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  • sharmondavidson

Nature Inspired Art

nature inspired art blue and green moon with leaves

Transformation 57, monotype collage with mixed media, 7 x 7 in

10_OCTOBER, 2022

"It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis." ~Henry Miller

The Nature of Change

I've written about the Transformations series several times, including the explanation of how this nature inspired art series got started. So, I'm not going to repeat any of that in this post. If you're curious, just follow the links. The two paragraphs below (with a few minor changes), are exerpts from one of my earlier posts.

"What does transformation really mean, and how does that relate to these monotype collages? Originally, I called the series ‘Transformations” because the overlapping forms, when juxtaposed together, seemed to become more than just one thing. It's as if, in the process of changing from one thing into another, they were caught somewhere in between.

This is the way of nature. Change happens slowly enough that we may see only some of the “in between” stages. But since change is continuous, who's to say what the final 'result' is? Is a moth the same thing as the caterpillar it once was? And what is it, exactly, when it is neither?"

monotype collage abstract landscape with waves and moon

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”  ~ Mary Shelley

Transformation 58, monotype collage, 7 x 7 inches

Nature Inspired Art

In nature, everything is literally in the process of becoming something else, including us. But, ironically, change is very difficult for us humans to deal with. In fact, it is probably the biggest source of pain in our lives. We are hardwired to see change as a threat; it's a survival mechanism. To see the change that's happening all around us, we need to step back and look at the bigger picture. And we are notoriously short-sighted. I have now completed a total of sixty pieces in the Transformations series.  Thinking back over the years that I'ved continued to add to it, I've certainly had my own struggles with change and the pain it can bring. I've come to realize that making these artworks has probably been my way of trying to see the bright side of change. It allows me to focus on the beauty of what my husband calls "transitoriness."

"In Hinduism, Shiva is a deity who represents transformation. Through destruction and restoration, Shiva reminds us that endings are beginnings, and that our world is constantly undergoing a cycle of birth, death and rebirth." ~ Karen Salmansohn

abstract landscape collage of galaxy with planets

The piece at right has been through about four different incarnations, and I'm still not happy with it. Most likely, it will transform yet again. Or, it's parts may turn up in future works. We'll see...

Transformation 59, monotype collage, 7 x 7 inches

monoprint abstract landscape grass and sky

Transformation 60, monotype collage, 7 x 7 inches

Neither and Both

I've asked myself what has kept me interested in continuing to work on this series for so long. I think the appeal is the fact that they occupy that somewhat messy border between naturalism and abstraction.

"Is that a mountain or an ocean wave?" people often ask. "Is that the sun or a leaf?"  "Yes," I answer. It's neither and both. It's whatever you make it inside your own head, it's a "choose-your-own-adventure" story.

Now that I've done sixty of them, am I finished? I don't know for sure, but I doubt it. Stay tuned, though, because there's more new work coming up!

In the meantime, I wish you all peace, love, and art!

"There is nothing permanent except change."  ~ Heraclitus


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