Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 25 - Nature

Oh my, what a week it has been. Last Friday I started to get a sore throat, it is much better now. I also lost my voice for a couple of days. Black Cat was kind enough to point out that maybe I shouldn't have eaten all of those Christmas goodies that I so lovingly devoured. He was right in saying that and I did agree with him.

All of the props are ready for the window display, it will be installed next week.

Jack suggested that I put together another little tour of my brain blog post. I wasn't certain what to write about and after talking a bit we decided that it should be about nature and how it influences my art work.

A little later I overheard Jack saying to Black Cat, "That should keep him occupied and maybe he won't wander about sighing after each cough."

They laughed!

I love flowers, they are a wonderful exuberant explosion of colour. I prefer flowers that haven't been hybridized although there are some that I make exceptions to.

Click on any of the images for a better look at the photos.

I don't create landscapes in my sculptures just small bases for the characters. In the back of my mind I do imagine them in a larger environment.

Spring is such a wonderful time of the year, so full of promise and surprises. The first snowdrops are a sign that Spring is here. I know that the calendar says Spring is a little way off but that doesn't matter.

The base for "Mrs, E. Rabbit" uses several different colours of hand dyed sisal twine, erica moss, reindeer moss, and composition stones peeking out amongst the ground cover. Tucked in the grass are yellow vintage flower stamens that give the impression of little Spring flowers. The variety makes the base look more realistic.

"Mrs. E. Rabbit" is a candy container, here she is open.

Early and late Summer in the garden. The yellow flower in the top right-hand corner is called ligularia. It has beautiful chrome yellow blossoms on a single stem and the back of the leaves are a rich maroon.

I was going to do one group of trees but couldn't decide on which ones to use,so here is the first of two groups of trees.

I like old trees, they have so much character. A garden with an ancient tree in it has so much more character. I have seen gardeners keep a tree that is past its prime and only take it out when it is beyond hope and safety. I respect those gardeners.

Here is the second group of tree photos. The photo in the upper right corner is a huge maple tree in the forest at Royal Roads. I refer to it as "the party tree". The limbs stretch out almost level with the ground for about 20 feet. The entire tree is about 40 feet across and about as high. It is truly amazing.

I would love to to do a photo shoot with lots of antique Japanese silk lanterns hanging over a large platform with tables brimming with delightful pastries and cakes on elaborate dishes and stands.

In this pull toy, "Just Arrived", I have treated the tulip in the same manner as a large tree by placing other interesting plants around the base of the leaves. When you think about it the size of the plants doesn't matter everything gets stuck cheek to jowl whether it is a huge tree with large bushes beside it or a small flower with other plants tucked around it.

Man made structures with plants next to them become softened and are more interesting to look at. When those structures are older or falling apart they take on a very different, much more interesting personality.

The base of this candy container has "Mr. E. Rabbit" walking down a very old and overgrown stone path.

"Mr. E. Rabbit", shown opened. I had great fun putting together the Spring bouquet from the vintage millinery flowers that were on hand.

Fences are very interesting to study. I love the character of aged wood, metal, or stone fences. That bent wire fence is in front of a 1920's house down by Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. I may replicate it in a sculpture one day. The galvanized fence in upper right-hand photograph is used around several fields at Royal Roads, I would love that fencing around a section of garden

This double sided portrait rattle shows "Jasper" on one side and "Hanging Out With the Guys" on the other side. I tried to give the effect of a dying overgrown Autumn garden. I also had to hide the wooden support that is visible between the pickets of the fence.

It is all in the details. I am always looking at these little landscapes so that I can reinterpret them later in my sculptures. It is the details that make a piece come to life.

In this candy container, "Bentley the Crow and Carl", I did not want to leave the bottom of the nest plain so I tucked in some bits of reindeer moss and a small tuft of dried corn silk.

Here is  "Bentley the Crow and Carl" open. If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces in this post or any others for that matter drop me a line at

So there we are, another tour finished. I hope that you enjoy these posts as much as I do. It helps me to understand my own work process and opens up more ideas to pursue.

By the way Black Cat has decided that he does not want to be my "Moral Compass" any more. He said that I was too much work!

For those of you new to my blog check out this post about "Black Cat and the moral compass".

For further adventures of Jack and Black Cat check out these posts here, here, here, and here.


Unknown said...

Wow! Your rabbits are fantastic! Have you made candy containers before? These are most excellent.

Len said...

Why thank-you! Yes I have made them before, maybe I should do some more.

Actually, these are two of my older pieces. I have scarecrow and Santa candy containers as well.

Jeanne said...

How delightful! I really enjoyed the photos. Gardens, flowers, & trees are some of my favorite things.
And your Springtime art is wonderful!
Please thank Jack for suggesting another tour. :0)

Len said...

Jack and B.C. are very pleased that you enjoyed the blog. Personally I did ALL of the work, they just wanted me busy and out of their way.

Chicken Lips said...

Great post Len! It was wonderful taking a tour of that creative brain.

Len said...

HAHAHA!!! Thanks Dave!

doters said...

Aha! I've found your blog! And you now have 67 followers!! Thanks for the kind words on my 'dotersdoting' blog, Len. Your work is delightful!!