Sunday, September 10, 2017

Celebrating Nature's Diversity

Similar to celebrating the diversity in people and cultures, one can also enjoy and cherish the diversity of nature, particularly in landscapes by visiting different places throughout the US. With a recent visit out west to visit my daughter and her husband, I had the opportunity to visit Rocky Mountain National Park and Steamboat Springs in Colorado, and Mount Rushmore National Monument, Custer State Park and the Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

If ever I stood in awe of nature and the wonder of God's creation, it was during this time traveling through such majestic mountain ranges and landscapes.  With each twisting and winding turn, every mountainous scene of the Rockies became more breathtaking than the next.  The Badlands National Park in South Dakota was especially unique as it was intriguing and differed than any of the places I have been before.  It is what I call God's sandbox and it is filled with neutral colored rock formations that produce a rugged, unsettling and yet calming, endless terrain. So much so, that it inspired me to create a tablescape entitled Nature's Diversity that captures such barren serenity and an allure all of its own.  Unlike the countryside of Wisconsin, this dry and uninhabited land exemplifies beauty in simplicity as well.  It is what I aimed for in designing the tablescape to commemorate and reflect this vast and magnificent region.






































When I became determined to create a tablescape which reflects this arid wilderness, I started thinking of what elements I could use to mirror it.  Lets see how close I got to the real thing with my choices and to the feel of such a raw, open and very natural landscape.  For me, this extreme, unending space elicits the feeling of boundless and unstoppable ambition and energy.

Hopefully, the use of colors, shapes and textures captured the simplicity and essence of the Badlands National Park.

Neutral colors became important in this tablescape since any other color other than what is in the surroundings of the Badlands would result in something entirely different and would have one coming away wondering how it had anything to do with the national park.  The use of taupe, grey, brown, cream, olive green and buttercup gold were the prominent colors.

Shape and texture was also selected carefully to help replicate as close as possible the rough and jagged formations of each grand and monumental ridge. The closest I could get to achieving this feel was by using multi-colored stones of grey, cream, chestnut brown and black in tall glass pillar candle holders.  The weave pattern in the place mats and in the natural burlap table runner conveys the stark sparseness of this environment.  The primitiveness of the faux stone votive holders appear to have been carved straight from one of these larger rocks.   And, of course, I can't forget the touch of bright yellow color coming from a single stem sunflower growing and thriving in this unadorned soil.

Natural and simple elements such as stone, wood, and burlap along with the tranquil colors, shapes and textures for this tablesetting reinforces the pure, earthy aspects of this uninhibited territory.  

So with all of this being said, you can judge for yourself if I was able to grasp Heaven's splendid and humble playground.