Redwoods Inspired Art
If you can't visit California, see the links below for the many other ways you can experience, learn about, support and share these natural wonders.
Children and adults are inspired by these magnificent trees. Below are some of our staff's favorites — a sampling of works we have received recently through our Education Grants Program and from the general public.
NEW! Watch our Redwood Rap on YouTube!
Kids and adults: Have you been inspired to create a poem or drawing about the redwood forest? Email it to us—maybe we'll choose your piece for our online gallery! Submit your redwood art and poetry!
Note: The views and opinions expressed on this Web page are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Save the Redwoods League.
Joan Dunning: Using Words and Paint to Tell the Forest's Story
The redwood forest paintings of Joan Dunning, award-winning artist and writer, are featured on this site.
Some people do their research in libraries. Award-winning artist and writer Joan Dunning climbed into the canopy of a 1,500-year-old redwood. Dunning – who is terrified of heights – ascended hundreds of feet to interview activist and tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill for her 1998 book From the Redwood Forests: Ancient Trees and the Bottom Line: A Headwaters Journey.
Dunning brought what she learned from that vertical feat to her newest work, Seabird in the Forest (2011 Boyds Mills Press), the story of a marbled murrelet pair and the hatching of its offspring high up in the limbs of an old-growth redwood. Written and lushly illustrated by Dunning, Seabird recently won an award for Excellence in Children's Science Books from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "I'd never been up in the canopy before," said Dunning. "It gave me a sense of authority about what I was talking about, a murrelet's perspective."
Dunning used oils to paint Seabird's illustrations, hoping through her art "to increase the viewer's awe of the redwood ecosystem," she said. "I wanted to convey the depth and richness of that world – not just the marbled murrelets that depend on the redwood forest for nesting, but the almost abstract quality of the mosses and lichens and beams of light filtering through the canopy."
A resident of Arcata, California, with five of her own giant redwoods in her backyard, Dunning finds peace and inspiration in the forest.
"I feel lucky that I am trained in painting so that I'm able to bring that [forest] into my imagination and process it through my brush," she said. Through her work, Dunning added, she has attempted "to bear witness to the amazing, even miraculous, beauty of the redwood [forest] as well as the threats it faces." In the endangered marbled murrelet, she has channeled an adorably fuzzy main character that speaks volumes on the forest's behalf.
See Dunning's work and learn how to order Seabird at joandunning.com.
Your Gifts Secure Match for Park Improvements
Your generous donations recently helped obtain matching funds for essential operating expenses and infrastructure projects at three amazing redwood parks that faced closure: Portola Redwoods, Hendy Woods and Standish-Hickey. Totaling $130,000, your gifts helped cover operational shortfalls and plans for improvements of septic systems, campsites, shelters, bridges and more. Now these parks will receive more than $1 million from the State Parks and Recreation Fund and matching funds from California Assembly Bill 1478. Thank you! Learn more about how you're making a difference.