Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roots N' Shoots Color

What once was white ..... 
"Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth......" ~Budda
.....dye baths at work        2010   eakf

I find it interesting to watch how all manner of things trend & cycle. Currently, I am following the surge/expansion in Fiber Arts ~ both in how fibers & fabrics are produced, altered, or prepped, as well as how they are then incorporated into Art.
   For one thing, I am happy to see the renewed interest in using natural dyes (Earth Hues) and the integration of fibers & fabrics into innovative mixed media explorations. I like that artists (from all walks) are crossing old lines between Art categories, and continually improving/developing techniques while still preserving original foundations of same. A look at natural dyes and their history helps illustrate this nicely. (There are a number of great new books out on this)
   We know that pigments from the earth (and it's kingdoms) supplied the first "art mediums" and that over time, as now, man - the innovator - learned more &  more about culling colors from Nature's bounties. As children we all had clues to this, as we returned home with grass stained knees after a visit to the playground or berry stained fingers from a"pick your own" field adventure.
   I have enjoyed altering colors of both paper & fibers off & on over the years; most recently this past fall, when I did a unit on natural dyes at school. To watch the students react to seeing a bag of papery dry onion skins become a dye bath that turned white cloth into subtle but lovely golden to rosy hues was very rewarding. Then to incorporate those materials into an art work - even better!
   So, even if you have no desire to begin to forage & harvest roots & shoots (and petals, nuts, fruits etc) ~ next time there is a bit left in the coffee or tea pot ~ what say you put it in a container, add heavy paper or a cut of cloth & see what you get ...... then ....... see where it takes you!
   ~ and always remember ~
"As the sun colors flowers, so does Art color life"  ~ John Lubbock

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ripples & Reflections

  "A water surface of glass
    Mirrors the surround
    Stirred by a web foot"     ~ Haiku   eakf 
Reflections            Woodlands photo                   Billy '05
Time spent at a water's edge has to be one of the great pleasures. Seaside, lake or river matters not, as it is the water itself that calls us ~ like mythical sirens ~ to it's beauties & mysteries.
Water provides refreshment, recreation, relaxation (think of waterfalls or crashing wave music here), meditation, and inspiration in our leisure time.
And then there are those COLORS ! Kind of mystical because we all know that as a substance, water is clear (colorless) and yet ~ some kind of magic happens ~ some mix of elements from under it's surface and around it's shores with the addition of Solar power from above ~ and we have the awesome spectrums of jewel tone blues to greens of the Caribbean to the icy Arctic's laser bright whites, silvered grays and deep indigos.
Back to the surface, and viewing it as a canvas for contemplation, we are drawn to the beautiful water patterns made by reflections & movement. Who of us hasn't tried our hand at skipping a stone across a pond just to see the ripples & rings we create? Or watched in fascination how wildlife in & on the water interact with it's surface? Picture the Pelican soaring in V-formation over the ocean and then diving to shatter the crest of a wave or the majestic swan gliding gracefully across the lake, leaving wonderful pattern in it's wake.
So many opportunities for "Reflections" of the contemplative kind are also offered to us at a waters edge. A chance for careful consideration of things around us by gazing straight at a thought,  listening carefully, and noticing the edges & the ripples of ideas and concepts.

                    "Four ducks on a pond
                     A grass-bank beyond
                     A blue sky of spring
                  White clouds on the wing ~
          What a little thing to remember for years.."     ~ William Allingham 

Where is YOUR "Pond"? What kind of "Ripples" do you create?
Take time to sit and wonder.........