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College of Extended Learning

West Gallery

Nancy Stevens: Trees for Life

Growing up in cities, my knowledge of trees was limited. A forest was a place that pleasantly affected my physical senses and imagination but not particularly my curiosity. Now, as we experience the effects of global warming, we know that our survival is dependent on the health of our forests.

My home for the last 25 years has been in rural Nova Scotia where from every window I see trees. I have planted trees, watched them grow and thrive. I have seen trees die and return to the forest floor where seedlings have begun their life cycle. Living where I do, where broad leaf and needle-bearing species are intermingled, I have witnessed the effects of climate change. Using my skills and imagination to be proactive, I have completed seven of ten intended paintings representing the different trees in the Acadian Forest, the old growth forest, their past glory and unknown future.

A single tree’s history is determined by soil conditions, environment, weather events, and climate. In each painting I focussed on one species and, inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, used design elements to illustrate each story. The silhouette of the tree is encircled with a broad ring which can be seen as symbolic or merely decorative. Landscape imagery may be interpreted politically with colour and pattern viewed as warning signs. This series of paintings, with color layered in a pointillist technique, is intended to connect viewers to the global warming crisis.

- Nancy Stevens

Abies Balsamea

Abies balsamea - Balsam Fir
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Acer rubrum

Acer rubrum - Red Maple
Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Betula alleghansiensis

Betula alleghansiensis - Yellow Birch
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Fagus grandifolia

Fagus grandifolia - American Beech
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Fraxinus americana

Fraxinus americana - White Ash
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Picea mariana

Picea mariana - Black Spruce
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Picea rubens

Picea rubens - Red Spruce
Picea glauca - White Spruce
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Pinus strobus

Pinus strobus - Eastern White Pine
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Quercus rubra

Quercus rubra - Red
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

Tsuga canadensis

Tsuga canadensis - Eastern Hemlock
Acrylic on hardboard, 109 x 67 cm

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