Climate change — can the boreal forest save us?

November 2021

Irish-Canadian author and botanist, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, makes a compelling case that the boreal forest can help save us from the human impact on climate change. She certainly convinced me it’s possible in her riveting book, To Speak for the Trees. And, as she points out, we’re up against the clock; time is running out.

Not only did her audio book read in her gentle and charming Irish accent hold me spellbound, but her vast plant knowledge and amazing life story motivated me to expand my painting of forest subjects to help spread the message. I have long believed that botanical art can educate through informative art works.

Coincidentally, while listening to Beresford-Kroeger, I was painting an acorn from our large red oak Quercus rubra, an important deciduous tree species of the boreal forest. The acorn in question was part of my preparation for a step-by-step tutorial for an upcoming DVSA online workshop and the e-booklet, Botanical Palette for Watercolour – Warm Hues & Fall Subjects about blending exercises with analogous colours in vibrant yellow, orange, red and brown, and the final dry brush-work details.

Thanks to fellow artist and teacher Deborah Lambkin for the book tip. It’s now on my top five books list right up there with Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson and Margaret Mee’s Amazon – Diaries of an Artist Explorer compiled by Kew.

I recommend that you read To Speak for the Trees or listen to the audio version as you paint.

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