(three untitled mixed media works of ethnobotanic plants) Synthetic rubber, nylon Approx. 24 in. each (height)
(The following quote is not directly related to the plants above as such, but part of my ongoing research into ethnobotanicals.)
In a country like Mexico, city-life is markedly different than country-life. The accelerated urban tempo has influenced the loss of oral traditions; children prefer to watch television rather than listen to their grandparents’ stories. In contrast, life in the country promotes family gatherings and traditions as well as intimate contact with nature from which one constantly learns. Today, in many rural areas, the children still join their parents on trips to the field and assist in the cultivation practices. While they accompany and help their elders, they exchange knowledge and ideas about the plants and animals that surround them.
Mexico is a pluricultural country and, in general, its traditional relationship with nature includes the respect and wise use of the natural resources. The deities associated with natural resoures mark strict cultural patterns equivalent to laws in other social environments. One example are the prayers that proceed the gathering of medicinal plants in Santa Catarina del Monte (a state of Mexico), as well as the ritual incantations that are sung upon cutting the maguey plant as part of making pulque, a fermented beverage based upon the plants’ sweet juices. In general, these rituals request permission from Mother Nature to use the resource and promise to only take what is necessary and appropriate (http://www.bgci.org/education/1683/).
Notes: Image taken back in 1972-73. I didn't think it reached my intention even though there was something to like about it. The quartz (blurred) needed to be a bit more in focus. This is a macro shot.
I'm staying busy with my own sketchbook(s) and looking at older work when I'm reminded of something. I've spent many years (too many?) working with similar interests, the occult, nature, macro photography, the human mind, African Atlantic culture, ethnographic textiles and weaving designs, hand-crafted artifacts, ethnobotany, geology, drawing as a physical and psychological act.
The present and future is just as important as the past. The past contains unexplored nuggets to be opened. Many of my old sketchbooks have not drawing but ideas written down for use whenever appropriate. I still have sketchbooks from 1969 and 1971, and it's interesting to look back at them because I struggled so much with my drawing then. I realized doing a photorealistic drawing could be made but, I wasn't interested in doing that type of drawing. At that point, I was relieved of the drawing burden and freed myself to enjoy drawing. Only later did I find the physical way of drawing as a way to get the results I was looking for. Physical means standing up and using my whole body to draw, not hunched over a sketchbook on a desk.