About trees, climate crisis, and my latest commissions.

Trees. Aren’t they simply wonderful? Planting trees seems to be one of the ways to combat our climate crisis, and it is certainly the most eco-friendly solution. I would love to have a forest, to sit within it and watch it grow… growing a little oak tree in a pot, as I do, that is nice, but not quite enough. Lacking the funds to purchase land and plant it with trees, I was wondering what I could do, then I saw that Seagull Gallery, in Filey, had joined a tree-planting scheme called Just One Tree; so I joined and pledged to donate so that a tree will be planted for every painting I sell. I joined in November, and started by donating for every painting I had sold in 2020 and 2021. (I was so grateful that so many of you decided to buy one of my paintings during the first two years of the pandemic: 46 paintings. So if you did, thank you. A tree was planted for every painting you bought!). Here’s the link: https://www.justonetree.life/

I’ve been reading a fascinating book: Peter Wohlleben’s “The Hidden Life of Trees”. It is an interesting and easily read book, written by a German forester, which I would recommend to anyone who loves trees. Its relevance here is that, as you probably know, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and store it in their trunks. If the tree is burnt, the carbon is released, but if the wood is kept, the carbon stays captured; for example if the wood is made into the stretchers of a canvas! So if you have paintings stretched over a wooden frame, or of course anything else made out of wood, you are already helping the planet. (And if you want to know more about the idea of the “wood wide web”, do read “Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake!) https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/13/hidden-life-of-trees-peter-wohlleben-review

Another way to combat the climate crisis is to diminish our energy consumption. That is easier said than done, but we must try. Using energy efficient machines and insulating our homes are a start. Shutting down polluting energy sources and adopting greener renewable energy is also part of the solution. In this context, I am delighted to have been commissioned to paint a series of artist’s impressions for Community Energy Vision documents being prepared by the CPRE. It feels good to be part of something good. Some people might remember the CPRE as ‘The Campaign to Protect Rural England’ – its previous name. It has worked for almost a century to support and promote the countryside. It is now called ‘the countryside charity’ and it is aware of our climate emergency. You can find more about it here: https://www.cpre.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/our-vision/

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