In the Garden Collage Series

My garden looks a mess. Fallen leaves, tangled branches, winter buds, spent and spotted leaves, remnants of flowers and fruit, and traces of foraging raccoons and squirrels. If you can’t beat ‘em… join them. Lots of fodder for art!

The inspiration and some of the materials for “In The Garden” literally come from garden detritus. I’ve embraced techniques of collage in a method that I liken to quilting, piecing together shapes made of found materials, mixed papers, and images. Each work in the series provides a different perspective on the seasons changing from late summer to early winter, viewed as if peering out the window. Curtains and screening juxtaposed with organic materials reinforce the indoor/outdoor contrast. Organic materials include once-proud bougainvillea blooms, rose petals, redwood bark fragments, and fallen leaves, paired with slightly less-organic glitter and foil for abstracted yet intimate views encased in twelve inch shadow boxes.

In the Garden

This piece was made for the first round of art tag, where a work created on a designated theme is passed to a partner who in turn makes art inspired by work received.

My initial garden-themed work is an image of a swing composed of redwood bark as viewed through curtains made of recycled paper packing material. Trees are made of fern fronds, rose petals litter the ground, and a bower is suggested by dried bougainvillea blooms. Tulle netting across the surface secures fragments of leaves and glitter. It has a late summer feeling.

Garden Shadows

From my art tag partner, I received a beautiful abstract work that evoked garden pathways and elements of water, earth, and plants. My response was a paper quilt of similar colors–a fall pallet outside my norm–using square tiles of foil and tissue paper. The composition has patterns suggesting a path, a stream, trees, and bushes on a deep bronze background. Yellow and red shiny paper petals flit across the surface, while circles of screening were perfect to change the light. The shadows and colors give it a brisk air of late October.

A Walk in the Garden

Next, I received a diptych of similar colors as the first–golds, aqua, oranges, yellows, and gold–with delicate yet darkly shadowed landscape elements. By this time, the Japanese maple outside was bright red and dropping delicate leaves. I encased these in drapes of wax paper, laid over a patchwork of garden ground colors. I cut ghostly trees out of screening to evoke the late fall gardenscape, enhanced with gold glitter paint. It was definitely November.

Messy Transitions

Continuing the series, I grabbed a handful of fallen tree leaves from the deck–redwood, maple, crepe myrtle, lemon, and plum–laid over a patchwork of tissue colored foil. There is screening over the whole composition that changes the light and sparkle. A fortuitous discovery of cut silver paper provides a path into the distance, a tree trunk, or a sideways broken vessel, depending on how you see it. Shiny silver leaves (or is it rain?) fall across the surface. This must be December.

Watching the Season Change

A cat, secure inside, regards the falling leaves and the view across the yard outside. There is a spooky house in the distance, the sky is cold, and the trees are bare. But there is a patch of sun, cozy lace curtains and a sturdy window perch. With lace, redwood bark, and gel-preserved Japanese maple leaves. The windy, wintery landscape hints at the winter solstice.

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