Monday, November 2, 2009

Gathering the Goodness of Fall

I love to capture real life moments with words and paper mache.
The other day I was sitting on the window seat in my studio,
working on my to do list for the day when a squirrel caught my eye.
He sat on the branch of our big old oak tree munching away.
His tail curled along his back like a blanket.

I let my eyes fall down the moss covered trunk to my flower bed below.
The flowers had begun to bow to the autumn chill
while still clinging to their faded blossoms aged by wind and rain.

Such a beautiful pallet of browns, pinks, purples and greens.

The blue sky was alive with flocks of birds
that moved with effortless grace like choreographed dancers.
I was so inspired by this moment
I was moved to create a piece that would capture this beautiful scene.

Sometimes when I make a new piece or a painting,
a story starts to emerge and sometimes just a few short lines.
I love incorporating words into my work.
To me this adds one more dimension or layer to the piece.
Drawing the viewer in an enveloping them into that moment.

As I looked out the window I was reminded of the old saying " birds of a feather flock together"
and decided to incorporate this into the work.
This piece has a an excerpt from the poem below which I wrote in free verse form.

The wind whips and the trees dance. Leaves swirl to the ground like bits of confetti. Sun kissed clouds blush a pale pink against a forever sky. While the squirrels and birds of a feather flock together gathering the goodness of fall.

The excerpt on the tag reads,
"Birds of a feather flock together, gathering the goodness of fall."

This birds on this piece are made with a liquid paper mache mix
which my husband and I have perfected over time.
We pour the mix into a mold that we make out of silicone.
Any molds I use in the making of my pieces are my molds
we have made from my original sculptures.
The original birds where sculpted using paper clay.
Most of my pieces are a compilation of my original castings and hand sculpted components.
Some of my pieces are sculpted all by hand, it just depends on what I am making.

Once the bird castings are dry they are sanded, primed with gesso and then hand painted.
I also seal my pieces with two coats of varnish.

The flowers and small acorn on this garland are made by hand in paper clay.

And as always bits of yarn, ribbon and tattered fabric embellish the piece.

This Garland of Goodness will be available in my Etsy shop on

We have had a lovely season for fall this year in northern Michigan.
I am sad to see it go...
The winds have turned colder and the colors are beginning to fade
as the stage is being set for winter.
So as a fond farewell to fall and all it's splendor I leave you with
my Michigan Moments in Autumn.

A country road some where near Mackinaw city.

A trip to Just A plain Farm for pumpkins

In the woods
Apples harvested from my brothers farm

The views out our front window,
across the bay.Spiced pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting,
and warm apple cider.
I hope you have a had a fabulous fall
filled with pumpkin kisses and apple cider wishes.


Brynwood Needleworks said...

Mary, dear...What a wonderful little trip I've taken with you today. I'm thoroughly entranced with your art and how you create such beautiful pieces! What a breathtaking view you have from the windows of your house, too. sigh Enough for now, my friend.

Silke said...

Oh, Mary, you've made me so homesick for fall in Michigan. When we lived there, that was my favorite season - going to go get apple cider (unpasteurized) and a dozen hot doughnuts at our favorite orchard, building fires in the fireplace, forests on fire and the first frosts. Thank you for this trip down memory lane! Hugs, Silke

cindy said...

It all looks simply wonderful! I do wish we had those kinds of colors (and great chilly weather) here. And love the sweet little birdie banner - its beautiful! You did a wonderful job of capturing the moment!

yapping cat

julie Haymaker thompson said...

Oh Mary this wasa beautiful post !! Have you treid liqua che it is wonderful!!!

gail said...

Hi Mary,, I love your post this week. Your beautiful bird garland is gorgeous. Your work is so pretty. I love seeing the beautiful fall photos from everyone. I live in AZ and there isnt a change of seasons really.
I hope you have a great week.

Lance said...

You have a keen eye for beauty. I really enjoyed all of your photos, thanks for posting!!

Lance said...

You have a keen eye for beauty. It was a pleasure looking at your photos, thanks for posting!!

Alisa said...

What a lovely poem, Mary! And the inspired piece is just wonderful!

Michelle (Shell) May said...

Wow what a fun post! It's truly fascinating seeing and reading about all your gorgeous work and how you create it. I would love to sit with some tea and watch you. That would be so fun!
bunny hugs,