Inspired by Nature

Before I left for Matrilumina, Emmett and I took a drive through the Angeles National Forest to Grass Mountain. This lovely road trip came on the heels of an Experience the Tank class (the last one for this session), which meant I was still swirling around in the eddy of inspiration I always end up in after being around students. As we were driving through the chaparral, I kept seeing paint colors in the nature all around me. For example, these little shrubs, which were everywhere on the side of the road, screamed Golden's Red Oxide.

Nature Inspired Red Oxide

This green spider looked like he had dipped the upper part of his body in Golden's Chromium Oxide Green:

Nature Inspired Green Oxide

And this field sparkled Golden's Yellow Oxide in the high-noon sun:

Yellow Oxide

The next morning as I was in the studio, I grabbed these colors, along with a little Carbon Black for drama, and set about using them in a variety of ways, shades, and patterns. I was mostly overmarbling papers that had traditional patterns on them in colors I did not particularly like (when I teach a new pattern in class, I usually just grab whatever paints are closest to I like the pattern but the colors don't always work for me). I knew I wanted to stick to the traditional pattern theme when I overmarbled but wanted to make sure I toned down the original color schemes at the same time.

Some days, the studio successes are BIG and other days they are small. This was one of those other days. Of the seven papers I marbled, only two made me happy. But they made me REALLY happy!

Nature Inspired Flame Overmarble

The above is a horizontal Flame pattern over a vertical Flame pattern. It looks WAY to busy as a full sheet but when I started to look at it in smaller sections, I loved what I saw:

Natured Inspired Flame Overmarble Section

As a smaller piece, your eye is able to truly appreciate all the little details that make up the beautiful Flame pattern (I sense a life lesson in there somewhere!). The same holds true for this horizontal Chevron pattern over a vertical Chevron pattern:

Nature Inspired Chevron Overmarble

The two pieces and patterns as full sheets couldn't be more opposite in texture and style. Flame is swirly and fluid and dances between thick and thin lines. Chevron is more straight and narrow and, well, "determined" is the word that comes to mind. Yet, when I see these two side-by-side as smaller pieces, they both feel light, warm, inviting, and alive. The harder edges of Chevron seem to melt and the wispy feel of Flame seems to slide into a soft focus. The transformation is delightful to experience!

These lovely numbers are about to become covers on my hand-bound journals and photo albums...and I'll share the final transformations in a few weeks.