Rooted in the Land Carving

The Farley Center Tree Carving Project is a collaborative effort.  A storm destroyed an oak tree, but left behind a 10-foot-tall trunk.  This created the opportunity for a collaborative art installation.  The trunk has been divided by three carved vines into panels.  Each panel is an opportunity for an artist to use and transform by carving, painting or attaching works of art.

As the oak is rooted in the land, we chose the theme of Rooted in the Land for the tree carving project.

For 2021, I chose to reproduce the Burr Oak from the Welcome Center on a large front facing panel. Trees have a root system that is unseen, but is as extended in the ground as the top is in the air.  I have carved the Burr Oak in relief above the ground line and the roots are incised below.  I also used thinned acrylic paints and linseed oil. 

Which is the more important part, the seen or the unseen? Really the tree is an interdependent system.  Some ask if the earth is more important than the people or are people more important than the earth.  Are we not also interdependent and part of a system of life?

Our lives are rooted in the land. 


MMSD Marsh

The Madison sewage district works to manage water flowage to support marsh life on the S. Side.

Today I took a walk and encountered swallows maneuvering over the green algae covered water, fiesty redwings, a dramatic killdeer, gold finches, Canadian geese, black duck with ducklings in tow, three kinds of dragonflies and a white moth.

The Life of a Seed


The acorn results in the oak. 

They are not the same, but there is continuity.

The red of the acorn remains but is fractured and faded in the bark. 

The small and smooth becomes tall and rough. 

The oak has become a host for vines and lichen.


This is for a show entitled “The Life of a Seed” at Christ Presbyterian Church, Madison, WI.  This was scheduled for Lent and Easter, but will be installed and remain in place after the Covid-19 Stay at Home restrictions are relieved.

Both pieces are carved in basswood and painted in acrylics.