January 25, 2010

R.I.P. Random Racoon

As I wind down the Watt & Shand series, my mind is racing furiously in pursuit of my next project. I'm going to be focusing on the native animal life, and am currently gathering images and inspiration. So imagine my excitement when I went for a walk at Grubb Lake and stumbled upon a new deceased raccoon! I couldn't see any obvious signs of trauma, so I'm guessing it was hit on the highway and crawled off some distance to shuffle off this mortal coil. I took a lot of pictures, but decided NOT to bring it home for further study. I will do a lot of seemingly odd things in my occupation as an artist, but we all have to draw the line somewhere, and for me, the line not crossed involves collecting roadkill. For the squeamish, I have limited myself here to a picture of the beautiful tail, which I have manipulated to abstract it a bit and show off the patterning.
Also in the department of Things Found on a Woodsy Path, I was gifted with this wonderful branch, which rattles cheerfully when shaken. After eliminating all the things it wasn't, I wandered the highways and byways of google for a while until I found out what it was (thanks and a tip of the hat to this Tree ID site). It's a branch with seed pods from a Royal Paulownia tree, already one of my favorites because of the leaves, and the focus of this piece.

It joins this enormous leaf, more than two feet across, that fell in my path late last year, in the queue of images that deserve further attention.

The seed pods have very graceful shapes. The background specks are the actual seeds.

And while I'm distorting things, how cool is this?


Stella said...

I don't think you need to draw the line at collecting roadkill. I think you could just draw the line at not bringing the collected roadkill into the house.

Sue Reno said...

Don't encourage me!! It's a slippery slope!

Terry said...

We just ended up with a dead possum in the front yard. I think hit by a car with enough force to hurl it into the yard. Want me to bundle it up and send to you? Har, har! The smell is quite bad today. I can only imagine how ripe it would be when it arrived in PA if I were serious.

And, after having had a raccoon in my basement I can testify that live raccoons are very smelly too--so I imagine dead ones are sort of unbearable.

But I am serious about that seed pod branch--fabulous!

Sue Reno said...

Terry, it would make for an interesting moment at the post office, when they ask you, "does this package contain anything liquid, fragile, or perishable?" :-)

Vivien said...

This is all VERY cool! I am curious to see how the raccoon will be resurrected in your quilts. And the seed pods already look neat. Very cool finds! Oops, I said that already, but I think it bears repeating.

Sue Reno said...

Thanks Vivien! I am looking forward to seeing how the raccoon will be resurrected in my work as well. I have some ideas swimming around in my subconscious at this point, but I will be literally be surprised to see how it turns out in the end.

Kristin L said...

That's very cool. (oh, now I see Vivien said exactly teh same thing. It must be true!