Last weekend I got to be part of the Elisabeth Jones’ Art Center’s Painting to Save the Trees. It was very rewarding. We spent 2 days painting trees that are threatened by development. I find it so backwards that we cut beautiful trees down to make way for development when human habitat is clearly improved by access to nature. Developments that preserve notable elements of the local landscape are more unique and inspiring. What keeps this from being standard protocol besides how deeply we have buried our heads in the bottom line.
There is so much more to life than profit. We know this, we see how many of us are depressed, sick and stressed out. We now have daily reminders on the news of how being rich doesn’t make someone admirable. It’s time for each of us, in some small way, to bring more nature back into our lives: visiting the park more often, planting a native species in our yard, planting a flower in a pot on our apartment window sill, talking to our friends and neighbors about how lucky we are to have the natural features nearby that we do, paying attention to developments in our neighborhoods and commenting on them, sending messages to our representatives to let them know we prioritize nature and equal access to nature.
I have made some small efforts in my personal life to preserve and prioritize nature but I’ve always wanted to use my art to this end also and have not been able to wrap my mind around how to do that without merely making art as commentary. Painting to Save the Trees was a great way for me to get involved on a deeper level and I hope it inspires me in new directions.
I painted the oaks twice because I had extra time and I thought I might like them better in a more illustrative style, which I do!