More Ocean Plastic Collages – Chesapeake Bay, MD

In May 2017, I got to participate in a weekend artists’ retreat at Echo Hill Outdoor School  in Worton, MD, on the Chesapeake Bay. A group of artists from the Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC areas were invited to spend time on the beautiful grounds, making art and getting to know each other. We agreed to donate at least one piece of art created over the weekend (or resulting from inspiration gained over the weekend) for the school to use for fundraising for the school in return for our immersive experience.

The property includes both a substantial beach and wooded and swampy areas, as well as open fields. I had a hard time deciding what to focus on—there were so many natural materials available for incorporating into work! So, typically, I did a little bit of everything. I gathered willow and made a rustic basket, I drew a little (but not as much as I had hoped I would), and I walked the beach a few times, collecting both driftwood and garbage. I also did a 3D sketch of a treeline, made from wire on driftwood, with some bonsai wire I had brought along.

The two most successful pieces I made were two more ocean garbage collages for the Bycatch project. These are each approximately 18–24″ wide assembled. As with the first collages in the Bahamas, they are ephemeral. I have kept the bits and pieces (unassembled) and hope to make more arrangements some time in the future.

I was struck with the radically different palette of these two pieces. as compared with the ones that I made in Eleuthera. I was hard pressed to find much material in bright colors in Maryland, but in the Bahamas, those comprised the bulk of the beach plastic washed ashore. As nature decorates wild scenes with colors that are site-specific, does garbage reflect that palette as well, even if it has traveled a long way through the water?—Tropical riots in regions closer to the equator, and more muted tones as one travels toward more temperate climates. It seems illogical, but I will have to pay closer attention to this.


One Trackback

  1. By Ocean Plastic Collages – Jessica Beels Design on October 8, 2017 at 10:17 am

    [...] And now I am inspired to make more! One small bag of plastic yields many possibilities. To be continued…. [...]

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