Posts tagged art in nature
Prayer Petals

A week after my Aunt passed away, I found myself on Harstene Island with a heaviness. It felt like I was standing in a muddy hole. Not a deep one, but my body was so heavy that I couldn’t climb out. It was dark and damp. Moving was the only way out. It wasn’t easy, but I took a step and I picked up a rock, then a leaf, some grass. I looked up and saw roses. I reached for one, cut it, and put it in my pocket. I grabbed another. A thorn left a small scratch on my arm. Ouch. I started noticing more things. Bright green moss. Curly reddish brown - my favorite color - madrone bark. Things started to feel less dark. I dumped them out on a bench, organized them and then just… started moving things around.

How to make art with nature:

Step 1: Go for a walk. Gather some shit (not literally. leaves, rocks, sticks, dirt etc…)

Step 2: Move shit around while thinking of (choose one of the following or insert your own)

  • Someone you miss

  • Someone you love

  • A feeling

  • A problem

  • Nothing at all

Port Angeles Nest

I used to look forward to smores when camping, but now it’s this. Intuition switches on and, like a magnet, the forest provides materials. They bend and shape as if it’s what they were made to do. Sometimes they snap, flip, fall. That’s part of the fun and challenge. This took me all day and I returned to it at different times of day to admire shifting light and shapes. Ahhhhhh. I can still feel the sense of accomplishment even though I left it behind weeks ago. This one reminds me of the gigantic spider sculptures by Louise Bourgeois and that makes me smile a lot.

A path untraveled...

Is now traveled….

I had passed the trailhead no less than 2,000 times and not gone up. Today was the day. The first day of Fall. I grabbed a gorgeous pal and headed up the trail with my camera. We found lots of treasures. A fort with an old chair and underwear in it (hhhhrrrrrrrmmmm), gems in the form of Rainier beer cans shining from dark crevices, glowing seed pods and much more. Beauty - even in trash - all around.

Lummi Island - Thanksgiving Nest

We went to my Aunt and Uncle's on Lummi Island for Thanksgiving. The possibilities for outdoor sculptures there are endless. Mossy trees, pre-historic sized ferns, branches galore, fallen leaves. I settled on a recently chopped stump. At first, the nest resembled an orange tree fungi. I really liked the layers of the greens contrasted against the crumpled brown leaves. Life springing from death and vice-versa. The back became an web of twigs, corridors of orange light shining through the nest cavity. The front began to morph into a heart inspired by my Uncle. He makes (among other amazing things) awesome valentines where hearts are stealthly inserted into whatever scene is being depicted. All my grandma's children are converging this week to place her ashes in Lakeview Cemetery. I thought of her and them while building - it was definitely a labor of love.

Valentine by David King

Valentine by David King

Harstene Island Nest

Today, I had a little help building a nest on the beach from my friends, which was really cool!  Michelle was tentative at first - she didn't want to "break it." It's hard to break something you have no plan for, ha! So no worries there. Plus, my favorite part is when things fall apart.

A twig breaks, then another and another. After some time, I figure out which ones are brittle and which aren't. If they are all brittle, I have to figure out ways to make them work. Sometime the whole damn thing crumbles to the ground (profanity follows) - repeatedly - forcing me to rebuild and look at the whole project in a new way. It's so fun. It started to pour today, but I couldn't stop. I spent almost 3 hours building this sucker and enjoyed every minute.

Nest building at Dale's Pothole

I always want to be cool with fishing. I love the process - especially fly fishing. It's a great excuse to get out in beautiful terrain and be quiet. The rhythm of casting is so calming and peaceful - until there is a snag, of course.

At Caverhill Lodge, way the hell up in Canada, I caught a pretty good-sized fish. The hook got stuck in its throat, drawing blood. After struggling to get the hook out, it's rainbow belly glistened in the sun as it rose to the top of the water. My Dad tried to convince me that it was only floating like that temporarily and it would be ok, but I was done. No more fishing for me. 

The beauty of the area was unreal; there was plenty else to do. I'd been wanting to build a human-sized nest all summer. I've been spending a lot of time away from the computer, but did find a few minutes to check out some nest building bird videos on YouTube to get some ideas of where to start.

My Dad and Brother floated out in the lake to fish. I went to work on the shore. I hardly noticed all the knicks and cuts collecting on my legs and hands. This process, like fishing, was meditative, peaceful, and challenging. 

I had completed most of the base when my Dad and brother came in. There had been some concern I might be bored. Ha! 

On each hike the rest of the week, I collected dark moss and carried it back to Dale's pothole to complete the window. 

A bird tutor is probably needed to build a nest that is structurally sound enough to hold a human, but the light moving around through the crossing sticks was incredibly beautiful. A sense of accomplishment washed over. Looking over my shoulder to get one more glimpse, I was happy to leave it there.