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Hiking this morning on the NC Botanical Gardens trail, I was reminded again how much inspiration I gather from spending time among the growing things of a forest. The more I let all my senses adjust to the slower speed of the trees and streams, the more I become aware of the incomprehensible variety that surrounds me. I try to pay close attention to the diversity of the forms, the textures, scents, and sounds. But I discover I can never take it in fully, never grasp the meaning in the ever-changing layers or the way that nothing is wasted. Every possibility exists here, yet new ones constantly emerge from the simplest of elements. Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen…

In my own art making, I hope to make the process about this kind of discovery, stretching to encompass every potential of what the medium can do. Paint, wax, sand, earth, chalk, wood… the combinations seem endless. It’s exciting to think that perhaps there is no boundary, only a continuous pushing outward into new possibility: new forms, new patterns and textures, new color relationships.
Today, when I go to the studio, I will think about my time spent among the elements and diversity of the earth. I’ll push the limits of what I can do with my own limited materials, and will seek out the mysterious variations that makes life rich. I’ll savor the journey of making as though it were the end in itself, and in the process come to know myself better and have a deeper understanding of that Nature I love so well.

See Shelly’s website to see more of her work.

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