Elements of nature

Often times when viewing my work some will ask whether the use of elements of nature, such as flora and fauna, has any significance. And indeed it has.

There’s a variety of reasons why I choose to depict animals of both human and non human kind, as well as floral images and some landscapes too. On a personal level, I’ve always felt strongly connected to nature with an aversion of all things that are harmful to it. So I’d like my work to represent that, along with all the other meanings that I’m trying to convey in it. I also enjoy my work opening up conversations about what I’m trying to express to the world, through my art. For as much meaning as I can give to an element or symbol within my work, any viewer is bound to have their own connotations and interpretations to whatever I depict.

The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (Paperback)

A good interesting resource, that is more insightful than a search on the internet, is the Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker – and the full text is available online for free as well.
This book I’ve often times consulted not only to gain more knowledge and perspective on an element that I’ve included in my work, but also to help me make a decision between a variety of possible elements to use. Seeing which one would be more appropriate for any certain work.

Highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to gain more insight in to the symbolism of things that surround us.

Working with collage

When using something for reference purposes in own studio practice, there’s several options. These include, but are not limited to: working from life (be it life models or still life), photographs, built sets and collages.

collageinborder

Having explored all of the above options in various degrees of success, I’ve always been more drawn to the idea and creation process of collage. The various possible combinations of images excite me endlessly. And the varying degrees of a sometimes meticulous process, which can lead to quite spontaneous results, give me a sense of intricate skill.
This and the possibility of creating a world so different from our own, where fantastical combinations of elements can occur, that can only perhaps be rivaled by dreams – this is why I choose to use collage as reference images for my paintings.

florencecollage

The works accompanying this text are some examples of my earlier work with collage, circa year 2012. Looking back at this work I notice how some themes, which are now so relevant in my studio work, have not so recent origins. Such as the use of human figure and animal images, blended together. With flora and fauna symbolism ever so present. The color palette, though quite delicate and soft, seems moody. Distant from my current love of vibrant pigments.
Nevertheless it has been quite useful and interesting revisiting these works. And, it has sparked some ideas for my current collage creations.

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Hope you’ve found them just as enjoyable!