One day we walked a long way into the National Park. We found a huge 35' tall pine tree that had been washed up onto the shore - WAY up! All the bark was stripped off, and it was almost driftwood - except for the roots which still had bark on them - that's how I could identify it. There was a knife stuck in it, so Chris carved our names into the tree - my first! Then I began doing an Andrew Goldsworthy. (If you don't know who he is, check out his work. It's amazing! He's an artist who works in nature, taking natural elements and creating order out of them. The picture here is one of his.) What I did was nowhere near as interesting as that, but I had fun! I began gathering up debris on the beach - both natural and unnatural - and decorating the tree. We stuck plastic bottles on the roots and plastic bottle caps all over like Christmas ornaments. I hung found rope around the branches like garlands. There were 100's of birds' feathers which I stuck out of the roots every which way, then I lined the long straight trunk with 100 shells in a straight line. It was so absorbing to modify nature by embellishing it with its own beauty along with mankind's trash. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me, so I can't show what it looked like, but below are some pictures from other Nature Art sessions I've taken part in.
The circle was again a compelling shape to create.
Perhaps you can tell from the light that it was cold and clear this January day, but that didn't stop people from creating. The available materials were sparse - nothing was blooming, almost everything was dormant, but still people found beauty and creativity abounding.
And yet another season: Fall - October. This time I was at Dayspring Retreat Center for a Silent Retreat with the Quakers. (I used to go to a LOT of retreats! Back in the days when I was single and had weekends without my kids and needed something to keep me busy so I wouldn't miss them!)
Fall leaves are my favorite - there's so much you can do with the blazing colors.
This was contributed by Mother Nature herself. No arrangements necessary on my part. Same for the pictures below. They were just waiting for me to notice. That's the wonderful thing about Silent Retreats - I take the time to notice because there are no distractions. Pure silence, out in nature, time to think and feel and notice. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.
So now are you inspired to go out and make something beautiful where you live? On the street, in the back alley, in your garden? Wherever you are, you can find or create a pattern. Chances are, once you start, people will want to join you. It's a very solitary pursuit, but it does tend to engage others in wonderful ways. I'd love to see pictures of anything you create! Have fun!