Beginning with my adopted home state of California, the Fifty Forests project documents the self-organizing patterns in trees in each of America’s fifty states. Since 2010, my paintings have taken this extraordinary biological phenomenon as their primary subject, depicting the natural history of the landscapes from which they emerge. By transcribing the unspoken language of the structural integrity and biological resilience of trees, my work explores the intersection of painting and the natural world, as well as themes of representation and abstraction. Fifty Forests is an extension of this ongoing project and is inspired by the history of America, ethnobiology, North American natural and cultural histories, environmentalism and ecology. It is a research-based project that involves site visits, interviews in the field and archival research, all of which results in suites of paintings that depict the remarkable details in the inner and outer surfaces of trees. The project is designed as a framework for reflecting upon the ancient history of the interspecies relationship between humans and trees, as well as a way to question what is at stake in this country’s ongoing struggle to reconcile our connection to nature with the use - and often exploitation - of our natural resources. Fifty Forests will take me to various forested and deforested sites on both protected and unprotected lands in each of America’s fifty states. Made both on site and in my studio, the paintings that emerge from this series are intended to portray the incredible diversity this country holds and are meant as a contribution to the urgent conversation around our changing climate.