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)


Joanne Huffman said...

One of the reasons your ribbons and fabrics are so beautiful is that you know what to borrow from Nature and how to combine it pleasing patterns.

jan b. said...

As you know, I've always admired your innate sense of color combinations.

nina said...

Beautiful! Xxx