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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine ISSN# 1708-3265

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About the Cover
Beth Seilonen

About the Artist

I was born in 1975 and grew up in the small community of Charlotte, Maine, USA. A very rural part of Maine speckled with blueberry barrens, hay fields, and moss floored forests. As a child, I would roam the woods and barrens studying the forms; photographing and drawing.

My weekends were spent in the company of my grandmothers along the St. Croix River in Calais, Maine. During my weekend visits, they handed me art supplies and paper. I was painting and drawing anything that came into my view - from crows to cars, light houses to flowers.

As I grew, so did a spiritual awareness to the connection between myself, the land and ocean which surrounded the small section of the world that I knew and loved.

Upon graduating from Calais High School in 1994, I attended the University of Maine and obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts in 1998.

I began teaching art at an inner city school in Houston, Texas, during the fall of '98. Throughout the three years I taught there I longed for the woods, barrens and the ocean waters of Maine. It took another five years before I made it back to Calais to open my own gallery.

Once I came home, my art took a decided shift from being very realistic to a more spiritually expressive art.

Beginnings of the Tree People

There was a fairly young birch tree along our driveway that did not come back to life after one winter. My very observant four-year-old son, Dylan, took note of this and asked the proverbial "Why?"

I explained about pollution and acid rain.

"How does it get here?" He asked. I had to admit that it was our own doing, we created this toxic environment. After that, he would routinely point to people's chimney's screaming "POLLUTION!"

At the same time, President Bush repealed vital corporate pollution control measures to reduce the amount of Mercury emitted into the air. Due to this, the Mercury emitted from industries in the southern United States, rained down onto the Maine lakes, streams, and ponds making our fish toxic to eat.

In response to this, I created a series of paintings using the image of the barren birch tree—its gnarled limbs with human attributes conveying what we were ultimately doing to ourselves.

Over time, my paintings changed, as had my philosophy. The trees softened, often pregnant with a child, or swaying and reaching for the midnight moon. I recalled the feelings I had as a child walking through the forest and have since worked to bring awareness to the balance between nature and us. The way life should be.

Please visit my website to view more of my work. Contact Beth via email regarding purchasing any prints or custom pieces.

Photo credit: Caroline Foote, 2005.

Cover Image

Copyright (c) 2007 Beth Seilonen "Tree People"





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