|Autumn scene in our backyard at our home "Flora Vale", 2010|
“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”
― Gary Snyder
|Autumn leaves and a bell of entry at our Green Rose Labyrinth, in Crownsville, MD, 2006|
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
|Autumn leaves along an Appalachian creek in Cumberland, MD, 2011|
“Until we understand what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch. And to come to that understanding it is necessary, even now, to leave the regions of our conquest – the cleared fields, the towns and cities, the highways – and re-enter the woods. For only there can a man encounter the silence and the darkness of his own absence. Only in this silence and darkness can he recover the sense of the world’s longevity, of its ability to thrive without him, of his inferiority to it and his dependence on it. Perhaps then, having heard that silence and seen that darkness, he will grow humble before the place and begin to take it in – to learn from it what it is. As its sounds come into his hearing, and its lights and colors come into his vision, and its odors come into his nostrils, then he may come into its presence as he never has before, and he will arrive in his place and will want to remain. His life will grow out of the ground like the other lives of the place, and take its place among them. He will be with them – neither ignorant of them, nor indifferent to them, nor against them – and so at last he will grow to be native-born. That is, he must reenter the silence and the darkness, and be born again"
~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
|Leah Odom modeling our Maple Leaf Green Man mask and necklace, against a backdrop of Autumn's glory|
With our own art, land is where inspiration starts for us. Land, Place, Hearth, Home, our Nature. It breaths out of the land, like mist from the trees in the morning.
Stand in one place long enough, and you will see a valley exhale in the morning, and inhale at twilight. Our marriage and relationship, the heart of our collaboration, started in just such a place, with just such a pulse.
First with land, then literature, then music, through drawings and paintings, and ultimately our own work. Each piece of it you might hold, is connected in a thread, of gossamer spider webs and stitched leaves, back to a place in our hearts. Every Green Man guards a memory. It is a weight only we can see, yet, were it not there, the art would be less.
We call our work Fantastical Naturalism, and if we can do no other good, than to give our experience of land and nature, a voice and form, then it will be enough.
|Sunlight through a Sugar Maple Leaf, 2011|
"Art for me is a form of nourishment. I need the land" ~ Andy Goldsworthy
(All photography copyright of Miscellaneous Oddiments LLC)