The Being of Trees

The artistic view on a hidden world

Trees - Tale Tellers of our World

Like many people, I feel a deep inner connection with trees. As a child, I wanted to climb every tree, preferably to the top, to understand them.
As an adult, I use brushes, pastels and paint strokes to reproduce the being of trees in paintings.
Trees are very special beings. Their roots grow deep into the earth's history. Their trunks reach high into time. Their leaves touch air and space, create fragrances, paint colours and provide shade.

It is the sounds of the trees that I perceive when I paint. I slip into their layers and listen ...
The language of the trees is calm and at the same time productive. Their expression is generous and strong - in harmony with the forests and the creatures around them.

New Zealand Christmas Tree

136 x 90 cm

Copernicia Palm Tree

136 x 90 cm

European Beech Tree

136 x 90 cm

Australian Bloodwood Tree

136 x 90 cm

Ficus Macrophylla Tree

136 x 90 cm

Silver Linden Tree

136 x 90 cm

Mediterranean Pine Tree

136 x 90 cm

Sycamore Tree

136 x 90 cm

European Larch

136 x 90 cm

Paper Bark Tree

136 x 90 cm


136 x 90 cm

Bridges - Places of Encounter

Bridges have fascinated me since I was a child. Created by human hands, bridges make possible the previously insurmountable. Bridges connect, have solid banks and cross difficult terrain. Bridges are monuments made of wood, iron, steel and stone. Bridges are places of encounter. Bridges are beautiful.

Back in America, my ancestors were eminent iron bridge engineers in New England and were passionate about building iron bridges. I paint them with the same passion, and in this series of pictures I focus especially on the artistic design of the bridges.


Old stone Bridge across the Ohm
80 x 50 cm


Queen Emma Bridge
80 x 50 cm


Hohenzollern Bridge
100 x 66 cm


Yangon Harbor Jetty
100 x 66 cm


Hammer Bridge
120 x 66 cm


Rheinknie Bridge
120 x 66 cm


Old Lahn Bridge
120 x 67 cm


Poggenmühlen Bridge
110 x 97 cm

New York City

Manhattan Bridge
90 x 135 cm

New York City

Brooklyn Bridge
110 x 97 cm


Uerdinger Bridge
100 x 66 cm


Salmon Bay Bridge
100 x 65 cm


Wuppertal Völklinger Sreet
110 x 65 cm


Kirchenfeld Bridge
100 x 75 cm

New Zealand

Old Fox River Bridge
100 x 73 cm


Gülser Bridge
90 x 70 cm


Steel Bridge
100 x 60 cm


150 x 100 cm

My Paintings in Print

I am happy to share with you two special limited edition books which I have created to complete the experience of my artistic series: "The Soul of Bridges" and "The Being of Trees." These 30 x 30 cm editions, featuring either 44 or 48 pages, bring to life the essence of my work like never before.

"The Soul of Bridges" takes you on a journey through iconic architectural marvels. The stories of these bridges becomes imprinted in the rich patina that each bridge bears over time. My goal is to tell their story through historically inspired text and rich painting.

"The Being of Trees" " invites you to explore the profound connection between humanity and nature. Each tree has very unique experiences to share and stories to tell. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of our natural brothers and sisters: trees.

Each book is individually signed and numbered. Priced at €35 each, plus freight, they are yours to own. Simply reach out via email.

I hope you find as much joy in these books as I did in creating them. Thank you for sharing in this artistic adventure.

The Vivid Design of Moving Moments

In 2014 I started work on a completely new art technique, which is a synthesis of two art forms. I call my new technique "SINN-THESEN" (Worlds of synthesis). Through the combination of photography, creative painting and a final finishing, I portray special moments coming to life.

Photography delivers the motive: a unique moment ex­trac­ted out of the world of human beings and nature. However, the photo itself is not a finished product for me, but requires further perfection through color, brush and stroke. The next step: I use the art of painting to bring the photo to life. Colorful design and emotional expression flow into the painting. The final refinement with transparent synthetic resin or varnish preserves the artwork and creates new light effects. The result is vivid, realistic and fantastic at the same time. The colors glow from within.

Each selected motive is based on numerous journeys, countless bridge photos and a long selection process. At least 30 to 50 hours of pure painting flow into each artwork. At the end of this process stands a new work of art: unique in its creation, diverse in its expression.

Early Works

Large size works

Experimenting with new painting techniques and media: drawing, painting and collage on paper, wood and canvas. Whether delicate on paper or powerful in large format, my earlier works laid the breeding ground for the full development of my creativity.

On the Air

Mixed Media on Canvas, 73 x 138 cm

Time To Perceive

Acrylic on Forex, 78 x 114 cm

Beyond the Sea of Light

Acrylic on Wood, 120 x 100 cm

Inside Out

Acryl on Canvas, 100 x 110 cm


Acrylic and Coal, 78 x 133 cm



Commissioned work - mixed media on wood, 240 x 110 cm

Installation, kinetic Object I

Acrylic on Forex, 140 x 100 cm

Installation, kinetic Object II

Acrylic on Forex, 140 x 100 cm

Bonjour Soleil I

Mixed Media on Wood, 50 x 60 cm

Bonjour Soleil II

Mixed Media on Wood, 50 x 60 cm

Works on Paper


Mixed technique, 50 x 65 cm


Watercolour on Paper, 32 x 45 cm

Garden of Bright

Watercolour on Paper, 48 x 32 cm


Pastel/Paper, 42 x 58 cm

Look to Sea

Watercolour on Paper, 48 x 32 cm


Watercolour on Paper, 32 x 45 cm

The Language of Light

Mixed technique on Paper, 32 x 48 cm


Watercolour on Paper, 48 x 32 cm

Silver meets Blue

Mixed Media, 38 x 58 cm

Green Mango

Mixed technique on Paper, 32 x 45 cm

David Rhodes Hawkins

All my life I have been fascinated by colours and shapes. The interplay of line and shape evokes memories and associations that are somewhat different for each person. Emotions are - by their very nature - personal.

I like to paint with colour, and also expressively, so that everyone can find the space to create their own inner canvas.
Born in Boston/USA, but settled in Germany for over 35 years, my professional focus until 2009 was in marketing/communications at a leading German financial institution. Since 1996 I have been working as a freelance artist.

I live and work in Meerbusch, NRW. I travel the world in search of suitable motifs.

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Previous Exhibitions

KreishausGalerie Bergheim

Joint exhibition "On the NATURE of things" with Dr Laura Flöter (October 2023).

KunstTage Rhein-Erft

Joint exhibition with many other artists in the abbey Brauweiler (September 2019).


Joint exhibition with Jutta Brandt-Stracke in the Haus Hildener Künstler, H6/Hilden (March 2016).


Joint exhibition with Jutta Brandt-Stracke in the Ball­haus, Nordpark Dusseldorf (July 2013).

Zwischen Himmel und Erde

Joint exhibition with Jutta Brand-Stracke and Marion Winkel-Wergen (Sept. 2011).

Im Lichte

Joint exhibition with Jutta Brandt-Stracke in the Ball­haus, Nordpark Dusseldorf. This exhibition was supported by the cultural office of the regional capital Dussel­dorf (April 2011).

Public Exhibitions

... in the offices of AWO (Workers' Welfare Association) Dussel­dorf.

April, April

Participation in the open gallery in Dusseldorf d-52 - Room for contemporary art (April 2010)


Joint exhibition in the gallery „Art Room“ with Jutta Brandt-Stracke (Feb. 2010).

Nimm Dir Zeit (Take your Time)

Exhibition in the Greiffen­horst castle, Krefeld Linn, in collaboration with Jutta Brandt-Stracke (Sept. 2009).


Exhibition in the Greiffen­horst castle, Krefeld Linn, in collaboration with Bibiana Heimes - Paintings - and Rose-Marie Dohmen - Ceramics (April 2007).

Color - Farbe - Colour

Exhibition in the Greiffen­horst castle, Krefeld Linn, in collaboration with Karen Rütten Sander - Paintings (May 2005).


Vernissage, Am Meerbusch 10, Meerbusch, in colaboration with Bibiane Heimes - Paintings - and Peter Swoboda - Paintings and Sculptures (June 2003).

Farbe Freude Licht

Vernissage, Am Meerbusch 10 in Meerbusch (June 2001).

Tag der offenen Kunst

Vernissage, Am Meerbusch 10 in Meerbusch (May 1999).

New exhibition 2024

Fascinating tree portraits from 3 March 2024 at the Koenraad Bosman Museum in Rees

The art scene in Rees will see nature in a new light when Meerbusch artist David R. Hawkins exhibits his latest series “The Being of Trees” at the Koenraad Bosman Museum. The vernissage, which marks the opening, is scheduled for 3 March 2024, and the exhibition will be open to the public until 28 April 2024.

The „Tree Characters” by David R. Hawkins appear in this unique series with great attention to detail and vibrant colours. Each of the 18 tree portraits unfolds like a personality of its own, with the finest details ranging from deep roots to majestic treetops. The artist is a master at capturing the essence of trees and bringing them to life in his works.

The festive vernissage on 3 March promises not only visual delights, but also a special atmosphere. The Mayor of Rees will welcome the guests at around 11.30 a.m., thus heralding the official start of the exhibition. The acoustic background music will be provided by Clara Busemann and her harp, which will enchant visitors' senses with its melodic sounds.

David R. Hawkins is delighted to have been selected from 120 applicants to present his work at the Koenraad Bosman Museum. The series “The Being of Trees” will therefore not only be an artistic enrichment for visitors, but will also offer a deeper insight into the creative world of the artist.

The exhibition is a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of nature through the eyes and hands of the artist. “The Being of Trees” promises to transport viewers into a world of magic and colour - a journey through the special characters hidden in the forests. Get ready to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of David R. Hawkins' tree portraits and experience the magic of nature in a whole new way.

Review KreishausGalerie

Exhibition “On the NATURE of Things” in Bergheim Oct-Dec 2023

The art exhibition “On the NATURE of Things” with the artists David R. Hawkins and Dr Laura Flöter delighted visitors and marked an artistic highlight. The premiere of Hawkins' new series “The Being of trees” attracted a great deal of attention. The 18 impressive works with different tree motifs were very well received and left a lasting impression.

It was particularly pleasing that the Rhein-Erft-Kreis acquired two works by Hawkins to add to their own collection. This recognition not only emphasises the quality of the artworks, but also the relevance of Hawkins' contribution to the contemporary art scene. The exhibition is therefore seen not only as an artistic success, but also as an important step in Hawkins' career and in the appreciation of nature in art history.

Engelbert Schmitz, head of the cultural department at the Rhine-Erft district administration, and artist David R. Hawkins in front of one of the two works that has been added to the Rhine-Erft district's collection.

Review KunstTage Rhein-Erft

KunstTage Rhein-Erft in the Brauweiler Abbey September 14 and 15, 2019

The KunstTage Rhein-Erft is a major regional Art-Fair located in the historic Brauweiler Abbey situated near Cologne. The quality of the artwork exhibited, in combination with fabulous sunny weather, attracted nearly 10,000 people to this year’s exhibit. David R. Hawkins presented a selection of works from his series “The Souls of Bridges”. The artists presented were chosen by an expert jury. The initiation and organization of this annual event was realized by the County of Rhein-Erft.

Comments of the artist:
“The interest in my new works was overwhelming! The theme: “The Souls of Bridges”, as well as the paintings themselves, deeply touched the hearts of the art-enthusiasts who attended the exhibit. Our interesting conversations revealed how profound the emotional relationship is that people have to “their” bridges.”


Rheinische Post Meerbusch - March 7, 2024

Read the full article here (in German).

Rheinische Post Emmerich - March 5, 2024

Read the full article here (in German).

Rheinische Post - Oct 9, 2021

Read the full article here (in German).

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