Beautiful art – I had no clue they were made from a ficus! $35.98. I grew up with these in my house, my Mom lived in Mexico as a kid and they carted the painting/art pieces around. It’s a tricky balance . They wash the bark … The shop was full of Amate – or bark paper – in all shapes and sizes. The Nahua and Otomi tribes eventually began using bark paper as a canvas for traditional paintings. An Uncommon Gift Guide for Encouraging Art Learning – Part 1, The Surprising Truth About Teaching Drawing to Kids, 5 Reasons Why You Only Need 3 Tempera Colors for Your K-5 Students, Surrealistic Collage Inspired by Rene Magritte. The loser in this process has been the ficus tree itself. These paintings on amate paper (made from the bark of the wild fig tree) typically depict flowers, birds, plants and animals.