FNST Suwannee River section
Rebecca, Stella and her sister on graduation day.


Local Artist Stella Arbeláez set to paint 1200 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail.

January 1st, 2020 (Yalaha FL). -This January local artist, Stella Arbeláez will endeavor to complete a 1300 mile trek through the state of Florida walking the Florida National Scenic Trail from end to end. The artist plans to document her journey by painting and sketching along the entire way.

"As the hiking season approached I contacted Rebecca Klementovich, my best friend from college, and asked her to help me make one of my dreams come true." Stella says.

Stella Arbeláez and Rebecca Klementovich met at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, where they both studied Fashion and Fine Arts Illustration. Stella later became a special effects animation artist for the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio in Florida as well as Warner Brothers and DreamWorks in California. She worked in such movies as "Lion King", "The Iron Giant" and "Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron Valley", to name a few. Rebecca became a Fashion Textile designer for twenty two years, working on high end women’s clothes lines. After weddings, mothers deaths, raising daughters and divorces, they are reuniting to work together again. Stella and Rebecca have not painted together in over twenty years.

The plan is for Stella to trek the Florida National Scenic Trail in a three month journey. While on the trail, Stella will be painting and sketching the uniqueness of the Florida landscape. Rebecca will support Stella by caring for her dog and home as well as meeting her at specific locations to resupply art or/and food supplies as needed. The two artists plan to paint together on some sections of the trail to share the beauty and diversity that the Florida landscape has to offer. The friends hope to rejoin forces on their goal to become fantastic painters and renew their friendship and dedication to the arts.

“We hope to paint some epic paintings and find some galleries that will sponsor us as well. There is nothing stronger than the bond of friendship and a love of painting. We will be like Monet and Renoir, of the Trails!” Rebecca says.

"Planning and completing a thru hike for the first time is not an easy task. I will have to walk an average of 17 miles per day for 3 months in order to pull this off." Stella said. "Add to this my goal of recording the trail on canvas and paper, and a thru hike becomes the most exciting and challenging art project for me tackle up to date".

Rebecca Klementovich is a full time painter. She moved to the Dover area recently, after living in the Bartlett, NH for eight years. She is known for her colorful mountains landscapes, and being the co-founder of the Femme Fatales of the North. You can find out more about her on her website. www.klementovich.com

After more than a decade living in California dedicated to raising a family, Stella Arbeláez is now back in Central Florida. She is currently working on developing a body of work to launch her career as a fine artist. This project (#FTArtHike) is an essential component of her process and goal. You can find more about Stella on her website: www.stellaarbelaez.com

Follow this adventure:

Facebook: Rebecca Klementovich and StellaArbelaez.Art

Instagram: @StellaArbelaez.Art

Web: ftarthike.com