Monday, September 28, 2009

Eco Art: Drawing With Flower Petals and Natural Charcoal

Guess what I discovered today! I was in my garden and I pulled a few marigold petals off the flower and rubbed it hard against some cardboard...voila, it made an orange mark! Then I got some dark orange/red colored nasturtiums, more orange marigolds, and golden rod (yellow) flowers and decided to try and draw with them.
I didn't use a pencil or a paint brush, I simply took the petals in my fingers and mushed them, then pressed them against the paper. The paper I used in these pictures is recycled paper, four sheets taped together. I set up a mirror and used my face as a quick guide... although the end result is a wee bit more haggard then I am in reality, psychically at least. ;)
I started with the golden rod yellow flowers for an outline of the drawing since they have the lightest pigment. When drawing with solid colors it's best to build the pigments up from lightest to darkest.
The marigolds gave a full on orange, bright and full of pigment, the golden rod was a lemon true yellow and the nasturtiums came out strangely reddish mauve.
I got really excited that I remembered there was CHARCOAL in the wood stove from last time wood burned. Funny how in art school it never dawned on me the charcoal was simply from wood, since all our art supplies were bought in stores rather then handmade. When I moved out into the woods and burned wood in a stove for the first time, a piece of charcoal fell out onto the floor and I stepped on it and slide across white tile, making a huge line across the floor. I was like OH My GAWd, this is charcoal!!! :)
Adding the blackness of charcoal to any drawing, any color makes everything very bold and intense. I am also not really one for subtle art though too.
This was a eco art quickie, that took less then 5 minutes for me to draw, but shows that there is a range of stuff we can make without relying on an art store, without spending money and without harming the earth in order to create good art. We don't need to be starving artists cause we've spent all our money on art supplies or because our art supplies are so toxic it's polluting soil and water.
BTW - Next time I will draw something more happy for ya'll, like a unicorn.


Liberty said...

less than 5 minutes! I'd love to be that good! I actually really like this drawing - it has a lot of emotional depth to me which is something I value so much in art. Art that doesn't have that just falls flat for me.
great post!

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

oh Thanks Liberty! That means alot. I like art with depth too, i have tried throughout the years to just draw something pretty, but it never comes out that way. My hand draws more feeling then anything exact.
I do draw and paint extremely fast-this one went especially fast i think because the surface of the paper is way smaller then what i typically drew on most my life. I used to do art all day everyday for many years till I got chemically sensitive - then i had to go through periods of pondering, as to how to achieve this non toxic. It's really just finally coming together in my mind.

Stephanie said...

Gah, you are so creative. Love this and your pokeberry ink/dye. I am a oil painter myself and plan to experiment with some natural pigments this winter, we'll see how that goes.

linda said...

It's a little bit odd how being creative these days, for most people, doesn't include using sustainable and healthy materials. Perhaps these days it requires the utmost creativity to do this. We CAN live in harmony with nature and you are living proof!

Lou Cheese said...

That's a wickedly cool drawing. I wonder if the lighter colors will change as they age, being all natural and all. It could be like a bottle of wine, getting better as it ages.

Anonymous said...

well, isn't it great to be getting back to the ways our ancestors created art -native americans, Egyptians, pagans,...?

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Stephanie- Cool! When you do your own paints, can you post a link to some pics here? I would love to see what you do. I am trying to gather as many colors, variations, and ideas as i possibly can. Being an artist was easy when you can squeeze any color you want out a tube - it takes some serious work to make it all natural. Work that somehow makes it way more fun for me.

Linda- I know, it is kinda strange that artists don't use more natural materials. I met a guy who might be opening a eco art gallery and I really hope he does it, i think it is the direction I would like to see art go. Fine arts does not have to equal toxic materials.

Lou Cheese - I am so glad you like it, cause i LOVE you paintings, and so that is a high compliment from you. I plan on doing a much larger drawing hopefully staring today. The hard part is paper - having to either sew together smaller pieces, I would like to make my own paper also. I was thinking of trying it with all my junk mail...melting it down and making new paper out of it.

Anonymous- Exactly! The whole thought process in my mind, is being creative the natural way, and the natural way is always going to be the primitive way. :)

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

PS- I forgot to say the darker orange from the marigold turned into a more solid dark yellow. Otherwise that is all the fading it's done so far. I like the changing colors- it's turning into new drawings.
One time I painted with straight beet juice and it doesn't fade in the dark, but when light touches it it starts to slowly fade into a brown.