Earth Day could be a really serious, intense kind of day. And there is a lot out there about the hard stuff; climate change, pollution, habitat destruction etc.
But the other side is that if we celebrate the earth, if we fall in love with our planet, then we will inevitably take better care of it.
So this is a post of celebration and photos…
A weaving from fabric dyed by plants
Clay prints of leaves and twigs found on a walk
Rowntree park is my local “earth space”. It’s a wondering park with lots of greenery, wilder parts, more manicured parts. It’s often busy and is clearly a very valued space for many people.
My tree oracle deck offers me guidance
My tree again! It’s actually in Rowntree Park so you can see that I really do value my local green space.
And totally differently, this is the coast of Ireland. A harsher rocky place, on the west coast facing the vast ocean.
The earth is amazing, diverse, vast, intense, beautiful… Our home. Let’s treat it the way we treat our individual homes.
Last week was the beginning of February and with it Imbolc and with that comes my visit to my tree. She hasn’t changed significantly since Winter Solstice but I know know she is a red oak. She is one of few trees in the park still holding onto leaves (except for evergreens of course).
The final part of my trees project was using clay which I hadn’t done in many many years.
I was really pleased with how they turned out!
I used air drying clay which my carer rolled out then I pressed the leaves, seeds and twigs into the clay. I was worried that when we removed them, bits of tree would stick or the clay would pull but no. After five days they were dry and I painted them with gesso. Then I used brown ink to bring out the details. Another light layer of gesso, removing any that caught in the imprints with a baby wipe. And finishing them off with varnish.
I really enjoyed having a year long project and this year I am looking at the life cycle of butterflies!
A day late and not a photo of the solstice sunset. However, yesterday I started a year long project where I plan to take photos of a particular tree at the points in the wheel of the year.
My autumn project for my year long study of trees was inevitably going to involve leaves!
I collected a range of leaves and preserved them in glycerin. I then used them to create a collage type thing along with lace, fabric, old book papers etc. The effect on the corregated card in the background was made by mixing paint with some Golden Clear Tar Gel and dripping over it. It’s hard to photograph by the drips are sort of draped across the bumps and add some great texture.
I’m part way through my winter trees project and then January sees the start of my year long look at the caterpillar to butterfly process! I’ve already started collecting bits and pieces and have a few ideas!
Does anyone else focus on a particular theme for a year?
Shush, don’t speak too loudly, you’ll spook it… But over there, behind the trees I think there’s a blog post emerging!
Trees you say? Yes indeed! Trees (and changing my painkillers and enduring the resulting withdrawal) have indeed been the cause of my empty blog.
So you may recall my year long tree project. Well it’s so far involved a leaf book, a mostly finished may day canvas and, drum roll please, my very own tree oracle deck! Which I love so be polite and coo over it like it’s a baby…
Made from my own photos and carefully curated from my many tree photos the deck was printed by makeplayingcards.com.
I very much rushed the design stage hence it’s simplicity but I really wanted to get the cards printed…
I love them! And it was a lot cheaper than I expected as well. I’ll probably do it again, possibly with water based images and probably make a bit more time over the design stage next time!
My year long trees project is coming along with the spring piece taking the form of a small ideas book and a largeish mixed media canvas.
Obviously still a work in progress but so far I’ve used collage, paint, ink, sketching, hand written and printed poems, photography, leaf printing etc