2020 was surely The Plague Year (and we’re still being extra-cautious), but it did get a lot of us outside, walking and exploring nature. That’s a good thing. Decades ago I discovered that walking worked well for me as meditative thinking time – plus I find lots of cool stuff along the way. And sometimes it seemed that the cool stuff was left there especially for me to find.
You may remember the wonderful photo collection of composed found objects that artist friends contributed to my website in 2019. Here’s that link, and here’s one of my favorite compositions (this one is by Marilyn Jones)
This kind of collecting is nothing new for me. One of my signature techniques is embedding sticks and other natural objects into my assemblages – there’s just something mythical about material found outdoors “by accident”.
Sometimes, I even construct pieces almost totally from found objects and natural material, such as this piece called Bone Tea.
It was influenced by my friend Shannon Weber, whose work with natural materials makes me swoon.
So all of this leads up to a new workshop that I’ve just posted on my Teachable Studio site. It’s called Sacred Serendipity:Nature Shrines and Assemblages.
Collecting things from nature and assembling them as art is a long and honorable practice.
If you’ve ever read Ann Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea, you know how she describes different seashells as stages in a woman’s life – the oyster shell, covered bumps and lumps but still smooth and beautiful on the inside.
This is a workshop for anyone who has ever found a pine cone, a smooth rock, or a red and gold leaf and brought it home in gratitude and wonder.
There are several free preview videos, including one of me being very goofy in the woods across the street from my house, pretending to “find” objects. But I think the real beauty of this workshop lies in the techniques about arranging and attaching natural objects to a small canvas. This gives you so much leeway to create your own small Shrine to Nature.
I also show you step-by-step how to make a mold from a natural object and then cast it with paper clay – you can do faces this way, as well. The class fee is a mere $29, and you can start and stop whenever you like. The lessons are yours forever – or at least as long as the Internet lasts. Think of this as the cost of a bag of groceries but with more lasting results!
So here’s to a walk on the wild side – and the natural treasures that we “accidentally” find there. 🙂