Since this is an as-yet unfollowed avenue, you know I instantaneously started salivating. And then I started thinking.
I’ve been scavenging plant life whenever I sight something with dye potential, and have amassed a small collection I keep pressed inside my dictionary .
In early Feb, whilst housesitting with Otis again, I purchased several pages of drawing, sketching, and watercolor paper at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. Several remnants of sketchpads, some with only one piece of paper, cost me maybe one dollar.
In the compost at my friend’s house (OK, I’m just going to tell you her name; I’ve been calling her “my friend” for a year now, and I’m getting sick of it. Lasell. Her name is Lasell.) Anyway. At Lasell’s house, I noticed the most brilliant leaves just tossed aside in the compost. Ten seconds later I was digging, and after a dirty time with rain-wet mulch—barefoot in the wind no less, how awesome—I dug up a healthy serving. You see why Otis looks at me like I’m crazy?
I pressed the leaves under wood blocks and bricks, mordanted the papers with alum, and dried and painted some of them with enamel and acrylic paint, also from the Depot. At home I followed the instructions I found here, and migod.
The tragedy? The damn shame? The colors are fugitive. It’s been about a week, and the colors are fading.
But I know there’s something here. Something to be found, of stability, of beauty, if I try again.