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Celebrating Tu Bishvat Through my Love of Painting

Negev, Be'er Sheva
Three Trees
הרחוב שלי, שלושה עצים
Butterflies, Tu Bishvat
פרפרים, ט”ו בשבט

I am celebrating Tu Bishvat as an artist – through my love of painting.

Of course, planting trees, eating fruit, and having Tu Bishvat seders are my subjects. I enjoy all of these, and so bring my experiences, memories and observations into my artwork.

Painting Trees for Tu Bishvat

I love trees. I think that you do, too – or why would you be reading this?

As I live in Beer Sheva, in the Negev, the most common tree is the palm tree. Each one has its own unique shape, size, colour.

In ‘Three Trees’ I have painted a family of trees close together, one of many in the street where I live.

When I paint nature, it is a way of connecting to Our Creator, who ‘planted a garden in Eden’.

Celebrating Tu Bishvat by Planting

In this paragraph, I would like to tell you about one of my childhood memories.

As my father was an avid gardener, he wanted to teach me about tending gardens, too.

For instance, when I was a young child, my father gave me my own little section of our family garden, and this delighted me.

Morover, he taught me how to look after plants.

Then, one day, when I was out walking in the English countryside with my father, I noticed a little green plant. He told me it was a ‘sapling’ and would grow into a tree in the right conditions. I was amazed!

It was a huge surprise to me that trees, so much bigger than me, started life so much smaller than me.

Most importantly, I wanted to watch the miracle of growth. So I carefully took the tiny plant home, put it in my garden and watered and cared for it.

Finally, after many long years, it grew into a huge cedar tree.

Butterflies, Tu Bishvat painting

So, I have memorialized my childhood experience in in this painting. The lady is planting a sapling with loving care, reminiscent of my planting one as a young girl.

As a result of the planting, the butterflies on her scarf sense that it will grow into a tree, and they come alive and fly/dance about with joy. They know that they need trees and plant life to survive.

There will be trees offering them shelter and food.

Celebrating with Colourful Fruit

The Seven Species
שבעת המינים

Amongst the fruits are the hands, which I have painted offering the special blessing upwards.

Eating Fruit on Tu Bishvat. Planting trees on Tu Bishvat.

As the seven species of fruit, praised in the Torah (Deut. 8:8) , are so beautiful, this is a wonderful subject for me.

So, I really enjoyed painting the colours. The golden wheat, barley and dates, the rich purples of the figs, olives and grapes, and the bright red pomegranates.

I think that the main focus of my painting is the tree.

Maybe you think I’ve posted my painting upside down by mistake?

However, it’s not a mistake, because the tree in my painting is like the righteous person with roots in heaven.

Celebrating Tu Bishvat with a Seder Meal

Left is a sketch I did whilst enjoying a musical Tu Bishvat seder in Nachlaot, Jerusalem. Right is a digital painting I made.

Over the years I have enjoyed many Tu Bishvat Seders and my painting is based on these experiences.

Although I have included the seven species, the wine and the music in my painting, the most important element is the people. For, without people there is no festive meal.

In conclusion, my love of trees, nature and the Seven Species of the land of Israel, where I live, give me a wonderful subject for my painting.

If you have enjoyed this article, please write a comment.

Tu Bishvat begins in the evening of Sunday, 16 January and ends in the evening of Monday, 17 January, 2022.

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8 Responses to Celebrating Tu Bishvat Through my Love of Painting

  1. Nice paintings and write up.
    I added your blog entry to my Tu B’Shvat educational resources.
    Tu B’Shvat Sameach!
    Jacob

  2. Beautifully said, Chana, and beautiful memories, I can relate to that, as I was a little gardener too!
    Your technique and warm colors are very well celebrating the richness of the trees in our beloved Eretz Israel! Happy Tu be Shevat!

  3. Angela Cheetham Wilkinson says:

    I very much respond, from my own deep personal experience, to your father’s teaching about plants. I had similar meaningful events as a youngster and they have coloured my art work decades later.
    I knew you’d got the tree the ‘right way’ up in ‘The Seven Species’ and I love this painting, it has a powerful voice of its own – without explanation.
    I wish you a very happy Tu Bishvat and more ‘art from your heart’ throughout this year.

  4. admin says:

    Thank you so much, Sherrie, for your appreciation.

  5. admin says:

    Thank you, Tamar. I’m glad you enjoyed the story behind my paintings.

  6. Sherrie says:

    What beautiful, original and colorful paintings with a very interesting blog accompanying them!! Yishar Koach!

  7. תמר says:

    Hi, this was very insightful.
    I have seen many of your paintings but not known the story behind them.

  8. admin says:

    Hello. I have started a blog page on my website and this is my first one. I hope you enjoy it. I would love some feedback. It isn’t long until Tu Bishvat – so please spread the word!

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