Saturday, January 20, 2007

BOTANICAL BIOFORMS: Building Blocks

In the Concept and Inspiration discussion I stated that I would be using 50 photographs as reference material to create 50 new object drawings (of seeds, pods, blossoms, leaves, etc.) that will serve as the Building Blocks for the Botanical Bioform series. Well, you are probably wondering why I would choose to add so much work to my creative process. Why wouldn’t I just put the photographs up around the studio and use those images as direct inspiration for the new paintings?

For me, this additional step is about taking ownership. I am trying to create a Visual Langue that is completely unique to my vision/imagination. It is like taking an existing alphabet and creating a new original font. You know the letters and what they mean but by creating a new font you see the words written in a whole new light. The point is to design shapes based on the plants selected, but also to remove them from the influence of their existing environment and color context. This allows me to better imagine new color choices and envision new environments. The goal is to draw imaginative natural objects that feel earthy and primal, that connect with the basic essence of nature, but with out true concern for the original species identity. The overall vision for the Botanical Bioform series is to focus on the life cycle/nature concept more then the objects as specific plants. I plan to put weight on the emotional value of nature, rather then creating accurate botanical depictions. In other words, the Building Blocks will not be Botanical Illustrations in the traditional sense. They will be portrayals of nature, nurtured by me, with every intention of mutating the average botany into the Amyesque!

Here are the Botanical Bioform Building Blocks in progress:



This photo shows 48 of the drawings (the *Building Blocks*) I have been developing for the Botanical Bioform series. The materials for this stage of the drawing process are; 8.5” x 11” cardstock, pencil, Sharpies and ball point pen. These sketches are spread out on the floor so I can see how the individual *Building Blocks* are working together as a body (or if you prefer the Visual Language metaphor: Alphabet). After getting to this stage in the process I have begun editing. I am looking for variety of shape, form and texture as well as a well rounded spectrum of life cycle stages. I’m currently in the process of removing the shapes that I feel are not working, either they are too repetitive or stand out in a way that is not harmonious with the set. So, at this point I will continue to draw and edit (and draw and edit and draw and edit some more) until I get a set of 50 that works for me. That the plan for now anyway! :)

And a side note for my medallion junkies, I have a feeling that the final Botanical Bioform Building Blocks may also serve as the basic designs for a new Exalted Beauty medallion collection in the near future! :)

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