Peter and I just returned from a road trip to Utah. We drove to Coral Pink Sand Dunes that were once (170 million years ago) covered with ocean. We climbed a steep wet sandy hill of beautiful coral colored sand and stood at the top looking across miles of coral colored sand dunes, high ridges swooping into flat beaches.
We carefully walked among the Welsh’s Milkweed plants taking pictures of the lovely thick-skinned leaves and the globe-shaped blooms. The thick skins protect the plant from heat, wind and sand damage as the deep roots tap into water under the sand and send horizontal runners making new plants. These plants are only found in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona and are on the federally threatened plant list.
This is where I began to pay attention to the repetitions of shapes and lines throughout the road trip. I always try to be aware of design elements around me and I enjoyed focusing on this idea.
I think I could have spent hours studying this interesting plant. Instead I took pictures that I can refer to often. When I really looked at the globes and all their parts I realized how repeating a shape while varying the color slightly makes the larger shape that much more interesting.
Looking at the leaves, I saw that the variety of sizes of the same leaf shape give a pleasing rhythm to the composition. That’s something to remember as I design my jewelry!
These plants require strong structure that is also flexible in the weather. There are no ‘extra’ parts or pieces stuck on. The purple coatings on the globes open to show the white to yellow to plum centers giving contrast as they protect. There is a reason each shape is part of the structure and that is also good to remember in jewelry design.
As we continued to several national parks and monuments I tried to keep my focus on lines, shapes and repetitions in nature. In my next few Tuesday posts, I’ll share my observations with you. Looking at these photos will keep me supplied with inspiration in my jewelry designs for quite a while and I hope you enjoy seeing the world through my eyes.