Notes From My Tree Journal
Trees are a favorite subject for me as a painter and they always have been. Yes, I am a tree hugger. Trees represent stability, strength, permanence, a primal relationship to the land for me. Their roots dig deep into the land that I cherish. I have many happy memories of wandering the forests and woods of North Central Florida, all of my life. My Daddy loved the land too. He always felt there was nothing more important you could own. The land owns us really, not the other way around. It seeps into our souls. I have witnessed this time and again in the farmers, ranchers and landowners I know. A deep respect and nurturing attitude about the land they live on. They are good stewards of the land and of the trees; not careless with this gift.
If you saw the Lord of the Rings films you will remember the wonderful “Shepherd of the
Forest”. I love that part of the films when the trees came to life. There is a magic to them. If you spend as much time as I do with trees you will sense their souls and their language.
If I can do nothing else with my work, I hope to leave a legacy and tribute to the glorious trees I paint. Many of these farmers and ranchers are getting older now. I worry that their land will be sold and developed after they are gone. Will their children respect and preserve their lands? I pray so. Some are agreeing to conservation easements and this is a wonderful thing to do.
I support the area land trust organizations because they are so important to keep North Central Florida beautiful.
I urge you to find an organization in your area and to support it. We must find a way to preserve the trees and land in order to have any kind of decent environment for our future generations. Hug a tree today and plant one too.