ANN WOOD AMAZING MAKER AND ARTIST-ACCORDING TO LILU
DISCOVERY AND INSPIRATION
I am always surprised to learn about an artist in my own backyard that says been around for years but is new to me. Ann Wood, amazing maker and artist who has taken Instagram by storm, been published nationally but somehow hadn’t caught my eye until I saw her work recently. Once I took a look, I was in love.
I was a bit surprised when I started researching, how much I have in common with Ann. We are around the same age, both lost our fathers recently, both read Town and Country as a kid (weird habit for a Midwestern child). Her recent works of paper, wood and metal botanicals are so evocative and beautiful that I felt compelled to share them as part of our series on makers! (In case you don’t already know her)
A side note: I had seen Ann’s collaborations with her husband Dean Lucker based on mechanical folk art and had found them charming as well. So I was familiar, just not with her recent work.
Apparently, near the end of his life, Ann’s father had commented that some sumac they were looking at was the most beautiful thing he’d seen in his life and that was the spark that started her exploration of the wonders of nature and plants.
I’ve included many images of Ann’s work below but believe me there is much much more! Follow her on instagram to keep the inspiration going!
I have written another blog on a Minneapolis maker Mary Jo Hoffman that you can check out here.
Ann started with her exploration of recreating nature in paper form with feathers. According to her they are easier to make. So a great way to explore how realistic she could make the paper creations look. I have to say, her feathers are so beautiful and realistic. It is hard for me to comprehend the patience and skill that must go into each feather.
I find it fascinating that Ann has been able to create a fresh point of view in the world of paper art and flowers. There are so many paper flower artists on social media and the form seems to be experiencing a resurgence but Ann resisted the urge to view tutorials and instead relied on her skills and instincts as an artist to create botanicals that were realistic.
She started by viewing photographs and drawings and eventually graduated to dissecting specimens from her garden to fully understand the nuances of each flower.
She continued to challenge herself to create more realistic botanicals including roots and leaves that can be hard to tell from the real thing. Ann Wood amazing maker, could teach us all about continuing to challenge our creative boundaries.
I’ve used wild flowers to create color palettes. Check out that color inspiration post here.
BIRDS, BEES AND BUTTERFLIES
While most of the floral works by Ann are at actual scale the insects are a bit larger than life. However, they too can be difficult to discern from the reality.
Butterflies, birds and bees are an essential part of a garden. Spreading pollen and bringing life everywhere they wander. The butterflies resonate with me because they are an symbol of renewal and new beginnings.
Recently, Ann Wood amazing maker, has been exploring other fruits of the garden, including berries, peaches, melons and citrus. Some have wood forms to make the bulkier parts and give the pieces a substantial look suited to fruit as opposed to the ethereal quality of the flowers.
I particularly like the halved peach with still on the branch and the black berries constructed of individual beads to make them look realistic enough to eat.
The realism, seems rooted in the tradition of botanicals from as far back as the sixth century. If you want to see more on contemporary drawn on paper botanical art, check out this post from Kew Gardens. It’s an interesting contrast to the three dimensional art that Ann is creating.
When she first started making the botanicals, she placed them under cloches and in shadow boxes but based on the feedback of her Instagram followers saying the glass seemed like a barrier to viewing the work, she took them out from under glass and the response has been striking.
In the past couple of years she has been making specimens to create a botanical wall that is approximately 20’ x 10’ . It’s so beautiful and here are some photos of it in its various stages.
It is her goal to see this in a museum in order to inspire a love of nature and creativity.
I would be willing to beat that her goal will be reached.