| Tree Murals |

In 1863, French-Canadian fur trappers named the big river that runs through modern-day Boise, Idaho, "la Riviere Boisse," meaning "the wooded river," because it was heavily edged with cottonwoods and willows, quite a shock from the dry, sage-filled grasslands that were all around. Ever since, those who've settled in Boise have enthusiastically planted trees throughout for both fruit and shade, thus creating the "City of Trees," which is how Boise is often and fondly described.

Inspired by my newly-adopted, tree-loving city, I'm happy to be painting tree murals once again as part of my art practice.

Recent work includes a Black Cottonwood, Populus Trichocarpa, (above) at the new ROOTS Zero Waste Market at 34th & Chinden in Boise, Idaho, and this poem, an ode to the Black Cottonwood.

O, Cottonwood!
My Cottonwood!
Forever cursed and feared
and misunderstood.
Stand strong, stay gold,
be cool, Black Cottonwood.

Yes, you -- Mother of Nature,
Giver of life, conjurer of snow
and ocean alike.
Protector of all
that call this river home.
Mama, don't go.

I hear you now.
Your breath quick, like music.
Stay close, stand tall, keep singing.
I owe you my life.
Tell me then, O Cottonwood,
what can I do?

Here are some of my other tree murals. Click on an image for details.


Copyright Ⓒ 1998-2021 Katherine Shaughnessy