Transparent Beauty

Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to see the Jellies exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  Sea jellies are amazing creatures that are composed of 95% water and have no brains, blood, or bones. I could have spent hours observing these beautifully mesmerizing, translucent creatures.

Because of their varied layers of transparency, shapes, and textures, these are a few of my favorite jellies:




















Art on Wheels

While in Washington, DC my daughter and I visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.  The architecture of the building itself is amazing, evoking the spirit of nature. Once inside I discovered Vochol: Huíchol Art on Wheels, a Volkswagen Beetle covered in a beautiful mosaic of beads, fabric, paint and sculpture.

Glitz of Choice

On a recent visit to Washington, DC, my daughter and I visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. One of our favorite exhibits showcased minerals and gems.  While my daughter couldn’t wait to see the beautiful cut and set stones, I was drawn to the stones in their natural states. Below are two of our favorites.

Marie Louise Diadem                   Turquoise, Diamonds, Gold and Silver

Marcasite                                                                                    from Indiana, USA

Pebbles of Beauty

Stacked, broken, and scratched pebbles become works of art with the imagination and touch of artist Andy Goldsworthy.

Circle of Stones                                                                            Andy Goldsworthy

Cracked and Broken Pebbles                                                  Andy Goldsworthy

Pebbles, Broken and Scraped                                                 Andy Goldsworthy

Living and Breathing Mosaics

The Deep Sea              by Ilana Shafir
The Deep Sea by Ilana Shafir
Awakening by Sophie Drouin

Last week I spent four incredible days at the annual Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) conference. I was able to totally immerse myself in mosaics by participating in workshops, attending lectures, interacting with other mosaic artists, and viewing a wide range of mosaic artworks.

The above mosaics created by Ilana Shafir and Sophie Drouin, artists that I have had the privilege of taking workshops with,  have wonderful texture and beautifully utilize stone,  my favorite material. These pieces and many other amazing mosaics are currently on exhibit in the  Mosaic Arts International 2012 exhibition at the Lexington Center Museum & Gallery through April 27, 2012.

More Lichen Beauty

“Lichen Rainbow”, Red Canyon, Utah photo by  Alan Grinberg

Lichens, Burgess Lake  from Montana Outdoors

Lichen Fields, California photo by Sylvia Sharnoff

I was so inspired by the color and texture of the lichen that I discovered last week  on National Geographic, I felt compelled to do more research. These are my newest additions to my inspiration library. I hope they will inspire you too.

Lichen Beauty

Lichen on Slate Photograph by Sylvia Sharnoff

While  searching for inspiration in rock formations, I came across this amazing image of lichen on slate featured on National Geographic.  The colors and textures are amazing. Lichen is my newest addition to my list of nature’s artistry.

Nature’s Stone Landscapes

Quartz (variety: "Landscape" Agate), photo by Chip Clark
Greenskin Jasper, Turee Creek, Western Australia, photo by Hans Gamma
Banded Agate, photo by Richard Weston

I am constantly amazed and inspired by the beauty and artistry found in nature. The landscape images in these stones draw me in and evoke a sense of awe. To me, nature is the ultimate artist.


Samples  from my treasure trove

Recently, I felt like I struck gold. I was invited by a lapidary (art of cutting and polishing stone) instructor to come raid the scrap buckets of stone at the studio where he teaches. He has been saving the discarded pieces for years, for what, he wasn’t sure.  In the back of his mind he must have known someone would appreciate them as I do.

As I sort the stones by color, texture, size and shape, I’m taking my time to admire their natural beauty as I try to identify them.  In my treasure trove I’ve discovered lapis, jade, obsidian, chrysocolla, copper, quartz, agate, jasper, fossils and so much more. Already, I have numerous projects in mind for my find.