Monday, August 30, 2010
Art Mimics Nature
Art takes nature as its model. (Aristotle)
Often artists get inspiration from nature. I find that to be true when I am dying fabrics and ribbons. Color schemes are nature oriented and in this example I show some shibori dyed ribbon that mimics a flicker feather.
A while back my friend Linda and I had driven to Big Sur where I delivered some of my dyed scarves to the Local Color Gallery. After lunch we decided to walk the Andrew Molera State Park Headlands Trail. The trail snakes through ancient oaks, a meadow of native grasses and vines, ending where the river creates a lagoon and flows into the ocean. Along the path you pass a cabin that boasts to be the oldest standing structure on Big Sur's coast. This property was a successful dairy in the late 1800's so the paths have names like "Creamery Meadow Trail".
As we walked along I spied some downy feathers and soon came upon this Northern Flicker wing. The body of the bird was off to the side. I assume it was attacked by another predatory animal. I am known to collect feathers, seashells, and acorns so of course I picked this wing up and carried it home.
I soaked the wing in salt water for several days to kill any mites and when I was looking it over in my studio I realized I had dyed some ribbon that was similar in color and the shibori technique creates the chevron pattern that looks like the pattern of the flicker's.
I truly think artists must observe nature and get their inspiration from it. How else would one create?
Often I dye something the color of bark, the blue of a robin's egg, the color of a terra cotta pot, and many autumn leaves. Once I visited my sister in Colorado and brought home some rocks I collected in the mountains that were colors of grays, rusts and tans. I warp painted silk yarns in these colors, wove the fabric and made a series of vests from it.
Nature has been mastering itself for some time now, and it is an honor to be able to capture its beauty. (Justin Beckett)