This is Sue’s new painting created as the cover art for the new Folkstar album Treelines and Skylines. We are incredibly happy with how it turned out and super excited to see it on the cover of our new album – to be released next month!!
Treelines and Skylines (acrylic painting and album cover art)
by Sue Cag of Folkstar
Treelines and Skylines represents the dichotomy of “nature” vs human fabrication. On the left side of the canvas stands an enormous vibrant ancient tree with lush forest behind it. This venerable tree represents original forests and authentic life. It was inspired by considerable time spent in the small pockets of true forest that remain out west: the sequoias, redwoods, douglas firs, spruce, and cedars. There is movement, light, and texture in the complex bark and trunk, including the fire scar.
On the right side stand dull skyscrapers, asphalt, and a coal plant, all rising from a dead ancient stump. Symbolic of our most populous city, the Empire State Building represents the ultimate skyline, the human “empire.” The Transamerica Pyramid represents the west where logging continues and where the coast redwoods were cleared in order to build San Francisco. A road leads into the walled, dreary city where a smokestack pollutes the air and represents what’s necessary to run such a place.
The center of the painting shows man’s wanton destruction in the form of a vast clear-cut. Walking into it is like walking into an area that has been bombed; it radiates the stillness and loss of a cemetery with the stumps left behind like tombstones. In the distance there is a thin treeline of what’s left – a treeline left open to wind and storm, the little bit that could possibly be saved.
Snow-capped mountains stand above the scene, the highest points, next to a mountain top that’s been “removed” for mining. This painting illustrates how humans have destroyed and continue to destroy our world. It’s obvious after discovering just how much ancient forest has been lost forever, but it’s also evident in everything we do right now, every choice we make, and all the things we prefer to value. We’re living under the illusion of power and we fill our lives with misinformation, distraction, and clutter that just leaves us empty. We’ve created a separation between us and “nature” where no such disconnect actually exists.