This past week I discovered a way to use the photos I've taken of interesting plant shapes- weeds included. A few years ago, I took photos of weeds with their roots attached and called them, "undiscovered beauty". We tend to see them as pests in our garden, when in fact the leaves and flowers are just as beautiful as cultivars, especially when looked at through a hand held lens. I have both a 5X and 10X magnification lens which make the ordinary look extraordinary. In the wonderful book, Gathering Moss, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, she tells about her first experience, at five years old, looking through a magnifying glass.
"It's the time I first had an inkling that the already gorgeous world becomes even more beautiful the closer you look."
I feel exactly the same way. It's a whole new world full of incredible unexpected detail as seen through a magnifying glass.
Nature is always the main source of inspiration, but there were some other things which influenced the outcome. Earlier in the week, I was looking at the websites of my favorite fashion designers. I ran across the Marchesa, FALL 2017 Collection and my breath was taken away by the beauty and ephemeral quality of the designs. I ogled over the exquisite textiles and was in awe of the unique handling of the fabrics. I love the use of fabric flowers which skim above light layers of fabric. Here is the link if you'd like to take a look:
Also, I follow the work of a wonderfully creative Japanese botanical artist, Makoto Azuma. He designs outrageous floral scenarios and recently directed a beautiful video called, The Story of Flowers, because he wanted to teach his five-year old daughter about science. It shows plants and flowers rooting, blooming, being pollinated, and includes the decay and rebirth of the cycle of life. Here is the link to the awesome three and a half minute video:
All of this inspired me to create floral landscapes using photographs I'd take of plant life.
First, I made a wash in shades of pink using the Procreate drawing app, then layered the photos on top of the wash using the Superimpose photography app. Several layers are used for each piece which are then touched up.
I included images of the miraculous 17 year cicadas in some of the pieces. A small portion of Brood X hatched a few weeks ago, 4 years earlier than expected which was very exciting.