Nature's Paintbrushes

When I go into the studios of my painter friends, my eye always goes to those buckets, coffee cans and bins filled with paintbrushes.  I love the many sizes, shapes and colors – the spatters of color on the handles hinting at the magic these brushes have been part of.

As a photographer, my "paintbrushes" are not nearly so sleek, seductive or varied. My tools are a black box of glass and plastic, a carbon fiber tripod that my serious photographer friends laugh at and call “cute” because it is so small, and a virtual paintbox, AKA my MacBook.  But in the last few days of autumn’s glory I have been foraging in my yard collecting branches of vermillion colored Japanese maples,  golden amber giant hosta leaves, miscanthus stocks and more. They are the paintbrushes for my winter portfolio project – a study of form and reflections in Destruction Brook.


Paintbrushes gathered from my garden .

Sitting alongside the brook I look a bit like a crazy woman as I make little rock weights and attach fishing line to my garden trove of branches. But it allows me to attempt to secure my leaves and branches in the middle of standing ripples or where the light is best without the current making off with them.  For all the attempts that don't work, there are still a few moments of magic that make it worthwhile.  Here is a sneak peek of what is to come.