The summer is coming to a close, and the growing season will soon follow. The daylight hours are becoming notably shorter at the beginning and end of each day. I’ve been slowly expanding on the garden beds around our house and planning to add more perennials in some of the bare spots this fall. While weeding and pruning, I collected some clippings from our faithful Ostrich Fern that returns each year in the early spring and stays through the fall. It has also produced a few baby ferns, which I’ve transplanted to other areas of the garden beds.
I find that the New York State winters are a great time for spending long hours in my studio and working on extended projects. The summer months are much harder for me to stay put at my desk with the continual pull of beautiful days, and so much to see and do outside. I’ve noticed a natural cycle in my process of making artwork; the summer is the time for new ideas and for collections, and the winter is a time to make the ideas a reality (or at least see where these ideas lead me). The winter poses the problem of not being able to go out and collect what I need to complete a project, so I’m trying to do so now and to preserve what I think may be useful to me later on.
Years ago I had found a small flower press at an antique shop, and I’ve been using it to preserve the fern fronds that I’ve clipped from the stems. I’ll check back after a week or so, allowing pressure and time to preserve their fragile forms.