Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Coast to Coast Texture

Eucalyptus seed capsules

Here are some of my favorite texture tools from nature to impress into clay. I reject the use of store-bought texture plates. I prefer to discover my own! My first choice is always the amazing things from nature, and the items shown take you from coast to coast in the USA.

The first photo shows eucalyptus seed capsules from Napa, California. I was on a plein air painting trip a couple years ago and while painting under a eucalyptus tree, I noticed these on the ground and started picking them up. They are like having little stamps! I was surprised at the different design in some of them. They are wood-like and never fall apart. So keep your eye peeled for these little gems if you are in California, or the eucayptus' native Australia.

Florida shells

Now we travel across the US to the beaches of Florida, where shells and shell pieces are easily found. While visiting Florida a couple winters ago, I was away from my art studio but got my art fix by getting up early to beach comb for texture tools.

The big shell in the back has a nice ripple to it, which when stamped onto clay makes nice waves. The one on the left makes a nice gesture/movement impression, with it's dot-dot-dot spray of curved texture. The one in front I call a "potato chip", they are all over the high tide line and make a more symmetrical impression.

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