The Secret Life of Trees

I have long had a special relationship with trees.  For me, they are pieces of art in nature, and looking at the photos below, it is difficult to deny.  We are also learning new lessons from trees all the time.  Scientists have discovered that trees seem to have a way of communicating with each other via their root systems.  And some trees are like the most powerful of giants, living through fires, floods, droughts, and many other natural disasters.  They provide food and homes for all types of creatures, big and very small. Without them, the earth would surely be a desert, and we might die of overheating without them.  We too have cut down and used trees for all sorts of shelters and furnishings and other things that mankind can use for his benefit such as boats.  And we have built houses up in the trees.  Some have fruits that provide nourishment as others provide sweet sticky syrup for us as humans while still others provide a source of heat in cold areas. At the same time, some trees have sharp thorns all up and down the spines, and still others can have a poison in their systems.

Inspired by visiting trees regularly each day for years with my dogs, I thought of this secret and magical life that trees live and decided to create some of my own, so you will find them too below the live ones.

Secret Life of Trees 2Secret Life of Trees 3Secret Life of Trees 4Secret Life of Trees 1

So here are my art quilts, all of which have been sold to raise money for a charity.  I did a whole series with acrylic paints used on the fabric like watercolors, and then stitched to give more texture and life. The first one below is called, “Are You Our Brother?” I loved doing these and “framing” them with upholstery fabric. One of the things I don’t try to do is to create “perfect.”  Things come out as they do, and I like that aspect of imperfection. I made seven in all of these quilts, and all of them are 7 x 11 inches.  This size is sometimes called a journal quilt, for you can tell bits of your life with them.

September2 2003 The Secret Life of Trees quilt 2The Secret Life of Trees quilt 1Secret Life of Trees Series quilt 3


10 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Trees

  1. I love trees too! I was listening to something on the radio recently about an artist (Alex Metcalf) who hooked up a microphone to a tree to hear the water flowing through its xylem. He then hung headphones from its branches to allow passersby to listen in real time. Trees are real, living, breathing things and it’s so apparent when you listen to their heartbeat.
    Beautiful quilts by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this idea of journal quilts, and as they are small /neat can be carried anywhere to tell stories. I love to hug trees – to get energy and silent prayers from them. ‘Hug a Tree’ I tell my grandchild…and it will be your friend forever, silently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to be so slow in response. I share the same things with you only I worked with special needs children, so that is who I told. Yes, I believe a tree will be our friend forever, and as you say, silently. Thank you for your beautiful comment, slow as a slug that I am to respond right now. Not feeling too well, so have a lot to catch up.


  3. Thank you so kindly. Saw the most wonderful collection of trees my cousin sent me the other day. I don’t know how to send them but there are about 30 or so photos of trees that have managed to survive and grow in the most miraculous ways despite their living conditions. If you think of a way for me to forward it, I will do it gladly. The only way I know is via e-mail. Hugs and blessings, Anne


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