Tracy asked me why the tree on my blog and the "Branching Out" title. That got me thinking about the "why." It's a lengthy story, so let me try to abbreviate.
I have been enamored with trees all of my life. My grandma had apple trees that I loved to climb. When I moved into her house, I did not know how painful it would be to cut down those apple trees. Now, when one of my trees is beyond healing and needs to go, I cry.
As a girl, I would draw trees endlessly. I used all media to create trees. As my artistic skills developed, I tried my hand at watercolor and loved painting trees the most. I enjoyed the challenge of placing the shadows on the trunk and branches; they made the trees strong, solid, enduring looking. Then I would place the many layers of leaves on my watercolor trees. It was easy to lose myself for an hour just painting a tree.
I think what I captures my interest most about trees are the trunk and main branches. They give the shape, the structure, the support. Trees also grow stronger from wounds and time. Also, if a tree has been shaped and trimmed properly when it is young, it will grow into a mighty force. Sometimes, even if a tree has not been trimmed properly when young, it can still grow into a mighty force. It may not have the lovely lines, but it is still beautiful.
So that's why the tree images. When I think of what best represents who I am, I think of a tree. I will continue to grow stronger, branch out, try new things, push myself, face hardship, learn about myself, help others, and make the world a little better.