Autumn- A Botanical Journey

Alter Ego of a Primrose     Mixed Media Collage

 

On the edge of the woods, everything is changing and shifting. Green is turning into red,yellow and gold.  Beautiful fresh blooms are turning shades of brown and burgundy, and they are stiff and brittle. Some flowers appear to be made of stone. The tall green grasses are now tall brown and tawny grasses waving stiffly in the wind. Leaves from the very top of our stately trees are taking the plunge and dancing towards the earth. The natural world takes autumn very seriously and every single plant gives its all to the new season.

Along the Chlorophyll Trail   Mixed media collage

I have been thinking a lot lately about the miracle of chlorophyll  and how  completely we depend on it for life on this glorious planet. Chlorophyll is mysterious and wonderful yet it is never a topic of poetry or prose. No ballads, songs or odes are written about it. I wonder if they had given it a more pleasant name if it would appear in literature and song. anyway, I wonder what chlorophyll”s view of autumn is…. a much needed vacation, or a nasty deprivation ????? Check out my “gallery” and see what’s available for sale

Growing Night Bloomers in the Western Reserve

 

Over the years on my artistic journey, I have seen over and over that my art is not something thing “I do”, rather it is an expression of my life and spirit. My expressions and processes take twists and turns just as my life does. Seasons of art, ups and downs, like the tides, like the passing of night and day. Sometimes I just get up on the “wrong side of my art bed”. The secret is that I must continue to make art with or without an strong inspiration and then as I continue the creative juices will begin to flow. A lot like what I have seen in relationships with those I love, a lot like my life of faith. Sometimes I just don’t feel like loving, or putting the effort into relationships and faith. But when I make a small effort wonderful things happen.

 

 

 

With my mother’s passing in April I found myself “fired” from my long term position as “caregiver”. After that came many emotions, experiences that I was not expecting. I did not realize how much of my life revolved around the role I had as daughter and caregiver.

 

I thought I was too sophisticated to have a “mid-life crises”. Long story short, as I look at the art that I produced since the loss of my mom I am surprised to find that I had put the bright colors aside and subconsciously chosen, silvers, grays and darker metallics. Possibly because for several months I walked in the presence of an ancient one and accompanied her through the valley of Death.   Seeing my mother’s small form lying in her bed of passing, I could not help but face my own mortality.

 

Epiphyllum oxypetalum   “Queen of the Night”

Growing up in Southern California my Grandma lived next door and tended a marvelous garden. One of her prizes was her Night Blooming Cereus. I remember as a child the excitement surrounding there rare blooms in the dark of night. My Grandmother was even known to invite guests for the sweet-smelling experience. With my Grandma’s passing, my parents tended the night bloomers and  continued the celebratory traditions.  Living in Ohio, I  do not have a single gorgeous night blooming cactus to my name.  However, as I look at my art garden, I cannot help but think that I am growing my own night bloomers. Creating  and tending lovely flowers to bloom and smell sweetly in the evening of my life.

 

 

On the Fair Edge of Winter

 Now that we have reached the threshold of spring, the fair edge of winter, I am finally looking back over the art which had made up my creative moments this  winter. Over the cold months I have once again found my artwork capturing the spirit of a Botanical Winter. From our windows on the woods, i I can see the  winter grasses.  Night and day they endure the frozen temperatures, winds and ice. They did not just endure but they do it with grace and beauty.

My themes this winter have  revolved around  the grasses and seeds of winter. They have such abundance and so many levels and interpretations. They are lovely. yet ignored.

They are trodden under foot and yet they are an integral part of our universe.

They are apart of the great dance of life. Our natural world revolves around the silent work of seeds and grasses.

There is More to Art Than Making Artwork

 

Happy to say that I will be having my art work on display at the Akron Women’s City Club for the month of October.  Reception on October 6, 1-4  All are Welcome

732 W Exchange St, Akron, OH 44302

 

Looking back, I realize that  before I began my journey into art, that I had little idea exactly what I was getting into. I thought of art as an “enjoyable pastime”, a therapeutic endeavor, a way to cover some vacant walls.  Now, after several years  of pursuing art in the mixed media world, I have come to see that creating art enters into every part of my life.

At present, I am experiencing carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands. It all started two months ago when I felt compelled to give voice to Flowers.

Hours of  painting,cutting, folding, writing,clipping, and before the first few flowers were even blooming my hands were numb.

 

Did that stop me? A couple years ago, I came to the understanding that the artwork that I create is only a part of the whole creative process. The artistic process also includes, shopping for supplies, cleaning up my studio, time spent at the framers, online research and hours spent looking for the “right” supplies.  And now I add Dr. visits and shopping for wrist supporters. i always knew that  garden  work could be dangerous but I somehow thought working in my art garden was a safer pastime.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Nancy Reyner

 

Thank You Nancy Reyner……

Artists may have many defining moments in their artistic journeys, times when new doors swing open and the artist is lead in fresh directions. These defining moments can look very different from one another. Some are obvious and even dramatic, while others are recognized only with hindsight. There are those moments when the lights go on, bells ring, doors and windows fly open, the red carpet of understanding is rolled out and the artist knows that they will never be the same.

I had that experience a couple years ago when I watched  Nancy Reyner’s wonderful tutorial on how to apply metal gilding. For some reason, I was  apprehensive about trying my hand at gilding. Nancy’s teaching video was perfect for me. The instruction was direct and clear, the technique, supplies and process were covered in simple, precise language. When the video was over, I felt like I knew what to do.  site. My artistic journey took a wonderful turning at that moment. Gilding has become an integral part of my artistic expression and a wonderful technique for expressing my enthusiasm for all things colorful and “shiny”. I am able to communicate in a new way, a little like learning a new language. My collages have taken on a unique character and I have discovered wonderful new colors and many surprises.  I have found many of Nancy’s teaching videos to be very helpful, along with several of her books. Thank you Nancy for opening the Gilded Doors for me. www.nancyreyner.com

            

Blooming Where I am Planted

 

Happy to say i will be at the lovely Fine art show, Bellissimo, at Gervasi Vineyard

on Sunday July 22, 2018 fro 12:00-5:00.  Look for me under the Pavilion.

 

A few years ago, late at night in early spring. I was supposed to be cleaning up my studio.  Instead, I found myself “playing” with certain paper scrapes and slowly the inspiration of a collage flower came into being.  The first inspiration came quickly and unexpectedly but the  actual design and construction took several weeks.I found the task so difficult that for quite a long time I actually did not attempt another one. Then I made one more and then none for many months.

To me, flowers are  like a divine wake-up call. They are awesomely beautiful and  yet they are scattered all over the place. Looking at flowers costs nothing and can be very therapeutic.  I have often wondered why no one has gone into Floral Therapy? Flowers are hard to explain, containing depth and mysteries. And on top of that they can even smell good! Not all mysteries smell good .

This spring, late at night, while I was supposed to be cleaning my studio, the inspiration hit again. I was inspired to take the time to consider my approach to flowers and try to discover why the task was so challenging. I called it “Wrestling the Flower Angels”.  I am happy to say that after much thought, writing and soul searching I was able to return to the job of giving voice to flowers.

 

 

An essential part of my flower design is the decision that I made to spend time making sure every part is well constructed.  Have you ever picked a rose or a daisy and on closer inspection you notice that the back of the petals were unfinished, never colored, or the sepal was poorly constructed?  No. Flowers, are well constructed, organized nicely and made to achieve their purpose. Hence I have decided to “waste” time on the details rather than using haphazard construction methods. Even in our technological, consumer age society, flowers are made with the same perfection that they were in the Victorian age. The flowers blooming by the side of the road are equally perfect to the ones growing in the the grandest gardens of the world.  

 

Winter-An intimate Friend

 

The business of the Holidays is over, A few lights still hang and remind. Now the center stage is for Winter. Pure and simple Winter—Winter without holidays. A solid, unmanaged winter. In the woods we are very familiar with winter. Every stone, limb,log and creature is  the intimate of winter. Friend and foe and very familiar. This year my thoughts are on how winter is an important part of my relationship with the woods around me.  As in the natural world,all relationships have seasons. In every season I can choose to grow, learn and survive or wither and die off.For me, as a collage artist, I find an inspiration in the Bleak Mid-Winter that I find no where else.  In these cold and frozen months I find myself chasing after  subdued and frosty colors and textures. Something I would never consider in the warmer months.  Winter is a master artist teaching me anew to find the joyful patterns and pathways of the frozen times. I must try to remember this in my relationships also. Always to reach out to beauty in its many forms.

 

My Current Work- ABUNDANCE

Whistling for Rodger”, paper collage, acrylics, metal gilding, by  artist Helen Wilson

 

This past summer and autumn I have several new pieces in my studio. Their themes all seem to revolve around the idea of ABUNDANCE. Living on the edge of the woods we are constantly surrounded by Nature’s Abundance. So many leaves, so many grasses, flowers,tress, stones and living beings. Everywhere and always. This abundance fascinates and inspires me.

Skylark for the Artist” paper collage, acrylics, metal gilding  by artist Helen Wilson

 

 Summer’s abundance has come and gone, followed by Autumn’s generous spirit.

Now we are on the border edges of winter and Nature’s abundance takes on a new face.

How Long Does It Take????

Last weekend I had a wonderful time sharing my artwork at the Bellissimo Art show at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton,Ohio. Lovely setting, lovely  day.  I had the opportunity to show my work with hundreds of people. Many of these people looked at me and asked“How long does it take to do this?” I understand the question.

 

Many of my pieces appear to contain hundreds of pieces and are made up of a variety of papers.

My answer is always,”There really is no telling how long it takes” Some pieces are done in a week, while others may take a month or more. I work on more than one piece at a time. This an an artist’s trick to ensure that the creativity keeps flowing. That way if I get “stuck” on one  collage, I can work on another. Some of my pieces have taken 6 months or more to complete, others, a year. Last year I had several that i called my “May to September Series.”

I do not plan the work out ahead of time. I start with an idea, a color, an emotion, a textured paper that I feel inspired to use and then slowly begin to build a piece. Not an easy road. I spend hours taking pieces of paper in and out of the piece. I like to think that when someone is purchasing one of my collages that they are not just paying for the finished piece of art but that they are also paying for all the pieces that I did not put in the final product. For me it is a journey. I consider myself “making the paper journey” and  I feel   very blessed and privileged  to be able to make this creative journey.

The Odd Silence of the Botanical World

As I walk through my winter-weary garden, I have to remind myself that these “old sticks” are actually plants just waiting their turn. They look dead, dull and unsightly. Rather hopeless i would say. Below, find a picture of the same spot, same garden, taken last July!! That is just three months from now!  If I did not know it to be true from all the springs i have seen come and go I myself would not believe it either.

Inside these old dry “sticks” a lot of activity must be going on. It seems that if I were to stop and put my ear to these old twigs that I should hear all sorts of unusual sounds of inner work, enterprise and animation. I never thought about it before, how odd that plants are silent. Seems like I should hear the “juices” running, the cells expanding, the chlorophyll doing its magic. And yet they stand unmoving and silent.

 

Inside,  up and down  the trunks, across the stems, up from the roots and within the tiny buds, the beautiful mechanics of Spring are underway.  Yet no hint to all this grand effort is seen or heard as i pass by.

 

The roses, begin their great work in silence and destitution. I cannot help but believe that deep inside they are dreaming of summer blossoms. What would the plants sound like if they would be given the gift of sound, vocalization, song?  Would they sing like the birds, hum like the crickets, croak? Or would it be some totally new form of sound? And then another thought, maybe they do make a sound and we just can’t hear it!  Maybe we are the ones lacking!!!

And I am reminded of this great quote:

“There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”

– Minnie Aumonier