FRIENDLY FOREST

The night the idea for THATARTGIRL panels was born, I was with the group of amazing women pictured here. Our friend Kamela had just opened a new office space for her business “Silver Birch Hollistic Healing”.   I thought the walls should be adorned with tree paintings given to her from her friends.  I suggested this idea over dinner and I got skeptical looks in response.  The overall consensus was that they wanted to give whatever they could to our beloved friend, but doubted their ability to pull it off.  I suggested that it might be easier if I pre-drew the design for them.  Everyone clapped and cheered.  From that interchange, the idea was conceived for this new venture.

Last night was all part of the original plan with my friends: to come together as a group and paint our panels together.  Once again, there were nerves and insecurities when we began.  I demonstrated the technique that I use to create the bark on a birch tree and then unleashed the students to try it on their own.  I’m not going to lie—-a heard a few grumbles and frustrated protests, but everyone persisted with their task.  I tested the waters to determine how much to intervene on their work.  It was my hope to offer a demonstration on technique and then encourage each individual to shine in her own way.  Although the paintings share its composition, each has its own unique style and voice, provided exclusively from the hand of the artist that painted it.  It’s a perfect demonstration of the intent of these panels and I’m thrilled with the outcome.  We called our collective “The Friendly Forest”.  We hope Kamela feels the love from our group every time she passes by it.


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