Maybe you remember back in January I shared a few pictures of recent found objects on my idea wall. So far, two of those scraps have made it into my artwork. This is the story of the cedar sprig.
I found the cedar spring on a morning walk. It was early January, so there were still Christmas tree remnants in the streets along with tinsel and the random overlooked holiday decoration. Most of this I managed to overlook for the sake of a speedier walk, but the cedar sprig had such a nice shape, pre-flattend as it was by a few passing car tires. I picked it up and carried it home. Having learned the hard way (natural items like leaves and twigs lose color/contrast and become very brittle and hard to scan as they age), I scanned it into the computer BEFORE I hung it on the cork board.
I really loved the way its shape was both symmetrical and organic. You get the idea of a whole tree shape from just that one branch. Originally I thought maybe I’d use the sprig shape as a tree in a print, adding birds or fruit to its “branches”, but first this found object wound up in a print from my September show at SEED. It started with a note I’d scribbled to myself:
As I started sketching, building a print around this thought, the idea of contrasting confinement and growth became my focus. I found the little cedar sprig again as I flipped through my found/scanned library and added it to my image. I loved how the natural shape and lines of the branch blended with the rough lines of the hand-drawn elements in the digital sketch. Everything fit together perfectly:
In fact, I loved the graphic impact of the cedar spring coupled with the text (taken from a keypad I ran across somewhere in my travels) so much that I ended up turning that one sketch into two separate pieces, both built around the idea of the note I jotted to myself in the margin of my notebook:
Two sides of the same idea… Or, two branches of it… That little cedar sprig has come a long way. I wonder where it will end up next.