PAINTING TREES IS PURE THERAPY FOR THIS BRAVEST OF ARTISTS
the ARTISTS APPRECIATION INITIATIVe extends a warm welcome to emily finch
We are thrilled to welcome Emily Finch to the Artists Appreciation Initiative; a growing community of extraordinary artists. Emily has a heart warming story and an ambitious vision which she shared with us recently and it’s worth passing on.
Emily finds the creative process of tree painting GOOD therapy
What happens when you stop and look up? No, seriously, stick with the notion for a while if you can and even better think about how you feel when you stand beneath a big old tree and look up. I find it’s the best kind of therapy I can get. Our newest recruit to the Artists Appreciation Initiative, Emily Finch, has a powerful and heart warming story of how she came to paint these beautiful harbingers of calm, acceptance and ultimate self empowerment.
Painting can be a therapeutic process in itself, but when you combine it with the ancient art of tree gazing something extraordinary begins to happen.
HOW EMILY CAME TO DISCOVER THE ANCIENT ART OF TREE BATHING
This beautiful oak tree, is one in a long series of over 80 paintings by the talented and brave Emily Finch, who’s journey to a creative career as an artist has been challenging for her and inspirational for us. Born with Developmental Dislocation of the Hips (DDH), which was missed at birth, Emily has been disabled all her life. Throughout her childhood she had many operations, culminating in total hip replacement when she was just 18. Sadly this went terribly wrong, and when she woke up she had no feeling from the waist down. She was in a wheelchair for a year and in full-time physio. Undeterred, Emily went off to uni and then into the city. Unfulfilled with a city career she moved into TV and was fortunate enough to work with David Attenborough on seven productions.
In 2017 Emily had a beautiful daughter, and it was at this stage that she decided she had a chance to explore her creative side and started to paint. This was the start of something life changing for Emily, but her path was still strewn with immeasurable challenges that would require the highest order of fortitude to endure. She had reconstructive foot surgery, followed by a time of being bed ridden, as a result, for 3 months. When the cast came off we were in National lock-down. This was then followed by two traumatic miscarriages.
Emily tells the story, ‘One day I was compelled to go for a walk in a local woods and saw a pebble lodged in a tree at eye-level that said ‘BE HAPPY’. It connected deeply with me and I lay under that tree and breathed for the first time in what felt like years. I started seeing colour again and the only way I could process the experience was to go back to the studio and paint a tree, looking up.’
And so a journey of profound healing began and Emily found solace and comfort in looking up and painting nature. Recognising what a valuable lifeline tree-gazing can provide, Emily has ambition plans to create an installation that can be accessed by all. ‘Tree bathing’ is not a new thing – it’s free, has multiple benefits and is easily accessible, so why not embrace it more actively? Emily is quick at this point to site, ‘The Nature Remedy’ by Faith Douglass. This is a good read if your interest has been piqued and you just need a little more background.
It’s obvious to me that Emily’s works provide a great dose of positive mental health for us the viewer. The timing couldn’t be better as we emerge from our National lock-down – Emily’s artworks are a lovely reminder that our connection with nature is essential to a good and happy life. Please join me in welcoming Emily to the Artists Appreciation Initiative. We look forward to seeing her develop her art of the year and watching her ambitious and heart warming plans come to fruition.
If you are interested in seeing more of Emily’s work or learning more about her plans, please head to www.emzfinchart.co.uk You can also find her in the Artists section on our website.
All images by Joanne Nichole Photography