VIDEO 8 – 2018 – Vera’s Dispatches from the Art Studio – in Wimbledon Commons talking about my inspiration from nature and in particular trees (birch trees)
Below is a blog that is based on my vlog in Wimbledon Common taking about my love of the natural world and the inspiration I find in nature. In the video, I share some of the elements of nature that I find particularly inspirational – trees – and in specific, birch trees. Please note, I’ve edited this blog from the original video version for clarity and brevity :-) To see the full video go here for Facebook and here for YouTube.
Hi everyone! Welcome and thank you for joining me! I’m Vera – London-based, nature inspired abstract artist. I am here in Wimbledon Common surrounded by birch trees on a very chilly day in February.
It’s absolutely amazing how diverse such a small green space can be. There’s so much diversity in the trees, the wildlife, the flora, and the fauna – it’s fantastic. So for me, as a lover of plants, nature, and trees, it’s amazing to be able to visit Wimbledon Common even on a chilly day like today and spend some time to remind myself why nature inspires me… why it can heal and calm… at least nature does that for me.
Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about trees, and there is one particular book that talks about the life of trees – “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. The book was written by a forest caretaker / park ranger in Germany. In the book, he shares a lot of the scientific research that has recently come out about trees and his own observations – what he has seen in terms of how the trees interact with each other and how people react to the trees. One of the fascinating things that the book talks about is that scientists have discovered that trees can genuinely communicate with each other. Whether it’s through different scents that float through the forest, or through the huge underground root network, trees communicate with each other. And that’s why often times, in the event of pests or diseases that spread through trees, or even in the event of man-made attacks on trees (like a tree or a branch being cut down), that message can spread throughout the forest. I find the ability of trees to communicate absolutely fascinating.
The other element that I find amazing about trees is that their life span is so long. You can have trees that are hundreds of years old… even thousands of years old. And from a human perspective, that’s amazing… obviously our life spans are quite a bit shorter. It’s amazing to think that the trees that we look at have been around for hundreds of years for previous generations to enjoy and will likely be around for hundreds of more years and the next generations. I love that longevity! It’s absolutely amazing.
There are lot of different trees that I adore – oaks in particular. And I love some shrubs, including some unusual favourites like sloe shrubs and gorse. Evergreens are also some of personal favourites. But one of the trees that I particularly love and why I wanted to shoot this video in this specific location is birch trees.
I find birch trees incredibly beautiful. Their trunks are fantastic – the markings that they have and the fact that they are not the traditional brown colour of the stereotypical tree trunks. When you’re a child and somebody tells you to draw a tree, you draw a tree with a brown trunk and green leaves – that is the classic vision of a tree. So I find any tree that goes outside of that typical tree definition particularly interesting. And that’s one of the reasons I love birch trees so much. Their white or off-white trunks are very noticeable in forests as you can imagine. Even just driving by, they catch your attention. I just love the fact that they’re different. I think they’re so striking and unique. Whether the trees have leaves in the summer or whether they have no leaves like now in winter, they are absolutely beautiful and very architectural.
From an artist perspective, I’m not the only person who particularly loves birch trees. If you live in London or if you’ve visited London, you know the Tate Modern and right in front of it, there is a landscape en masse planting of birch trees. Birch trees are very architectural and their colours are very monochrome – they are absolutely stunning trees. And I feel very lucky that I have a place like this (Wimbledon Common) where I can find a bunch of birch trees to admire.
From a family perspective, birch trees are particularly loved also by my parents and sister. I remember quite a few years ago, when unfortunately my grandfather passed away, we planted a birch tree in the back yard in his memory. It was our way of commemorating his life and just thinking about him whenever we looked at that birch tree. So to this day, I have a soft spot in my heart for birch trees.
Thank you everybody for joining me this week for this video. I hope you’re enjoying my series of videos so far. This year, through these videos, I’m really trying to connect with you and give you a behind the scenes look at life as an artist, what artworks I’m working on, and upcoming shows and events. But also I’m sharing other parts of my life with you. For example, the inspiration for my art – nature. Whether it’s travelling to places abroad, along the coast, or doing Thames walks, or whether it’s closer to home like now (Wimbledon Commons), nature is such a huge part of what I love and what inspires me. I think it’s really important to connect on that level. So I hope you are enjoying these behind the scenes peeks.
Sorry if I’m speaking a bit funny, it’s just really cold and I’m almost shivering a bit. I want to thank you again for joining me and until next week, I hope to see you whether it’s at the Wimbledon Art Studio or one of the other events that I’m doing… or whether it’s online through social media, you can always connect with me by searching for “Vera Vera On The Wall”. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Ello and YouTube. And you can always find me on my website at https://www.veraveraonthewall.com. So I hope that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a lovely week and thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to come and join me.
See you next week. Bye!