Making art: Stones on the shore and a woodsy welcome

Posted on September 29, 2009


What is it about human beings, anyway, that we are compelled to arrange things in patterns that please us, to see images in found objects? What is the power of metaphor and simile made concrete? Well. I don’t know. But I’m not going to let that stop me from showing you some examples.

Photographer Ken Scott lives and works over on the Leelanau. Take a look at his Cairn Series on Flickr, especially Snoopy and the gang and Snoopy and the gang . . . II.

I like cairns.  Even when they’re whimsical, recent creations, they seem to be ageless and filled with significance. Must be the rocks. I suspect cairns built of, say, Dixie cups, would not have the same impact. On the other hand, you can do some pretty cool things with driftwood and logs, too. Look what we found on the Shepleys’ shed the other morning.

Moon-star welcome

Other creatures, from birds and bees to prairie dogs and bears, build things. Miss Sadie and the Cowboy make cozy nests for themselves out of found objects, which is why it is very important to be careful about what objects are left lying around at the Writing Studio and Bait Shop. But I don’t know of any other creatures that make something as a means of communicating with each other, or as an object that delights because it is awe-inspiring or simply pretty. That, I think, is exclusively human behavior. It would delight me to be proven wrong, of course. I like learning new things.

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