Dryad of the King’s Pines

Colonialism, ecological collapse, mythology, and grief. This new painting features a life-size 400-year-old tree stump, tiny molecular notation for greenhouse gasses, and a tree spirit mourning forests decimated by clear-cutting in colonial times and climate change in present times.



Dryad of the King’s Pines is based on a true colonial story of natural resource extraction for political and economic dominance. In the 1750s, King George I of England claimed exclusive rights to the largest of the ancient, enormous Eastern white pines (Pinus Strobus) in the New England colonies, marking them for harvest to build ships for the Royal British Navy. “The Pine tree Riots” of 1772, a rebellion by settlers who also wanted access to the trees, was a precursor to the American Revolution.



The classical education of upper-class Europeans who sponsored the colonization of the “New World” embraced Ancient Greek mythology, a pantheist belief system with female deities acting as spiritual embodiments of the elements of nature.

I use my anachronistic “dryads of the Anthropocene” as a proxy to embody ecological grief over human destruction of the forest ecosystems these deities symbolically nurtured, protected, and blessed.



Fewer than 1% of old-growth forests remain in North America, decimated by logging that continues into the 21st century. Pinus Strobus commonly reaches 200 years of age at maturity but has been recorded at over 450 years old.

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