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“This is not a tree”

Oil on Canvas - 20" x 10""

Finished April 4, 2024



I've enjoyed the Belgian Surrealist René Magritte's wit, charm, and imagination for nearly 40 years. One of my favorite paintings of his is "The Treachery of Images" – though the painting is more commonly known as "This is not a pipe." The painting shows an image of a traditional wooden tobacco pipe with the phrase "This is not a pipe" written out in French.


Though Magritte's title inspired my painting's title, my work's meaning has a different purpose. I wanted to include this in my tree series, but I wanted to clarify that I recognize this painting is not of a tree but of a tree seed. There is a big difference between a tree and that of a seed. A seed is simply the beginnings or the promise of the possibility of a tree. I wanted to show a seed in a hole surrounded by rich, fertile soil – much like being in a womb. However, there are no guarantees that this seed will grow into being a tree. It's the same as with all life: plants, animals or humans.

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