Dee Stewart Merrell
"Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife, are in fact plans to protect man.”
― Stewart L. Udall
Title: “A Tree for Udall”
I have kept many books of handwritten quotations over the years; I don't know where they are now, but I am sure that if I could reread them they would still have deep meaning. As I have lived in different places and been the keeper of children, of promises and of secrets, I have changed and the themes of my quotes have changed. Now one of my favorite quotations, written by me but not the one I chose for this challenge, is; “Grow where you are transplanted”. I have a closeness with nature, farmland and agriculture which was the canvas of my youth. Presently I live in the city, or rather, suburbs, which I love, but those initial roots have also been my support. When choosing my quote I knew that I wanted to offer homage to trees.
I have concerns about the present path that our government has chosen in regards to our environment, and I look back to the progressive leaders that initiated the environmental movement; I chose to highlight Stewart Lee Udall. Stewart Lee Udall was an American politician and later, a federal government official. After serving three terms as a congressman from Arizona, he served as Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Udall played a key role in the enactment of environmental laws such as the Clear Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Amendments, the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, the National Trail System Act of 1968, and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. He also helped to spark a cultural renaissance by setting in motion initiatives that led to the Kennedy Center and others.
My art work was done with two contrasting hand-dyed fabrics, manipulated to offer the best placement of color. The trees are fused and stitched with simple background quilting. The background fabric is by Gloria Loughman, and the tree fabric by Ricky Tims. The quilted piece is mounted on an 11” x 14” canvas frame.