I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth.
Like many of you, I am endlessly fascinated with the lush world of flowers and plants. To witness a seed sprout, a flower bloom, a leaf wither and fall, that cycle of life, that promise of birth and death reminds us of the one certainty in our lives. I often find the withering and eventual decay of a flower or leaf just as wondrous as its birth and growth.
And the 17th century European still life painters have long been a source of wonder and inspiration. The details. The soft lighting. The created mood. I knew I wanted to create a “drawing” or “painting” that depicted the “Withering Beauty” of nature and was reminiscent of those early European painters.
I’ve also been thinking about compositing or sandwiching several images to create one. Photoshop is the logical choice for this. But I am no Photoshop expert. Not even close. Coincidentally, while looking for something else, I spotted an old flatbed scanner a friend had given me a few years ago up on a shelf. I recalled people scanning their hands and other body parts and thought, “why wouldn’t this work for plant parts as well.”
To shorten a much longer story, and after some trial and much error, “Withering Beauty,” a composite of five separate scans of plants from our garden, emerged. Each layer tweaked in Photoshop and stacked and arranged and merged into a single image. And then a little more work in Lightroom.
I am pleased with my first botanical florilegium and am anxious to see where this will all lead.
We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.
___ Andy Goldsworthy