About Tree Mythology
In my paintings I re-imagine myth and folklore within the framework of Nature with Trees and other creatures as sentient beings. Many of our mythologies were created by early civilizations to give human form to the forces of nature to better understand & relate to them. Thunder became Zeus or Thor; the power of the sea- Poseidon; the change of seasons- Persephone and her relationship with Hades and her mother Demeter. These early mythological Gods, Goddesses and Nature were looked upon as one continuous entity. From this developed a delicate give and take relationship between mortal man and Nature. Take only what you need, give thanks and pay homage. Much care would be taken not to upset this delicate cycle.
With the advent of Science, Nature was looked upon as chaotic, a commodity to be controlled and profited from by certain groups. Common individuals no longer depended solely upon the land alone to survive and from there the emotional/spiritual separation from Nature began.
I often question if we could have maintained a level of respect towards Nature as early civilizations did- to see her in human form- would we continue to desecrate and destroy her as we do now? Would we continue to rip out Trees by the thousands if we could see the reflection of ourselves, our souls in their leaves?
I have always been drawn to the forest, having spent much of my childhood playing out imaginary tales and adventures there with my brothers and friends. Spending time alone there I could feel a strong sense of Spirit present.
Throughout time Trees have played a central role in many folkloric tales & myths, often worshipped by early civilizations and believed to possess powerful spirits. The tree spirits began showing up in my sketchbook more than 20 years ago. As I begin to paint them their personalities and stories unfold slowly and sometimes unexpectedly. But their message is clear: Trees still have a story to tell, a song to sing. We simply need to be willing to listen.