Archives for posts with tag: pressed flowers

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I just finished a small custom piece that included a “palm tree” made from simple ferns and sensitive ferns so took the opportunity to take inventory. Fresh out of Mexican Feathergrass but off to Florida in a few weeks where I will hunt and gather them. For ferns I may have to resort to an off-season visit to my favorite nursery. I see Japanese painted ferns in my future.

Meanwhile I received a shiny new photography tent which makes it possible for me to end my long battle with glare when photographing my resin peices. Hopefully this means I’ll be putting more of them into my Etsy shop.

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This week I’m feeling confident in my resining techniques and comfortable with my full-sized propane torch, so I’m trying my hand at some larger pieces. This one measures 6″ x 12″. If that doesn’t sound large, try a few steps of the resin dance yourself and you’ll see it my way. The working window is only about 20 minutes from the first pour to removal of the last bubble and I work with up to six pieces at a time. Still, I’m on the march and have larger panels waiting in the wings.

For the real plants in the foreground, I chose a mix of weeds and garden plants — wild grass seed heads, a piece of Japanese maple, and a little leaf of curly coleus.

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Resin is a wonderful way to preserve and enhance real botanicals, so I decided to try a few pieces on wood panel in order to provide the best possible surface for the ice-smooth resin coating. First, I painted my background on a 5″x 5″ panel. Then, I chose a plain mustard yellow for the 7/8″ sides of the cradle, and mounted my two sweet ivy leaves. Before coating the work with resin, I couldn’t resist adding a tiny ‘droplet’ of water on one of the leaves using more acrylic and a tiny signature brush.

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I’ve recently made a few pieces that include water drops in the background including this little composition using real ferns so it’s not that big a leap to work directly on a leaf. This dramatic sweet potato leaf made the perfect canvas for this experiment.

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I don’t always start out with a theme in mind for my botanical collages. Just as often, I am simply experimenting with arranging elements and colors for my graphics and plants with which to build a pleasing collage. In this case, however, the composition immediately skipped my thoughts past this infant autumn and brought me to winter. When I thought the piece was finished, I sensed something missing. Finally, I decided it needed an overlay of pennisetum grass. Voila! It felt — to me at least — like snow.

Other plants in the composition include coleus, ferns, scented geranium and andromeda.

I love eavesdropping on the conversations browsers have with one another when I show my art. So often they find my pieces evocative of feelings worlds away from mine. That’s perfectly fine with me. If we all made the same associations we would all dream the same dreams. How boring!

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I owe the idea for these two scenes to a lovely woman I met at the Artisan’s Market in Providence two weeks ago. She asked me if I agreed that ferns could be used to suggest sails in a nautically themed piece.

Once I put the graphic together I experimented with foliage and found that rose leaves worked well so I used them in the night-time vignette.

For daytime I kept the plant life in the foreground.

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The single exquisite sweet potato leaf at the center of this composition seems to swirl in a vortex created by the plants around it. They include three varieties of fern — the dagger-like ones are Sensitive Fern — Sweet Woodruff, Ivy, Yellow Archangel and Andromeda. Although I usually design a graphic background for my work, I thought in this case, simple was best.

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Let’s treat this like a newspaper photo but with plants instead of people– Front Row Left to Right; Fern, Sweet Woodruff, Yellow Archangel, Sweet Woodruff Second Row: Dill, Fern, Sweet Woodruff, Fern, Dill
Back Row: Sweet Woodruff, Fern, Fern, Azalea, Ivy, Dill.

(Photo bombers in sky: Sweet Woodruff)

Meet the plants in person at Lippett Park in Providence next Saturday or check into my Etsy shop.

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This week I’m getting ready to show lots of my botanicals at the Providence Artisan’s Market which forms part of the larger Providence Farmer’s Market at Lippitt Park. If you haven’t been and live within driving distance, give it a try. It’s one of the best anywhere short of Union Square in Manhattan. I’ll have about 40 pieces on display including this simple arrangement of Fern, Fringed Bleeding Heart, Yellow Archangel, Maple, and a trio of Sweet Woodruff ‘stars’. I used just a blush of color in the background and divided the image with a crossed ribbon graphic.

While I pass the week making more botanicals and waiting for the weather to heat up I’ll tuck this into my Etsy shop.

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For my latest pressed botanical, I used some asymmetrical whorls of leaves from my Sweet Woodruff and added miniature ivy. I like the juxtaposition of soft and severe shapes. For the background, I chose some soft blues and mild rather than dramatic contrast in the alternating colors. This is a continuation of a series I did with oranges, golds, and reds and featuring the variegated leaves from my Euonymus shrubs. See the others in my Etsy shop.