Made of Summer

Beyond photography, my opportunities to create non-commercial art are very limited due to, you guessed it, time constraints. But the interest is still there. So I've decided to do the next best thing and make something that is less time-consuming than an intricate drawing, yet no less creative.

The result? Another "natural portrait" of Japanese musician Morrie literally made of summer: flowers, greens, blueberries, cherries, apples...Good music inspires what I'd like to think is interesting art.

In general, my "natural portraits" are meant to emphasize the mutability of nature, its growth and decay. The very structure of any given piece is highly unstable: imagine putting each berry together as the wind in the Rocky Mountains decides to play tricks on you! Sometimes, it's worth keeping and documenting such mistakes, as they are part of the process.

Once the portrait is done, its constituent parts get "recycled" back into nature. In this particular case, delicious berries and fruit from a local farm were, well, eaten! 

In the end, the only record of a "natural portrait's" existence is preserved through photography. Though unlike my previous exemplars, I've also decided to go one step further and create a 6-second timelapse out of the consecutive photographs I had taken of the creative process.


This might be one of my favorite temporary "natural" portraits to have made here in the mythical Twin Peaks set amidst the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Having been listening to a lot of Morrie's siren songs as of late, it was only expected that I'd feel inspired enough to get covered in wood ash from head to toe resembling a feral woman and sunburnt, to boot.

In addition to ash and charcoal from the fireplace, I used living and dry flowers and plants, sticks, dead tree buds, glazed tiles, coffee beans (!), and a cross, which lends various kinds of cyclical as well as phoenix-like symbolism. The resultant amalgam was  certainly "natural": several creepy crawlers thought it was worth investigating!

Ultimately, every portrait in my ongoing project is "recycled" back into nature. Yet this time around, it was Boreas that aptly cast much of it off the cliff toward the mule deer feeding down below not too long after I finished photographing. I don't pay my assistants enough (wink!).