If I get too serious or lose sight of how marvelous the world is, my dog Henry is there to remind me to have fun, enjoy a good roll and live in the moment!
And it’s thanks to him that I discovered my passion for trees and began my ongoing series of tree portraits.
I adopted Henry almost 10 years ago from ORA (Organization for the Rescue of Animals) I’d never had a dog before so I had no idea how much time I would spend walking outside. Over time, walking with Henry, I began to discover my neighbourhood. Previously, I hadn’t noticed the trees on the city streets, but the more I walked, the more I noticed them and their presence began to resonate with me. Since I was often walking when there weren’t very many people on the streets, the trees became my companions. I felt compelled to document my new tree friends and built up a collection of photographs.
I exhibited this series in my 2015 exhibition titled Arbor Vitae (Tree of Life) at the Earl Selkirk Gallery, ARTiculations
Vitrine window, The Trees Amongst Us exhibit May - June 2018 Photo Credit: Brian Boyle
A few years later in 2017, I became aware of tree identification signs attached to the street trees in the Junction.
I was delighted to see these signs and found them very useful for expanding my tree identification skills. With a bit of research I discovered that the signs were one element of an Adopt-a-Street-Tree Program, initiated by a local tree advocacy organization, LEAF and run by a dedicated group of volunteers. I was so impressed by the program that I decided to become a volunteer. This street tree project inspired me to create a series of tree portraits as way to record and pay homage to the group of trees cared for by various businesses, organizations and individuals in the Junction.
Since then I’ve expanded my series to encompass other parts of Toronto with the intent of showing how trees knit neighbourhoods together and bring colour and life to the city. During the quarantine period Henry and I continued our daily walks and discovered many more tree friends (check back for my next blog about the rainbow ribbon trees)
I have started a new series of tree portraits featuring Henry and his favourite trees.
Doesn’t Henry look great proudly posing beside a rainbow ribbon tree?
Henry and a rainbow ribbon maple tree
$210 CAD includes frame (Shipping & Handling extra)
ink jet print on transparent film, aluminum leaf mounted on wood, 8 x 8 x 0 1/8 inch, 2020
If you're interested this piece or the rest of my series I'd love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll keep you updated as the series progresses and more pieces are available for sale. I will donate 10% of the sale price to help support the efforts of ORA in their work rescuing dogs and cats. Stay up to date on this project and my other activities by joining my mailing list
Henry was approximately two years old when I adopted him. He's a cross between a Pomeranian and Eskimo and as such has a lot of energy and is very intelligent. His "joie de vive" has changed my life. Thank you to my special, furry friend for his love, loyalty and ability to make me laugh.