From Wonder Walk to Art Work!

Happy Tuesday!

Now that I’ve been enjoying the creative breath of fresh air that IS Wonder Walks for a little less than 2 months, I decided it was time to start talking about how to transfer your multi-sensory experiences to works of art! Let me start by saying, WRITING in-and-of-itself can be more beautiful than any visual image. I realize that visual artists may take offense at this statement (I myself AM a visual artist), but what I mean to say is that the written word has the ability to paint an open-ended picture, free of visual prompts–left completely up to the interpretation of the reader.  That being said, let’s talk Wonder Walk inspiration!

In order to fully illustrate my thought process, I allowed myself to bring along a camera for a lovely winter Wonder Walk in the snow! Here is a visual documentation of my observations and experiences:

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My favorite moment from the walk is illustrated in the first photo shown. I happened by this gnarled, dry, skeletal bush, creating a wall between the sidewalk and a backyard. This bush was so alive with the movement and sounds of dozens of little birds. It was such a beautiful reminder of the life and pure JOY that can be found even in the coldest winter days! 

This story, along with the above images, will provide inspiration for my artwork–to come over the next couple of posts!

‘Til then…happy explorations!

 

Nature Crochet Art Challenge: DAY TWO!

Today was an absolutely gorgeous, Wyoming day! Today’s weather report:  mid to high 70′s, slightly cloudy, and a 99.9% chance of wind (which I’m still coming to terms with…).

Rather than taking a walk, as I had discussed in yesterday’s post, I decided to bust out my bike for a Tour de Cheyenne! My husband, a Wyoming native, told me about this trail called The Greenway, which is comprised of chunks of paved pedestrian/bike trails that run throughout the city! Here’s a description, taken from Cheyenne’s Official Website:

“The Greenway serves as a safe and accessible recreational corridor; a key component of the non-motorized transportation system; an open-air science, ecology, history, and health classroom for students of all ages; and a vital public space integral in building sustainable, vibrant and healthy neighborhoods and a cohesive community. The man made and natural barriers that traditionally divide a community are the same corridors the Greater Cheyenne Greenway has employed to connect neighborhoods, school districts, and socio-economic divides.”

With camera in tow, I headed off to explore a small section of The Greenway! Since my bike is in desperate need of some TLC…and rust remover (thank you Austin humidity), I kept the ride to 4-5 miles, occasionally stopping to take a few shots of the beauty around me. Here are a few shots from my ride:

In addition to taking in the sites around me, I paid careful attention to the sounds (birds, wind, squeaky bike), feels (wind in my face), and smells (unfortunately my allergies made everything smell like dust!).

After returning from my explorations, I decided to add to the surface of my crocheted canvas! Inspired by the wind, I added windy patterns to my work. Here is the result:

For tomorrow’s explorations, use today’s excursion to inspire your composition. If you sketched some ideas today, work off of those sketches to create a simplified plan for your canvas. Once you have finished your proposed design, select the colors of yarn that you will need for your design. 

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Nature Animation Challenge: DAY SIX!

Lights, Camera, ACTION! Today’s challenge was to finally shoot the animation, after 5 days of planning and set preparation. All told, I ended up shooting a little over 100 still images for my animation. Here is one sequence that I shot:

For tomorrow’s challenge, it’s time to put everything together to create your animation! Since I use a Mac, I will be putting my images together using iMovie. There are, however, other programs that will work just as well. MS Powerpoint would work–it’ll just take you a little longer, since you’ll have to insert your images individually onto slides. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see how it all comes together!

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Floral X-Rays!

Happy Sunday! :) The clouds continue to blanket Austin (and, from what I hear, there are even some flash flood warnings for tonight–on into the following morning! Yikes!). That being said, today is a most excellent day to explore the works of nature-inspired artists–and maybe make some of my own art as well! While in the midst of  drinking my morning mate, I stumbled upon the GORGEOUS works of photographer Brendan Fitzpatrick! While his artwork is not exclusively environment/nature inspired, his series of Floral X-Rays provide some incredible examples of exploration into the beauty and grace of the forms in nature! Check out a few of his works:

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Although his initial plan was to become a science fiction illustrator, his experimenting with mixed media and collage eventually led him to photography. He explains, “Photography is a vast language. It balances my inner creative spirit with a connection to the physical world. It offers suggestions in the moment and surprises me always with images better than those I sought. I love both it’s stillness and it’s dynamism. This is a medium in which contexts collide with dramatic results. What was invisible can be suddenly made so obvious.”

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His words describe his floral x-rays series so well–as his compositions bring to light the hidden intricacies and beauty contained within a flower.

To view more of Fitzpatrick’s works, check out his website.

His landscape photography is also quite breathtaking!

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‘Til later…happy explorations!

Nature Art Challenge: DAY SIX!

Ever since my neighbor tipped me off to the shiny rocks near the mailroom, I’ve been itching to get over there and check it out! So, for today’s challenge, I decided to pay a visit to the mailroom (though I didn’t actually venture inside to check the mail). My neighbor was absolutely correct! The ground was covered with sparkling rocks (at least whenever the sun decided to make a brief appearance!)

Here is the result of my explorations, dedicated to the keen observations of my neighbor: 

On my way back, I decided to check on my installation from Day Three. Although most of the shells had vacated their mushroom bed, nature seemed to have been kind to my work over the last couple of days. Here’s an updated picture: 

Only one day remaining in this month’s challenge! If you haven’t given environmental art a try over these last 6 days, give it a shot tomorrow! Take a little walk. If something happens to catch your eye, take a few minutes to explore that object further…see what you can create!

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Nature Art Challenge: DAY FIVE!

Brrrr! Texas is finally starting to feel like Christmas! While I am enjoying the colder weather, the freezing, biting wind made for a tough–and quick challenge today! While walking around, I was astonished at the difference that a few days of good rain can make to the verdant plant life in the area! Everything was SO GREEN! After a few minutes of hunting, I located a shape that held my interest–an acorn top. As was the case with the little shells on Day Three, I immediately became conscious of the existence of hundreds of these acorn tops, scattered every which way. Gathering a handful of these tops, I headed back to the greenery I had passed earlier. There I found a luscious bed of clovers–the perfect location for my acorn tops to find rest.

Here’s the result of today’s relatively brief explorations: 

I can’t believe this month’s challenge is drawing to a close…only two days remaining! Hopefully the wind will be a little more friendly and warm tomorrow…

‘Til later…happy explorations!

Nature Art Challenge: DAY FOUR!

Forecast for Austin—100% chance of rain, followed by a little drizzle and chill. Excellent. Keep it coming!

Armed with the necessities (boots, jacket, umbrella, camera) I headed out into the great unknown (aka the natural landscape in and around my little apartment complex)! I actually found my site for today’s work as I was headed to my car yesterday afternoon: a tree with lovely yellow leaves on a small hillside. Today I decided to play with the power of one bold line–drawing attention to both the lovely leaves and the tree from which they came. I ended up running the line all the way from the tree to the sidewalk. In this way, I planned to attract interest from anyone who happened to walk by. I’m excited to observe how this piece might change over the next 24 hours!

Here’s the result of my environmental art explorations for the day:

 

Just to put this in perspective for anyone who is a little uncertain about whether or not to try something like this–the above installation took me about 10-15 minutes to construct and photograph. Obviously my works for the purpose of these challenges are meant to be quick explorational acts. I’ve found that working with nature to construct works of art is incredibly liberating! I feel as though I am a child once more– engaging with everything I find; experiencing a sense of wonder at the incredible world around us…AND getting my hands dirty (which the rainy weather has graciously helped with!). If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, give it a try–go play in the mud, make a cool design with colorful leaves or rocks, or build something out of sticks. You might just surprise yourself at what you take away or notice in the process…

‘Til tomorrow, happy explorations!