I incorporate natural elements into some of my artwork, underscoring their versatility, mutability, and a bit of surprise. This idea is not entirely new, of course, manifesting in early Slavic birch-bark inscriptions or in human pattern recognition, which allows us to see mythic beings in the woods somewhere at the intersection of our childhood imagination and archetypal knowledge. 

At times, my natural portraits channel the latter, such as this Mistress of the Mountain, adorned with local wild flowers and shaped out of rock on rock. 


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Other times, these are portraits of actual people who piqued my interest in some way.

Here again, gone tomorrow: actually, even less so! In the original, these images only exist long enough to be photographed, getting recycled into other images or discarded altogether, letting Nature reclaim its constituents. Materials of choice and weather conditions both direct the level of stylization, too.

Working in sub-freezing temperatures in the winter without mittens—necessary to create intricate detailing and a decent sense of likeness—surely motivates me to act fast! And in the summer, it's the tunnel of wind that likes to rearrange facial features and appropriate body parts.

The following slideshow includes a number of exemplars.