before and after

I spent several of my early spring Sunday mornings at Malaprop’s, one of my favorite places in Asheville, giving the  old paper mache tree a makeover. It really needed some love and care…

Over the years the poor tree had taken a beating and was covered with scribbles and signatures, and it looked kind of like a late-fall tree, with just a few leaves left. I cut the new leaves by hand, and the inspiration for the paint style came from the Sibley Guide to Trees, which has beautifully painted images of all the tree varieties.

(click photos to see enlargements)

It’s been forever since I’ve painted anything, and I have to say that I was nervous about executing the paint job that I’d envisioned. In the end, it was fun to work in a different medium, and when the tree was done I felt honored to have been asked to work on the project. As I’m becoming more focused on our upcoming move, it’s nice to think that I’ll be leaving a pretty, public work of creativity behind. I love how the tree turned out, and it was great to spend some time with my old buddies at the store!