My new show, "Among the Trees" opens at the end of November 2019 at Gallery MAR in Park City.
Inspired by the Mary Oliver poem “When I Am Among The Trees,” my new work expresses my love for the natural world and how we can gain a better understanding of life through the wisdom of trees. Please join me on Friday, November 29th from 6-9 pm for the opening reception.

I live in a forest, a grove of Aspen trees to be specific and I am surrounded by their shade, their clean air, and their calming presence. They save me, daily. My grove of trees has been here longer than I have been alive and it will be there longer than I will live. I recognize that their longer lifespan gives them a different perspective - that of the long game. They are more like ultra-ultra-marathoners, where we are but 100 yard dash sprinters. And I look to the trees for wisdom, forbearance, timeliness, fortitude, and resilience. They are never hurried, nor impatient. They are never angry, nor mean-spirited. They are the ultimate zen masters - always at one with the present, and accepting of their place in the world. They operate on a different timescale, much like the mountains, with patience that all will come in due time - new seasons, growth, the sun, the wind, the rain, the storms and even their own death. I have so much to learn from trees. 

Trees have been a consistent theme in my work for over a decade now. I first began in 2009 with drawing of trees as transfers onto encaustic. Then I painted almond blossoms before finally switching to paintings of foggy trees in atmospheric landscapes, which I am most well known for. Their steady presence has been a guiding force for me and this year I want to celebrate them and spread the good news about what they mean to me and to the world. Trees are also a critical element to the world helping provide clean air and water, shade, habitat, nature, respite, food and much more.

But with climate change becoming more dire, we must act now to stop the devastating effects of a warming planet. Trees are already responsible for soaking up almost 2 billions tonne of carbon dioxide annually, but even more trees would drawdown the global carbon emissions further. One study published in 2019 estimates that if we were to plant 1 trillion trees, we could make a very significant dent in soaking up our carbon emissions enough to limit global warming by less than 1.5 deg C. The numbers are up for debate still about the actual impact of tree plantings or how many would be necessary, but the point remains, that trees are a significant way that the planet absorbs carbon dioxide. Take for instance a full grown Douglas Fir tree - annually it absorbs 175 lbs of carbon dioxide, plus other pollutants like nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and ozone. And to give that some context, an average car is responsible for 11,000 lbs of carbon dioxide annually (driven for 12,000 miles/year). To counteract those emissions, you would only need 63 mature trees, which isn’t really that much!

To help counter our carbon footprint, we must plant more trees and soon. As such, I will be donating a portion of the proceeds of the show to TreeUtah, a local tree planting organization, and Gallery MAR will be matching my donation. TreeUtah works in and around the Wasatch Mountains to plant native tree species to enhance our local environment. In the spring, we will also be going out with TreeUtah to volunteer with the tree planting. I would also encourage anyone to donate to tree planting organizations like TreeUtah, the Arbor Day Foundation, or the National Forest Foundation. Planting trees in your own yard, business, or on your own land is also an amazing way to contribute. Head over to the Arbor Day Foundation's guide to planting trees to learn more about what kinds of trees are good for your area, how to plant them and how to take care of them. The time is now to plant trees.

Here follows some more information about the show:

"Continuing her investigation of the ethereal nature of the environment, Meinhold’s new show “Among the Trees” explores and celebrates the nature of forests and beauty of trees. Inspired by the Mary Oliver poem “When I Am Among The Trees,” Meinhold’s new work expresses her love for the natural world and how we can gain a better understanding of life through the wisdom of trees. By slowing down, with appreciation, and simplicity, we too can find our innate goodness within and share that with the world. These new encaustic paintings explore our relationship with the trees in our mountain landscapes. 

Meinhold is an active proponent of open space preservation and protection of wild spaces as well as an avid skier, mountain biker, climber and hiker. Her time spent outdoors and love of nature directly translates into her atmospheric landscape paintings. Invoking “Think globally, act locally” and concerned with the ever increasing threats of climate change, Meinhold and Gallery MAR will be donating to a local tree planting organization, TreeUtah to sponsor the planting of new trees in the regions around Park City, Utah."

When I Am Among the Trees, by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,

“and you too have come

into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine.”

All photos by JP Gendron, do not use without permission