“I never grew out of my bug period.”
I wonder if we all have something we never “grew out of.” I grew out of my own bug period long ago (although I still find them sort of interesting provided they are not on my body or in my house). My fascination with other aspects of the natural world has stayed with me through the years. Instead of studying ants or collecting bugs, I love learning about plants and tend to pick up seeds and cones when I go for walks in the woods or garden.
Over the years, I have photographed many of them. Mostly, however, they are displayed in small jars or on a shelf in my sitting room or studio. Just as people love to take the indoors out, I like bringing the outdoors in. I find it satisfying to be surrounded by nature—whether it is views from windows, art and books about the natural world, or appropriately placed natural objects on tables or shelves.
Last Friday, I decided to place some of my gathered seeds and pods in a collector’s tray. It was a bit like working a puzzle, designing a small garden or even laying out a magazine—figuring out what fit where; striking the right balance of contrast in shapes, textures and tones; and developing a sense of flow and pacing throughout the tray. Once I was satisfied, I set up the studio lights and photographed the tray.
I think it is good not to grow out of everything. Retaining a childlike fascination with certain things—and it really doesn’t matter what those things are—helps us maintain and even develop our sense of curiosity. And curiosity can lead to greater creativity. What are you curious about? What have you never grown out of?