Working with nature: 1

This week I joined an online class exploring different ways of working with nature in an art practice.

Initially we were encouraged to explore our environment and collect flora that attracted us.  Obviously, in parks and and on bush trails I only picked up fallen/dead pieces but I also took the pruning shears to a few bits in my garden as I felt my colour range from public land was a little sparse.

Having been collecting, drying and flattening various pieces over recent years to use for printing I felt I had a reasonable collection as a start point.

From here I added other less organic pieces and started creating and photographing small vignettes.

This dried flower head has a deep russet red tinge to it.  It’s some kind of shrivelled gum blossom.  It sits atop a torn piece of Kozo I dyed a while ago.  I felt that the shell and rectangular stone (polished Jasper given to me by a friend) added a contrast to the organic shapes of the other components.

Rusted bolts and a dried and bleached coral found on the beach were added to my garden materials.

It was a challenge to work a design around a long piece of fire grass but the inclusion of items with very different shapes has brought more interest to what could have been just a very long narrow composition.  Torn kitchen hand towel, heavily stained by tea, has been used to create a straight edge to the right.

Love the colour of the Kangaroo Paw I picked yesterday.  Each flower head seems to be tipped with tiny claws.  Then this morning a few red dried leaves drifted to my door, begging to be included.

The piece of stamped copper shim was given to me by a master metalworker I met some years ago and is a keepsake of my creative time teaching in Grafton.  Again I’ve added Kozo, but undyed this time.

Turning the Kozo around changed the composition from horizontal to vertical allowing me to add the 2 shell sections in keeping with the directional pull.  The photo has transformed them from matte white shell slices to shiny pearlised pieces.


Some of the fresh leaves I collected were starting to dry out and today I found that although they were still green in colour they were so dry they disintegrated when I tried to use them, so I just included the fragments in my vignette.  Some of these materials have been used when printmaking and are a little stained with inks.  I think it adds to the colour scheme.

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About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
This entry was posted in Design Play, My Creative Pieces. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Working with nature: 1

  1. Steve Meyfroidt says:

    Lovely! Maybe all the same format (square?) to make a series? Really good work anyway.

    • Claire B says:

      Enjoying playing around with bits and pieces, Steve. Currently cropping images and extracting colours to work with from the photos and the vignettes. A bit different to my normal creative work.

      • Steve Meyfroidt says:

        Nice to see you developing a process like this. Inspiring work! (And I still think these vignettes stand in their own right 😀)

        • Claire B says:

          The thing about these vignettes is that I now can’t stop doing them. It’s interesting experimenting with what goes together and what doesn’t, what shapes work and which colours add a zing to a composition.

          • Steve Meyfroidt says:

            I imagine a series could work very well together. For example, a vignette of the stuff in a 1 metre square of some location. How might that compare with the same idea somewhere else. Anyway. I like them! ❤️

          • Claire B says:

            Great idea. Something to think about for the future for sure. Vignettes from a garden, a bush setting, a river path or the beach would form totally different visual results.

  2. westdeanie says:

    Do you know the work of Jane Bevan? Might be worth a look!

    • Claire B says:

      I’ve just spend a lovely time scrolling through her site. What wonderful pieces and thanks for letting me know about her. Incredible vessels and I’m very struck by the ones with bark curls, so unusual.

      • westdeanie says:

        Yes, she creates beautiful work. I was introduced to her by Elaine Bolt who makes ceramics with natural flourishes so that’s another artist to check out!

  3. Pingback: Exploring Mixed Media: 7 | TactualTextiles

  4. Pingback: Part 1: Monoprinted vignettes | TactualTextiles

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