Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mother Nature Will Help You Release Your Inner Artist

Recently, a friend sent me a link to “Scott Wade’s Dirty Pictures.”  It sounds like something that should make me blush; however, it is actually a site detailing a clever artist who turned his dirty car windows into canvases for spectacular drawings.   With the recent snowmelt and resulting swampy driveway, I  wondered if I couldn’t save some money on art canvases myself and take up sketching on our pick-up and car windows.

When the recent snow first fell, the yard and surrounding pastures converted to pristine white canvases that reminded me of a newly-opened jar of peanut butter.  I hated to let the dog out that morning  because I wanted to keep looking at those unspoiled acres.  Obviously, I had to do the equivalent of making the first knife swipe into that Jiffy jar and let Buster out to see if he could even find a bush to mark in all that deep snow.

For a long while, our little terrier’s dragging belly and four scrawny legs made the only designs in that snow.  Then my husband got busy shoveling paths to shed, garage, bird feeder, and chicken house.  Finally, he cleared several paths so Buster didn’t have to bounce like Tigger through the white depths every time the little guy went outside.   These varying paths created a kind of 3-D sculpture that reminded me of ivory carvings I have seen on Antiques Roadshow.

Soon, I saw hieroglyphic patterns caused by winter bird tracks as they hopped lightly over this unknown substance.  I suspect it has been so long since a really good snow fell that many of our birds didn’t know about this, relying on instinct to direct their maneuverings from feeder to branch.  Their tiny footprints added a new dimension to the constantly changing yard art. 

All this creativity inspired me to scrounge up a dilapidated cowboy hat and blue bandanna to head outside in my own coveralls and mittens to construct an original snow sculpture.  Apparently, the moisture content or the crystalline shapes of the flakes weren’t perfect snowman-making material so I cobbled together a crusty snow-cowboy to guard the driveway.  Despite his shortcomings, it was clear he was a rugged westerner overseeing a gorgeous nature-inspired gallery.

As this snow melted, taking with it all my found art, it combined with dirt, a desirable quality in farm country suffering from drought conditions.   The resulting gooey mud added a new dimension to my concept of art when my friend sent the link to  Instead of simply enjoying the Jackson Pollack-like splats and splotches coating our vehicles or trying to analyze the Rorschach type blobs , I keep considering the creative possibilities as this mud dries on my windows. 

I would love to see friends and neighbors take advantage of these nature-inspired canvases to fill our western Kansas communities with original creations.  Take advantage of Mother Nature to release your inner artist with free art supplies.  Just make sure you can see to drive safely.

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