Back in the day…..when the world was a little bit more innocent…my BFF and I spent much of our summer days roaming all by ourselves in the neighborhood park. The park was bordered by a creek, where we spent many hours building dams and crossings in the cool green water with gold glinting highlights. Leafy trees arched overhead, and fallen branches because houses and forts. Mosses and ferny glades were our resting spots.
My favorite vacations were spent in the redwoods in Santa Cruz, and up on the north coast of California, where ferns made the understory to the giant trees.
Well, fast forward several decades, and I have just returned from a trip to New Zealand with this same friend—and my DH, and son and daughter-in-law. What a trip it was…a month long journey of adventure!
During the trip, we enjoyed quite a few hikes— each unique, and yet each characterized by abundant greenery—especially ferns. Small ones, large ones, smooth ones, ripply ones, green ones, and even red ones. Do you recall the legend of the red fern? Planted by angels, the red fern will never die.
Then there were tree ferns. . . towering tree ferns with cooling shady canopies . . . On the long hikes, the tree ferns kept the hot sun at bay with gently filtered light.
If you have been reading the blog or Facebook, you know that this month, Melly and I are hosting a Playful Fabric Print-Along in our Facebook community. (Join us here!) I decided for this Print-Along to use the theme of ferns, prompted by my New Zealand trip, but inspired by my lifelong ferny love.
Monoprints may be my favorite starting point with a natural subject. Seeing as here in upstate NY the only plants up from the ground are crocuses and snowdrops, at this moment I am limited to using leatherleaf ferns from the florist. Many surfaces can be used for monoprints, including glass, vinyl, a sheet of fun foam attached to a plexi plate, even Ikea placemats— but I chose my favorite—the gelli plate. Let the playful printing commence!
I chose three greens from Playful Fabric Printing, mixed up the dye paste in two values, and away I went!
Here are a few of the pieces I printed.
I am envisioning some tools I want to make around this theme. In my next blog I will share the development of some tools with the fern theme.