our planet and how much I have to learn from the tribes I’ve encountered in my travels like the Himba of Namibia, the Aboriginals of Australia, the multitudes of diversity in Papua New Guinea, the Native Americans and the Native Canadians, the gypsy Rajisthanis plus so many more. To evolve as a species together would be so rich if we would honor and preserve that storytelling that the indigenous of this planet hold sacred.
This painting asked me to dig deeper in my own life and cultivate the understanding that our spinning blue planet has to offer.