“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
I love that quote from Georgia O’Keeffe, and she is one of my earliest artistic inspirations that has stuck with me through the years. I’ve always been drawn to her explorations of natural objects, and her studies showing her deep interest in their details, curves, shadows, lighting, and forms. Growing up with gardens, by the forest, and near beaches fueled my fascination with the natural world, so it’s not surprising that I found meaning in much of O’Keeffe’s work.
Like many creative people I tend to collect and surround myself with items I find inspiring or interesting, something I’ve done since I was small. I still have shells, rocks, and dried flowers I picked up as a kid, and they hold spots in my now large collection of natural objects. I fill up shadow boxes with them to adorn my studio walls, keep some organized carefully in easily accessible boxes, and display others in curio cabinets. They range from whole shells and broken shell fragments, to various rocks and stones, bones and horn, to branches, bark, twigs, dried seedpods and seeds, dried flowers and leaves, to dead insects, and even abandoned wasp nests and empty chrysalises. Friends and family now bring back “treasures” for me on their travels, and I always love having new items to add to my inspiration collection.
Holding these objects in my hand, looking at them closely to inspect and feel their textures, shapes, and patterns is exciting and always gives me new ideas. With my work I hope to show people the details and beauty I see in the natural world, allowing them to carry these objects with them as wearable sculptures, reminding them of things often overlooked and taken for granted during everyday life.
“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.” – Georgia O’Keeffe