Green Art

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 Brigid in Green Art

Portraits

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 Brigid in Green Art

New Canvas

This fall IMasks 021-f1-Tall.jpg was  considering  that  mounting surfaces created a contextual impact, and  wondered what alternatives might be possible .

I’d experi-mented with fabric, paper and paper over chicken wire, and then I remembered quick dry plaster.

After trying a few masks on myself, I found most leafy material to be a challenge on the curved and uneven surfaces of plaster, while stemy material, like tamarind, worked really well.

I found that using wire to adhere branchy pieces was more reliable than botanical glue and/or a ploymer varnish over leaves (although everything got a top coat of the varnish with a UV filter).  Masks 004-f1.jpg

The first one I made (right) I  covered in tobacco I picked in Weston, MO, and it applied easily right over the plaster.

Then I added a part of a squash leaf,  fennel (and other) seeds, eucalyptus, a plant souvenir from Colorado, fern, and finally, beads.

Continue reading →

Posted by Brigid in Green Art

Studio Tour, Talk and Make Session

Tour a tour of the art studio, hear a talk about the importance Plant Art Studioof plant preservation in spirituality, economy, history and beauty, and a make-your own art card session from the collection of preserved plants.

When: Jan. 19, 2:00 – 4:30 pm.
Cost: $30
Registration: Pre-registration required (register by clicking here)

The Talk
An introduction to the art of plant preservation and how it’s been used throughout history by spiritualists, physicians, philosophers  and scientists will be provided. A 15-20 minute talk about who has preserved plants throughout history (and why), and what remains preserved today. Some discussion about the impact of plants on our lives will be included. We will also talk about the science behind preserving.PlantArtPreserved.jpgA

The Tour
You be able to see a wide variety of preserved plants and finished art pieces in the artist’s studio.

The Make Sesssion
You may bring a favorite quote and/or flat, preserved plant to use and/or some selected pieces from the collection (shown in the image below and on the right) will be available to use. Additionally, prepared cut mat board and all supplies will be provided to make one or two (as time allows) 5″ x 7″ pieces suitable for framing or sending in the mail. All materials will be artist quality and appropriate for plant material.

Continue reading →

Posted by Brigid in Green Art

BASE KC and Some Gratitude

Some gratitude (in the form of art cards) for the Business Alliance for a Sustainable Economy in Kansas City (BASE KC), the speakers and organizers of The Climate Event held at the end of September.

Japanese MapleThe founding principles of BASE KC really speak to me: that sustainable economic development is compatible with shared prosperity, environmental protection, and social justice.

Representatives from twelve local, regional and international organizations shared large scale green initiatives they had been taking. A few of the stellar organizations and their representatives were: Dennis Wierzbicki with Grundfos (based in Denmark); Amy Hargroves with Sprint; Cindy Circo, KCMO City Council and Mayor Pro Tem; Bryan McGannon, Deputy Director of Policy, American Sustainable Business Council (based in Washington D.C.). A full list is at the BASEKC website.

Continue reading →

Posted by Brigid in Green Art, International Influences

Orchid Skeleton Collage

May2013 004-OrchidThe skeleton of this collage is a preserved orchid plant. Like most root systems, the roots of orchid plants are  surprisingly strong.  Most of the roots original to this plant are still intact.

Other elements in this collage include a variety of poly-cotton threads, Macrocarpa leaves, Honey Locust thorns, one milkweed seedpod lining, and an old orchid bloom.

Orchids have a long history of inspiring people. As early as 479 B.C., Confucius compared all that was virtuous to orchids. For this reason, Chinese artists placed orchids in their work to evoke qualities of humility, integrity, and refinement.

Orchids must have been the inspiration for at least one song Confucius wrote. He’s  credited with composing “Youlan,” (The Solitary Orchid”), one of the earliest pieces of written music that survived the centuries.

Posted by Brigid in Green Art

Lavender

Lavender has been growing wild for all of recorded history. I’ve preserved this most lovely specimen to create truly green art. It’s not the best picture – the color is actually rich and green. It hasn’t changed much in the six years I’ve had it.

Lavender a powerful herb. It is used for a huge variety things, including to treat stress and depression, to speed healing, and to kill bacteria.

It’s been used throughout history in cleaning and as a perfume. During the peak of the Roman times, one pound of good lavender was sold for the price of an average worker’s monthly salary.

It’s known to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  It can aid sleep and relaxation, treat burns and helps acne. Dried lavender is a highly desireable fragrance and deters moths.

I’ve loved this piece of lavender for years, but I never framed it. I was happy to let it go as part of a series to a new home last month.

 

Posted by Brigid in Green Art, Herbs

Multiple Layers

Experimenting with depth and dimension, I recently started using  multiple layers of plant material. 


Continue reading →

Posted by Brigid in Green Art, Native Plants

Plants as Form

Explorers collected and preserved plants to bring their beauty to their homes far away. Early healers preserved plants to heal their patients. I preserve plants for their beauty and the richness of their history.

Click on any image below to see it larger.

Posted by Brigid in Green Art

Visiting the Studio

Visiting the studio will give  you a feel for how things are created, and you’ll be able to see pieces that won’t ever be at a gallery.

Along with a bunch of finished pieces, you’ll see presses drying plant material, work in process, and my own collection of preserved plants – also known as an herbarium.

Continue reading →

Posted by Brigid in Green Art