Plant / Life

Flower Mandalas

Flower mandalas are a botanical version of the ancient spiritual form that reminds us of the organization of the universe, and our connection to the infinite, within and without.

Buddhist priests make yearly trips to Kansas City to create exacting geometric mandalas in  sand. In a celebration of the importance of life,  the monks return the sand to the earth, destroying the image.

Through silence and guided meditation, participants in the Flower Mandala + Meditation workshop experienced a deeper connection with nature and themselves.

The meditation style was one of physical connection to the flowers held by each participant and gratitude and awareness of for their beauty, texture and scent. While breathing that fresh flower smell, the gratitude portion could have been endless. Sami Aaron led a guided mediation that raised awareness of the many, many senses that are activated while interacting with nature.

While the workshop could be hosted in many locations, Gardens of Delight was a perfect location for the spring  workshop.

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Posted by Bedegee in International Influences

Kava Head

kava root

Lateral kava roots, soon to be kava tea, are what you see in the picture above.

Kava is a plant-based intoxicant. Sometimes called the “drink of peace” or the “drink of the gods,”  it is deeply embedded in the cultures of the pacific islands.

It’s said you can’t be angry on kava.

No mental or physical abilities are diminished while consuming normal amounts of kava.

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Posted by Bedegee in International Influences

Corn Seedlings



One spring, a Holt County, Missouri, farmer brought young corn seedlings from their family farm to my studio. The task was to preserve them so that each of the five children would have a kind of a botanical artifact from the farm they grew up on.

I used a frame hand crafted frame in old growth pine.

Outside dimensions are 26″  x  35″

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Posted by Bedegee in Botanical Artifacts


Brigid-SelfThere are so many disparate elements in the finished piece, the self-portrait as it is now might be best called “an organic compound.”

I started with an attempt at a plant mask, made of leaves, spores, seeds, a dried flower and beads. I added Mexican stone bird beads to the roots,  using and heavy duty thread. Finally, I added , and added embroidery  and sewing around sections of root.


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Posted by Bedegee in Botanical Artifacts

Fringe Festival KC 2015

2015 was the second year of the visual arts component of the Fringe Festival in Kansas City.

Union Station beautifully hosted the art displays of the 14 or so participating artists.

Kansas City Finge Festival 2015


I really enjoyed watching the surprise and curiosity of travelers passing by the exhibit, exiting the train station.

While many of the travelers might not have chosen to make a special trip to see the visual arts show, but the majority were genuinely taken with the variety and beauty they saw.



Posted by Bedegee in Green Art

Humble Plants: Their Secrets

Art and science often cross paths. I recently uncovered a TED talk given by the president of an African country in which she shows how art, science, culture and health are intertwined.

The talk is given by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, biodiversity scientist and first female president of Mauritius.

Gurib-Fakim says that we don’t realize how valuable our plant resources are, and yet, we keep destroying them.

Plants have a fundamental role to play in the lives of humans: they feed us and they also give us the oxygen we breathe.

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Posted by Bedegee in Inspiration, International Influences, Native Plants

About Kava

Posted by Bedegee in Research

Framed Portraits

After completing the masks of mother and daughters, it seemed fitting to frame them together.


The orange tree root weaves them together; together but separate.

Mother and children were able to start gluing down plant material soon after the quick-dry plaster masks were removed and the petroleum jelly was cleaned off.

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Posted by Bedegee in Botanical Artifacts

Inside the Presses

flats 002-fThe inside of every plant press is full inspiration. The photos in this post will show a small amount of the plant material I’ve collected over the years, including the sourcing info, background data and collection dates for some of the items.

The presses themselves were handcrafted based on the world-wide industry standard botanical press size 12″ x 18″.   Most of the plant material was collected to fit in the botanical press standard .

One benefit of having presses that size is that I can buy and use industry standard blotting paper and cardboard.

Some of the presses, which I made to be easy to carry and maximize airflow, were built way oversize to acommodate larger items, like squash, papaya, elephant ear and castor leaves, and branches from trees, stalks of wheat, and the tall 6-row barley I had sent from Washington for a project for a local brewer.

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Posted by Bedegee in Herbaria, Research


Masks 010-f1.jpg Once I decided to move forward with the use of plaster as the canvas, I looked to my nieces to work with me to create their plant portraits.

We made plaster masks of their faces, and they sorted through and selected plant material and accessory items that they loved or that inspired them in some way. Masks 017-f1.jpg

I taught them the basic method I’d been using on plaster masks – polymer varnish on both sides and a weight on top of a piece of parchment paper on top of the varnished element.

Masks 013-f1.jpg

While they dedicated themselves to the craft, I tidied up loose ends and sometimes got carried away with wiring cottonwood branches and gluing down seedpods.

Posted by Bedegee in Green Art