Resources and Amenities
Voices Art Gallery: Archive
Life of Pine
Exploring the Dramatic and Dangerous Life of a Pine Tree in Pastels, Watercolor and Other Media
by Dennis Gordon
Artist's StatementI worked as a dietitian with people who had cancer. I was continually reminded that no matter what our age is, we never know how long we will be around to appreciate the beauty of life around us. Seeing the sunset for a few fleeting moments, or the shining moon out the house window; it struck me how we often don't slow down and appreciate these wonderful sights.
I was still pondering this thought as I looked out into our backyard and saw the many pine trees we had planted many years ago. I thought that they get to stand out in this beauty all the time. The trees get to see the sunrises and sunsets from beginning to end every day, and they also get to watch all the drama of animals and humans that unfolds before them. Looking at the various pines on our property, I began to get the idea of putting the life of a pine tree into a story with an array of paintings.
In addition to all the drama that a pine tree gets to see, it is also subject to its share of danger. While we may not think of the life of a pine tree as being full of peril, it becomes apparent if you think about how few pine cones make it to become a mature pine tree.
Whether danger from wind, lightning, snow, being eaten by birds or squirrels as a pine cone, or by deer as a young pine tree, there are plenty of problems that confront a pine tree's development.
The first fourteen pastels in this series tell the story of drama and danger that has affected the life of one pine tree.
Once the story sequence was finished, I asked my daughter, Katie, to write the verse. I had already written some verse, and it was pretty awful. Katie writes almost every day, has had some poetry published and tackled the assignment with valor.
The Voices Art Gallery is offered by the Cancer Center Art Therapy Program and is made possible by gifts to the Helen and Sonya Fund and the Cancer Center Art Therapy Program. Program supplies are generously supported by the Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Fund.
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