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Summer Art Garden:
Natural and Mechanical - Blended in the Garden
This series includes 21 “Art Garden” flower drawings from plants around my neighborhood in Denver that I first painted over the summer of 2017. After I finished the paintings I decided to add a further element by creating unique mats around each image and to combine the themes of organic and geometric forms.
Each distinctive mat drawing represents human interaction with nature. I used: antique tractor patent sketches, an antique plow, iron gate or grating, green houses, a sun dial, corrugated siding, barn siding, watering cans, vintage sprinklers, weather vanes, umbrella shade, a window ledge, baskets, fencing, chicken wire, silo beams, sculpture, and an iron arbor. Other options I considered but did not use were: boot prints, a windmill, water wheel, rakes and clippers, ladders, stone walls, gazebos, bird feeders, horse supplies, etc. The more ideas I had, the more ideas kept coming and I ran out of flower drawings and mats.
Metaphorically, surrounding the four sides of the flower drawings with a manmade mechanical structure related well to the human desire to control nature; to man’s desire to control the feminine; to mankind’s default assumption of superiority of technology over art and creativity. Society is constantly struggling to justify dominance issues between two opposing dynamics. However, even if the conditions are tilted in favor of the mechanical, the organic still can push through with a commanding brilliance. Flowers, after all, can and do sprout up between cracks in concrete, and typically pay no mind to man-made boundaries. In many ways, there is no reason why these opposites can’t coexist. Actually, they need to be together in order to provide a balance.
That balance, along with dynamic visual and conceptual interest was what I was aiming for in partnering up my flowers with mechanical items. The flowers needed to be in conversation with more than just each other. There had to be a cross-over dialogue. In this way artistic, agrarian, environmental, and societal commentaries all find a place within and amongst these pieces.