I grew up off grid, in one of the most beautiful, wildest places on the planet, the Alaskan Wilderness. The Tongass National Forest to be precise, the largest remaining old growth temperate rainforest in the world. Tongass is home to not only my family, and myself when I visit every summer, but to so many species of beautiful creatures, from brown bears, wolves to bald eagles...and the glorious trees, sooooo many trees! I have a bit of an obsession with trees as you might be able to tell from all my art, haha :) One of my earliest memories was of sitting on my dads shop overlooking the bay where Humpbacks and Orcas frequented, and was struck by a lone black silhouette of a barren tree contrasted against all the lush greenery of the living trees around it. I sat and sketched that tree over and over again for hours, something about it captured my attention and I've been fascinated with trees in my art ever since.
When I heard the Trump administration opened up 9 million acres of the Tongass National Forest to development a few months ago, ie clear cutting, I was beyond upset. This forest is a national treasure and needs to be protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy, for the animals that inhabit it, and for the carbon cleaning resource it provides to not just the United States, but for the entire planet. I will personally be reaching out to President Biden to repeal this order and hope that the lawsuits that have been leveled against the order will also put an end to it and leave these old growth trees, some up to 800 years old, to continue to provide homes for wildlife, indigenous populations and help control climate change.
Only a few miles from where I grew up, and now have my own tiny Alaskan Island (MAD Island), they clear cut the mountains a few years back and it's just depressing to pass by it and see the total devastation. The photo below is just a glimpse of what it looks like, imagine this over 9 million acres...and it takes years and years for it to recover back to what it once was.
"The Tongass is the biggest national forest in the U.S. and arguably one of the biggest tools in our arsenal to confront climate change.
In keeping with my efforts to live a more eco friendly, sustainable lifestyle, I switched from using plastic plates as my paint palettes to a traditional artists palette. The old palettes would just get thrown away, a compilation of acrylic paint piled onto plastic, basically something that would never deteriorate and just add to the pile of plastics proliferating landfills. By using these new palettes I can avoid any kind of disposal issues at all by turning them into a two sided original work of art, that will basically last forever! A win-Win! One side is an abstract mosh up of the colors I used to paint with, this one even has some spots of glitter on it for a little extra sparkle :) The other side I paint an actual painting, so you have two options to display your art. It comes with a little easel to display, or you could hang the abstract side through the finger area, the other side would be kind of lop sided if hung up. It is also coated on both sides with art resin to add extra sheen, depth and make the colors just pop!!
A portion of the proceeds from my MAD wonderland collection sales, is donated to Re:wild (formerly know as Global Wildlife Conservation), an organization I have collaborated with, and continue to contribute to. "We believe that together, we can protect and restore those ecosystems critical to the health of our planet—from the Amazon to Australia and from Borneo to our own backyards. We are excited to embark on this journey, because we believe that, together, we can rewild our world.." (Co-founded by Leonardo Dicaprio.)