Self Portrait with Tree: Tree Hugger

When given the theme of doing a self-portrait with or as a tree, I decided on "with". Previous self portraits that I have done just show my face. This time I wanted to explore an inner self.

Because my prints are based on the land and waterscapes of Michigan and I care deeply about the quality of the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that feed them, I've had some ask me if I am an environmentalist.

In my mind, an environmentalist is more science based. They know the "whys", the "hows" and the "what needs to be done" of the environment. I would not pretend to know those things and am thankful there are people who do and bring needed attention to the environment's stresses and needs.

Having been a participant in the very first Earth Day I do feel a repsonsibility to my immediate environment. Oh do I hate litter! I cannot understand why people still do it. I am beyond annoyed by people who trash our water systems with everything from empty soda cans to tires and furniture.

"Our ability to percieve quality in nature begins, as in art,
with the pretty.
It expands through successive stages of the beautiful
to values as yet uncaptured by language."

Aldo Leopold

I am an artist. I love what the subject matter that God laid out before me and find my inspiration is never ending. I love the changing of the seasons and the many different landscapes of my state. I love the lakes and rivers and waterfalls. Of couse I want my work to be attractive to the viewer but I am also trying to bring attention to them by showing people what we have and what we stand to lose without respecting it. I love my corner of this world.

So, not an environmentalist - I am a Tree Hugger!

Tree Hugger
6 woodblocks
Edition of 35

Ferguson Bayou

We came to Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in late October hoping to see the migration of the estimated 50,000 waterfowl that are here in fall and spring. We were too late, apparently, this year.
What we did find was an amazing variety of landscape in the refuge. On this trail there were dried up cornfields on our left. We looked to our right and you'd think we were in Louisiana in the sweltering summer! The Ferguson Bayou seems so out of place here. It is every shade of green imaginable. The soil is black and bursting with organic matter. (I would have loved some of this at home in my garden.) If you didn't know where you were, you'd swear the murky, algae covered water was hiding a few alligators just waiting for some unsuspecting animal to wander too close. I'm pretty sure the Michigan equivilant, the snapping turtle, is in there though!

Moku Hanga
6 blocks
9" x 13"
edition of 8