A Tree Fairy Painting on Austrailian Paper Bark

I love painting tree fairies and I have been experimenting with painting them on the bark of the Australian paper bark, Melaleuca quinquenervia trees.  We have a lot of them here in Southern California.  I love the organic shapes and the textures and feel painting on a natural piece of bark fits with my art.  The paper-like bark peels right off of the trees and it doesn’t hurt the tree to harvest the bark.

Tree fairy painting on paper bark tree

This is an ancient art tradition of the Aboriginal people of Australia.  They created wonderful dot paintings, often times telling the stories of their dreams.  I found out about this style of art a few years ago when I was researching the art of different countries to teach in my art workshops for teens. It is still a popular art style, and I found many beautiful paintings on the internet.  It has also become one of my most popular summer workshops.

I posted the sketch of my tree fairy a few weeks ago.  The tree bark can be really smooth on the back side, but I really liked the front side of this piece of bark.  Since it had a lot of texture, I decided to re-create my sketch to size, cut it out, and glue it to the bark as a beginning for the painting.  I also applied a coat of gel to seal and smooth out the bark.

Applying gel to the piece

I attached the bark to my easel with a clip and began painting.  I love the light  in this picture.  I have a wonderful south-facing skylight that lights my easel over my left shoulder.  It was my husbands idea when we built the studio and I just love it.

Bark painting and sketch on easel

Here is a picture of the piece against my wood floor.   I wanted to see different colors behind it.

Fairy bark painting against wood flooring

Now I need to figure out how to present and frame it. Hmmm….

Any ideas would be much appreciated!  🙂

Have a wonderful, creative day, Janell