Sharon Haines

The bounty of nature is my art form.  My background in art and my love of gardening started my career in natural materials.  I love being outdoors, working hard in my gardens and enjoying the colors, shapes, textures and smells of nature.  These become the paints and raw materials that form my artistic and sculptural designs.

 

All of my pieces are made from natural materials that are dried or preserved.  They include grains, grasses, pods, cones, herbs, everlastings, flowers, fruits, vegetables, exotic materials and wild things from the roadside.  I raise over an acre of gardens, starting with seeds and my own plants, right up to harvesting, drying and preserving. 

 

I start seedlings in flats under fluorescent tubes in the basement in early spring.  As they grow, I move them to the cold frame and later into one of my three gardens. Harvesting begins in March with the cutting of my pussy willow and ends in late fall when I bring in the last of my now, dried-on-the-plant, okra and the gourds.  My methods of preservation include air-drying, glycerin treatment of the fresh materials, dyeing, bleaching and using a food dehydrator.  I also purchase exotic, unusual and hard to grow natural materials from around the world.

 

The growing and gathering of raw materials begins the process of creating my three-dimensional sculptures.  With my imagination and full use of all elements of art and principles of design, my natural sculptural pieces are born.  They look real because they are real, just dried or preserved.  The colors of nature are my palette and my love of the outdoors gives the works the sense of inviting the viewer into the place of peace and beauty.  Somewhere in their past there is a flower, a garden, a scent, a memory or a wish that becomes their experience and my artistic fulfillment.