Colorado Meadow Prints

Exploring our Colorado Meadow

When we started spending weekends in Fairplay, Colorado I didn’t think much about the meadow out front because I was transfixed by the fluttering aspen leaves, the moose that ambled past, and the smell of that alpine wonderland. Once winter hit it was hard to tell what was under the mounds of snow.






In 2021 the wet spring lead to an absolute explosion of wildflowers and gorgeous grasses with fat seed heads in the meadow and I started to pay attention. Every week there were new colors and textures.







In the fall once things had died back I started to collect. Grass stems, seed pods, gnarled twigs, dried flowers. I knew that I couldn’t let this ephemeral summer bounty slip under the snow before I caught bits and bobs as a reminder. The kids thought I might be losing my mind. Then the big vase full of this dried and fragile bounty sat on the work table in my studio for months, it almost disappeared into the background.






I had been painting lemon plates and platters like a fiend, but I held back 3 platters to play with. I made my slip and had to wait until I had a free morning in the studio to play with the process. It took a bit of newsprint to practice printing and I made a royal mess… but it was so fun. Printing with the dried stems, seeds, and twigs is so satisfying, just like playing in the mud.







I have learned so much with these early experiments and this summer and fall my collecting will be more deliberate as I plan to identify each plant before I harvest. Let’s hope for abundant rain!







My current plant roster:

Golden Banner (Thermoses Montana) the seed pods are especially delightful to print with

Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) the shaggy stems leave beautiful marks

Western Wheat Grass (Pascopyrum smithii) The seed heads print so well and the stems and attached dried leaves are sturdy

Prairie June Grass (Koeleria macrantha) Delicate seed heads that soak up the slip

Western Blue Flag Iris (Iris missouriensis) Seed pods print exceptionally well

Cut Leaf Daisy (Erigeron pinnatisectus) The dried flowers print really well, but just once



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