I love the forest. For me it’s a mysterious and nurturing place that soothes my mind, body and soul. As a child I loved stories of fairy-tale forests, trolls, myth and magic, and it’s this subject and symbolism I wanted to explore and to visually express through my art.
Forest Tales is a project that began as a series of paintings with a story to tell, each painting taking the viewer on a fairytale journey into the land of their imagination. In the large scale canvases the detailed shapes and vibrant colours bring the forest to life. When looking closely at the painting, one discovers the suggestion of a fairy, a bird, or other creature… seemingly hidden within the painting.
While creating this series, it’s brought me back to my childhood love of fairy-tales and the mythical beauty of the forest and nature...
Trees are seen as wise and ancient beings and in many cultures and religions of the past, the forest was a sacred place for worship. In stories and legends trees are symbols of wisdom, strength, endurance, protection, secret knowledge, life and fertility. In fairy tales the forest symbolises the unconscious and is a place of initiation. Entering the dark forest and the unknown, one confronts hidden aspects of the self in order to experience a re-birth and gain a new understanding and knowledge of life.
You can read a fairy tale HERE that I wrote while painting Dream Catcher.
As I’ve painted and created Forest Tales, I’ve become more aware and more conscious of the importance of trees and the forests of our earth.
Where I live, I’m surrounded by the huge, grandfather trees of the rainforests in British Columbia. Whenever I can, I make my way into the woods for a run, a hike, or simply a leisurely walk. Not only is it healthy fresh air, but it’s also therapeutic! In Japan this is a practice called shinrin-yoku. Shinrin means forest and yoku means bath, so it translates to forest-bathing. You don’t need to exercise to receive the benefits of the forest, you only need to take in the atmosphere of the forest through your senses, so just taking time out from your busy life and going into the woods brings positive health benefits.
Here's a little video I made last year when I was in Norway. It's a beautiful, tranquil place and it really is therapeutic!
With all the recent wildfire devastation we’ve experienced in British Columbia and other parts of the world, I wanted to do something positive for the environment, and to help replenish our beautiful and much needed forests. So... (I’m excited to say!) I’ve partnered with One Tree Planted and will donate $1.00 for every product sold (that's one tree planted!), and for every large painting sold, I'll donate $100 (that's 100 trees planted!!).
My goal with my art has always been to bring more beauty to people's lives and to the world. Now I can also help, in my own little way, to give back to the earth and help to keep it beautiful.
Here are a few more reasons why trees are so important to the environment: