Growing More than Plants

amy scuplts dragon floral 350x352 - Growing More than PlantsI love the integration of the real world with artistic imagination. Finding this garden dragon hit all my buttons as I have also always been a bit of a dragon-loving nerd. The creator, Emily Coleman, creates all kinds of fantastic creatures made to blend in with natural settings.

Her inspiration for this comes from nature itself, of course, but it is driven by, in her words, “… a very strong passion for the environment and the protection of the world’s forests. As I began showing my tree dragons, I realized they could help me spread this passion.”

I have to agree. Anything that draws people to nature, takes them outdoors, and encourages them to plant in a garden or a pot, helps keep us close to nature and the earth which engenders an appreciation for them and, usually, some level of drive to do right by these things we find ourselves communing with. Putting a little something fantastical in among the plants is a fun and relatively novel way of displaying and celebrating creativity and the substance of human imagination.

Read a bit more about Emily and her inspirations on this Bored Panda article and see her other creations on her Instagram account and her website.




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The Allure of The Landscape

This week I wanted to talk about landscapes. Not so much the category of visual art that denotes representation of broad outdoor scenes, but more the use of the landscape orientation–designs that run along the horizontal with individual or separate components that are visually a single, continuous image.

To start the week off (and because I have a very long and hectic day ahead getting the files done for the next issue), I have here an older piece of mine that’s still one of my favorites, using kind of a tile choker design. The wing spread of the dragon-like image and the suggested distant scenery goes all the way around the necklace. I made this back in my more purist polymer days, so everything except the small glass beads is polymer, including the wire-like lines around the faux enamel and a piece of my elabradorite in the center.



Chokers with tile beads make creating a continuous scene fairly easy, since there isn’t too much in the way of complicated planning to get the pieces to sit properly. I’ve made a lot of these types of necklaces, changing up the size and shapes of the tiles as well as making long enough for a necklace instead of a choker, but I think keeping the basic design simple as I did here made this one of the more successful ones when it comes to the visual “landscape” created.

Alright, back to getting the Winter 2013 issue of The Polymer Arts whipped into printable shape. Enjoy your Monday. And for our USA readers, if you have the chance on this Veteran’s Day, consider giving one or a handful of our service men and women, past and present, a warm hug and thank you for doing what they’ve done for us all. And since I’m not likely to get out of the house with all this work … a warm thank you and e-hug from me to all the service people reading. You are very much appreciated.

Ye Old Fire Dragon

I decided a week about fire as inspiration would be incomplete without at least one dragon. I have been ever fascinated with the idea of dragons ever since reading the book The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson when I was maybe 12. He actually supports the possibility of dragons existing through scientific theory (not all that realistically supported, but good enough for my young mind!) and some really ornate illustrations (by the sometimes dark but always fascinating Wayne Anderson). Dragons still pop up in my work on occasion because they are creatures that have a vast range of possible manifestations, details, colors, lines, and textures that you can use to represent them, not to mention the lore and fascination with them that spans every continent.

And how can one resist visually exploring the stylings of Ryan MacLeod’s whimsical and intricately detailed dragons, like the Fire Dragon he did this year?



Ryan’s dragons and their surroundings are so very detailed. Do you see all the little mice hanging around the lounging dragon? Or the jeweled details on the books, the nails in the floor and even the grain of the floor planks? Take a close up look by clicking on the picture here to get to the original page. Then peruse the rest of his gallery, especially pieces like “Magical Mischief in the Absence of Merlin” with a skeleton table stand, dozen of little labeled bottles and every bit of trim on the furniture accented with magical motifs. Such fun!

Thanks to Christa McKibben for re-introducing me to Ryan’s work recently.


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