Tender Fluff

In Air, Creative By Nature Art Blog, Trees + Plants by Lisa Lipsett2 Comments

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For me creating is motivated by a desire to connect. Today, producing something to look at is just as important  as reaching out and feeling more deeply.

I am in an area of old farmer’s fields and bird-rich wetlands. Long thin strips of purple headed grass sway in the breeze to the call of red-winged blackbirds, chittering swallows, geese, herons and ravens. Turkey vultures thermal-soar in the distance. Last year’s bull rushes spread their fluff in the breeze and dandelions are in bloom while others are in fluffy form ready to seed the world, depending on where I look.

Lone dandelion in the field

Today I love the snowball downy delicacy of the fluff-ball dandelion heads ready to be blown away at anytime. I sense tenderness, vulnerability, distant possibility….. I am also attracted to this lone dandelion in particular. The area around her is vast and she seems even more vulnerable because she stands out.

New spring growth has fully blossomed and now gone to seed, sparking new dandelion life on a windy whim. My child companions want to pick and blow this seed head that draws me in but I want to commune just a short while longer so I can savour this moment of tender abundant potential. I feel this way myself- standing alone in a vast area, trying to hold myself together, while the wind seduces me into letting go to full release into the unknown. So I savour this moment with photographs, drawings and paintings that I share here.

I start by drawing what I see using both hands in turn, then I draw what I feel also using both hands, followed by two shadow drawings and two paintings of the feeling connection I have with the dandelion.

Dandelion drawing -left hand then right hand
Feeling Drawing
eyes closed left Hand        eyes closed right Hand
When I look at these drawings I see a bird flying and dropping her seeds.
Shadow Drawing
After drawing the way it felt to connect to the dandelion, I was inspired to draw her shadow. The sun was bright today and so she made a very intricate pattern on the page. I noticed both the fine linking between her seeds but also the solid thickness of her center. This center surprised me because it was unseen before the sun shone through and illuminated her core.
RH                         LH
Finished Shadow Drawings and Feeling Paintings
After completing the shadow drawings, I painted the way she felt using both hands in turn. The colour green called to my fingertips as I ran them across the paint palette. This was followed by blue. I love the solid vibrancy of these paintings but wonder where the stem went. After all its the stem that holds the fluffy seedhead deeply into the earth. In the dandelion’s case the root is a solid tap root, very tenacious and committed. The stem and root are also what remain after the seed head has gone travelling. I take solace in this realization. I have been afraid to fully let go for fear of losing myself. I feel lighter somehow yet have found new solidity and core strength from knowing that I still have my roots to hold me strong while I let go and send my seeds off into the world. Its not that I suddenly think I am a dandelion rather communing with this dandelion who drew my eye opened me to seeing and feeling myself more fully. I am also able to appreciate and see dandelion more fully.
For example did you know that while they are often seen as weed plants, dandelions are actually great medicinal plants and can be very beneficial to our gardens. See the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides’ webpage on dandelions.
I’m not the only one who finds them beautiful. My brother-in-law Tex Mcleod just showed me these magnificent dandelion photos he took on Vancouver Island. I find the crowded community of dandelions soothing somehow and I truly love the third image’s motion filled close-up. Thanks so much Tex for agreeing to let me post these. They are so lovely.
What draws you in? What calls out to you for creative connection today?
Lisa LipsettTender Fluff


  1. Author
    Lisa Lipsett

    Thanks for your comment. I never noticed the figure in the dandelion before!

  2. Teruki

    In the last picture of the dandelion it looks like there is a child in the center with arms out stretched. Love your writing.

I'd love to know what you think.