World Earth Day 2021 is coming up on 22nd April with three days of action from 20th – 22nd. The theme this year is ‘Restore Our Earth’ and so this felt like an appropriate time to highlight trees and their importance to our planet.
There’s no doubt that trees have been of great importance to me in my paintings. When people view art they do so because they are enjoying the aesthetics of the paintings and the fun of art but what they may not realise is that they are also learning about the beauty and fragility of the environment around us. By enjoying and appreciating the scenes they see on a canvas, I hope to encourage my viewers to value these depictions in the real world, so they can be treasured and protected forever.
Trees are undeniably a key to our survival. With years of abusing our planet, cutting down trees and unleashing extortionate levels of CO2 emissions into our atmosphere, it’s past time to take action.
There are roughly three trillion trees on the planet, half the number that existed before human civilisation. We cut down 10 billion trees more than we plant each year: it is simply not sustainable.
There’s no wonder why so many artists over the years have chosen to document these magnificent plants. From Monet to Hockney, the significance found in trees has always been something worth capturing for everyone to enjoy. Hockney is captivated by the beauty of trees, their ever-changing shapes, shades and colours, their importance – a constant source of inspiration for his work.
Trees are the superheroes in our fight against climate change; each tree takes in our harmful CO2 and lets out the oxygen that keeps us alive. They also help our mental health as we venture out into nature as well as provide us with shade.
My own paintings of trees may have similarities with the style and ethos of artists like Hockney. I can definitely relate to Hockney’s vision of trees as always changing through the seasons. We Humans are also constantly adapting to our environment and the conditions of our changing climate. I am fascinated by the roots of trees, plunging down into the earth – their power and purpose, the life within the movement and colours you see in the constant changing appearance, further highlighting their beauty and worth, whilst incorporating a more abstract approach and championing nature to fit a modern perspective.
To find out how some others have helped please find further reading below: