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.
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
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.
Celebrating Tu Bishvat with a Seder Meal
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.
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Tu Bishvat begins in the evening of Sunday, 16 January and ends in the evening of Monday, 17 January, 2022.