Art & essay by Colleen Monette
‘A tree stands strong not by its fruits or branches, but by the depth of its roots.’
‘Some trees are too deeply rooted to move…and if they are uprooted, they will die…’
Jocelyn Murray, The Gilded Mirror: Constantinople (#3)
I am drawn to the beauty as well as the destruction of the natural world. Through encaustic medium, I create paintings that are multilayered, texturally and emotionally. I work to create organic pieces that are a mixture of abstract and realism and to take cues from my environment and my past and recreate that in my work.
It’s essential for trees to be part of any landscape, in my art and in nature. We want to ‘escape’ to nature, but there should be a greater effort to make sure it’s all around us, especially in urban settings. I see artists as the bones of a community, able to help sculpt it. I want to respond to what affects my community, to create art that speaks to something vitally important and to present it in a fresh way. Dealing with the loss of and changes in nature (trees, flora and fauna) in our urban environment, the overall health of our streams and waterways, rainfall, storm surge, etc., they all have a huge impact on our lives. Education is key and art can open a dialog within the community. It brings us all together, energizing us all to pay more attention to our city and the inhabitants, to make sure it continues to breathe.
Our stewardship starts with a seed: a seed to plant as well as a seed to spark imagination.