Friday, November 27, 2009

Sweet Gum Leaf Ball

Sweet Gum Leaf Ball, originally uploaded by ...escher....

What with launching the project (did I mention that? I'm not sure if I did, I have forgotten too! Well worth taking a look at and spending a minute of your time blogging about it if you can ;-) and the not very inspiring wet weather recently, it feels like an age since I got out and made something.

To be honest not thinking too much about doing land art and not planning to do any has been a bit of a relief as sometimes I almost feel like I have to do it but a break is most certainly a double-edged sword. Although having said that it has only been two weeks since I made something but it feels like a lifetime!

That sword edge relates to the feeling that I won't have any new ideas and it will all come to an end. When you love doing something so much but aren't at all sure where the ideas actually come from then each time a sculpture is finished it is like pressing the reset button. I gather that this is a common thing amongst artists and perhaps that is the reason why they continue to make things, as an effort to prove to oneself that they still can.

My ideas come from experiencing nature and from the things that I find. So it really should be no surprise that when not trying that I have no ideas as I am not outside looking at a leaf or feeling the breeze against my face as I walk up a hill.

But sure enough when I am Mother nature fills my head with ideas, she is all the inspiration that I ever need.

As we approach Winter, each day is a little shorter, a little colder and the trees and plants have nearly given up all their colours. Here and there there are still yellow maple leaves desperately hanging onto their life giving branches but soon they will not be able to cling on anymore.

This year I have taken more notice of Autumn than I have before, it seemed to start earlier than I expected and the colours have lasted longer too. There are two Sweet Gum trees in the park nearby and they are still flushed with a rainbow of colours. This was quite apt as this morning the heavy sleet showers were broken apart by clear sections of blue sky which meant that the sky was without it's own rainbow for only a few minutes at a time.

The low light cut through the trees and illuminated the last of the leaves before another heavy shower arrived and turned everything damp and grey. I collected some of the beautiful leaves and sat down to construct something.

I like to follow the structures of the materials so that I see how they are made and so I don't force them into something they are not. These leaves were not flat so as I stitched them together the structure was not flat either but curved, so I trained them into a sphere. When I've made leaf balls before it is for that reason that it is a ball that I have made, because the curve of the leaves dictates the shape and to try and force the leaves into anything else would leave them twisted and bent out of shape.

Once I had finished the air felt noticeably colder and the sun was still low but now unchallenged by mist and cloud. It felt like Winter, breath visible, the sky crisp and blue and the light golden and lovely.

There is talk of the first snow on the hills tomorrow and the possibility of a frost. Though I will long for the days of Spring after months of long Winter nights. A crisp, frosty day in mid-Winter cannot be beaten.

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