Saturday, 25 June 2016

Gifts from Southern Ontario

A few years ago, while camping in British Columbia, we came across an old logging site that had sheets of birch bark lying on the ground. I gathered many pieces that day, even though I had no idea what I was going to do with them. A few days later I was sitting in the campground with nothing to do, so I picked up a piece of bark and some watercolors and started painting. I loved it! I spent the next year making mini birch bark paintings and mounting them on pallet wood. Here are some of my favorites.


 

Last fall I started painting larger pieces, thanks to a friend who gave me a pile of birch bark that she gathered on her holidays in BC.





While there are many birch trees in Calgary, it's a rare thing to find birch bark lying on the ground. Occasionally a neighbor cuts down their weeping birch and we salvage the stumps but the bark doesn't always come off easily. So you can imagine how happy I was to find all this bark last week in Southern Ontario. It came from very old decomposing trees. Some of the pieces are huge so we shipped them back in large bins on Greyhound. I can't wait to start painting and experimenting with berry and coffee inks. We also plan to use a few pieces to make book covers for our art journals. Thank you eastern deciduous forest.

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