A Walk Through the Forest

By: Meryl Cohen
I have a passion for trees. This passion took root while I was living in Columbus, Ohio, shooting pictures of trees at the Dawes Arboretum. Thus began my journey of painting trees. To me, trees are figurative, representing man in many shapes and forms. They help sustain us in this world. Trees convey longevity and rootedness to the land.

It was also in Columbus that I developed my current style of working that I call fabric fusion. I freely combine acrylic paint, black and white photography, and a wide range of colorful hand-dyed and textured fabrics to create an entirely new and spiritually charged experience of the everyday world.

The Torah is called a “tree of life.” Trees connect us to the highest of Jewish values. In the prayer service, we say that the Torah “is a tree of life to all who grasp it, and whoever holds on to it is happy; its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all it paths are peace.”

I am fascinated by tree trunks as well as by the entire tree. I paint trunks tall and narrow to keep the integrity of their natural form. Additionally, I am fascinated by the arrangement of trees in the forest. My trees can be hung in a variety of different configurations, suggesting immersion in a wooded enclave. While I paint them individually, I often install them in a series of three or more paintings with uneven spacing between them in order to give the viewer a sense of what it feels like to stroll through the forest. My trees hang in many commercial installations throughout Colorado and Texas, one of which is Crested Butte Ski Resort in Colorado, as well as in many private collections throughout the United States. Here in Israel, I have plans to exhibit at the Tel Aviv Opera House, 3.1-5.2.2017. My work can also be found in private homes in Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem and can be viewed at my gallery in Beit Shemesh by private appointment.



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