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Organic Berry Wellness: Meet the Artist

Organic Berry Wellness

In Recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
We Are Proud to Introduce Our New Organic Berry Wellness Tea Blend

Meet the Artist
George Sumner is known for promoting environmental causes worldwide. He is an environmental impressionist painter whose unique style, attitude and talent have brought him international acclaim and the opportunity to share his vision with millions of people. His tireless efforts to "Save the Whales" for over the last 40 years through his vivid imagery has influenced a generation of Marine artists and environmentalists.

Sumner was born and raised in San Francisco. He joined the Navy after High School and enjoyed his 3-year tour of duty in Southeast Asia. During this period, his first exploration of the Hawaiian Islands took place. He received an A.A. in Ornamental Horticulture at C.C.S.F., then attended the San Francisco Art Institute, studying oil painting. He began his art career while working as a S.F. Golden Gate Park Gardener (1967-1974), taking periodical leaves to travel with a group of artists throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada exhibiting at various art festivals.

George, his beloved wife and business partner Donnalei (fourth generation from Hawaii) have studios in California and Hanalei Bay, Hawaii. His step-daughter Megan Lei, works in the family art business. His son Sean has earned a Ph.D. at UCLA in Marine Biology and is currently a Professor of Environmental Science and Resource management CSU Channel Islands.

George’s art has received special honors across the nation and his works are featured at such prestigious locations including the Statue of Liberty, U.N. Headquarters, Smithsonian Institute and Stanford University. For more information about the art, www.sumner-studios.com

George and Donnalei Sumner wish to encourage all to "Share your Dreams!"

Here's a Q&A session we recently had with George to discuss the launch of Organic Berry Wellness and how it influenced him.

Mighty Leaf Tea: Thanks for being a fan of Mighty Leaf Tea! It’s exciting to see how tea drinking can inform and inspire art. Can you please share with us how Organic Berry Wellness inspired this painting?
George Sumner: My wife and I were very touched when Mighty Leaf Tea contacted us about dedicating a percentage of their Organic Berry Wellness tea sales to benefit Art for Recovery. Knowing the health benefits derived from tea, we wanted to become involved using our art as a way to promote good health habits and community support toward a great cause with this oil painting. The image evolved from a magical teapot with steaming vapors rising into an abstract tea leaf. Inside the tealeaf appears a beautiful, youthful "woman-spirit" who softly represents "The Spirit of Healing."

MLT: How would you describe your artistic style?
GS: A "title" I settled on to describe my style of painting was deduced from my youth as an environmental activist. Most of my subjects are nature scenes, as depicted in a "Dream State" – thus my title for over 45 years: "Environmental Impressionist"

My life-long goal has been focused on using my large oil paintings to call attention to and protect our precious ecosystem. My style is easily identified by a unique "Light Force" emanating from the painting – usually with the use of strong colors.

MLT: What is the name of the painting inspired by Mighty Leaf's Organic Berry Wellness?
GS: "The Spirit of Healing"

MLT: Can you describe why you used the particular colors chosen?
GS: The brilliant emerald green color represents the deep, healthy resonance of tea.

MLT: Do you have a daily tea ritual? What does it look like?
GS: As a teenager I truly loved tea, even though in those days I would add sugar like the English. Coffee never really appealed to me until later years. I seldom drink coffee. Out of high school I joined the Navy. While in Japan I became more familiar with tea and realized the true health benefits of green tea. Donnalei has loved tea all her life – Tea parties for her, her 92-year-old Mom (we call Tutu), our daughter Megan Lei, and dear friends were a ritual in our home!

MLT: Any favorite teas?
: My wife says she will "reach for her Tea as a way to enjoy, celebrate or smooth a day’s journey." So many favorites from Chamomile, green, Earl Grey...

MLT: If we want to learn more about your paintings and art, where should we visit online?
: http://www.sumner-studios.com/