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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Bekker


My first classroom for design and colour theory began on my family’s garden centre farm. Much of my childhood was spent outdoors, either running through wild forests, building secret forts, gathering flowers from the garden to create something beautiful, or picking rocks endlessly from the family’s vegetable garden.

My father has an excellent eye for garden design, and I can remember accompanying him to help create gardens formed from lines and layering in the family business. Starting with a grounding element of hardscape such as rocks, concrete, or wood, he would then introduce plants in large drifts using single varieties that would weave in and around each other giving a punch of colour and draw the eye to each interesting texture. More delicate lower growing plants spilling over the front or between cracks and crevices were the highlight and often included a fine, delicate finish.

Much of how I understand and create Forest Art is by implementing a few key ideas that have been acquired over the years through spending time in nature and observing how natural landscapes are formed, and what looks natural and calming.

Some designing ideas:

· Scale & Balance

· Simplicity

· Variety & Texture

· Colour

· Take a break

Scale & Balance - Design that is proportionately out of scale can make surroundings seem underwhelming or overwhelming in relation to the art. For example, a small Forest Art piece might be perfect against a small bathroom wall, but on an expansive dining room wall would look small and under proportioned.

Simplicity – With so many different mosses and plants it can be tempting to create using too many different materials, however, this can easily overwhelm and become too busy for our eyes. Instead, I like to create using 3 or 4 different moss textures to give a striking yet calming design.

Variety & Texture – Using multiple textures in similar shades of colours add interest and depth without becoming overwhelming and becoming too busy.

Colour – When designing with varied colours I like to think of the previously mentioned topics, ‘Scale’ and ‘Simplicity’ along with surrounding colours and textures of the building space. For example, wood textures and bright white walls with natural light are complemented nicely with Forest Art that incorporates darker green shades in various textures in the naturally lit space.

Take A Break – Sometimes when starting a new project, idea, or concept, the creating process may not be progressing to how I had envisioned. In the event that something isn’t “coming together”, taking a break, and heading out for a walk gives perspective and helps to clear and inspire my mind. Returning to work with new eyes helps fresh ideas easily start to flow.

“Planning, problem-solving, and a relaxed approach has proven successful in my processes that came with many learning experiences and for these I wouldn’t change a thing.

Forest art is inspired by natural outdoor landscapes and created using a few helpful guiding principles along with a connection to the client’s desires and dreams.”

- Heidi

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