October Bay Leaf

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica) is an incredible tree which can grow very tall and develop some very twisty and thick trunks.  The leaves are dark green and fragrant.  These trees reach their most impressive proportions in riparian habitats, but also grow in the company of live oak and madrone on the north-facing slopes of my local hills.  Despite being evergreen the laurel drops some of its leaves in Autumn.  Shades of yellow change to orange, umber, and - after rain - deep garnet hues.  In my project the leaves have fallen onto the stones of an Autumn-dry creek - the grayish green color and patterning of this batik fabric suggested a dry creekbed to me.  It seems that every time I go to draw a leaf outline of a fallen bay leaf the leaf is crossed by another leaf.  So I arranged my model leaves (which appear in one of the pictures) to suggest this arrangement, which I then stitched with my beads.  The little snake goddess pendant is there because I've often seen snakes slithering across the dry stones in arroyos.  I decided to give this headless pendant a yak bone skull in observance of Samhain and Dia de los Muertos - times when Death and the dead are celebrated.  My next project will also focus on one of these holidays - as I said before I really enjoy Autumn!


Cyndi L said...

Soft subtle colors, just what the dry creekbed needs to be! Thanks for sharing it...I always thought it would be fascinating to experience autumn in all different parts of the country :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Great choice of colors for the leaves!

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