Reposted from Designers Today

It's no secret that nature fuels inspiration. Here, five artists and designers share how trees, flowers, and wood power their creativity.


As legend has it, a storm left an exquisite and large lichen-covered branch on Dave Allen’s Napa Valley doorstep. He pondered the unwieldy relic and how he could display it. Not a fan of restriction, Allen, who left Silicon Valley to globe-trot in search of antique salvage and artifacts, innovated a solution for presenting elements of nature that are difficult to contain. The Artefact Curator® is a simple and minimal collection of modular products for tabletop and wall that accommodates displaying objects of all shapes and sizes. The tabletop systems (also featured as the main blog image) have a botanical lab vibe, and the adjustable wall panel system is, according to Allen, "really a three-dimensional canvas for one’s own creativity.”


George Sellers, Design Director for Global Views and dubbed quintessential Renaissance man, is a classically trained sculptor. Inspired by the work of Florentine sculptor Donatello, Sellers’ creations are influenced by architecture, historic faux bois technique, and the natural world. In his own words, Sellers explains: “I believe everything I create is inspired by my first trip to Rome when this small-town Texas boy first beheld a marble bunting on the wall of an ancient structure with its perfectly carved fruits and acanthus leaves, crawling with lizards and insects. It was life perfectly captured in stone and bronze, solely for the pleasure of the beholder and the uniquely human desire to decorate. I was transfixed.”


The Itinerant Studio gang, Vicki, Tom, and daughter Dina, travel far and wide to capture moments in time. Nature is a common subject and each family member has a distinct approach. Tom, with a background in painting and print making, often looks at nature in terms of darks and lights. Vicki is drawn in by the shapes and the sexy lines that nature forms, plus she loves trees. Dina, intrigued by the intimate details of nature, prefers to shoot macro.


When Esther Shavon of E’Flomae goes for a hike, she lugs her Canon 5D Mark III along and turns her macro lens on nature’s bounty. Captivated by wildflowers and trickling waterfalls, the rehabilitation specialist-turned-artist and pattern designer shoots imagery and extracts highlights and details that are reassembled into a new composition that is imprinted onto fabric, paper, and other surfaces. “I’ve developed a distinct curiosity and affection for the natural environment, expressing my amazement through abstract artistic expression,” says Shavon whose company name is a combination of two grandmothers, Florence and Earlie Mae, plus herself...the E.


Diane Speakman, designer, stager, painter, and shop owner, is fortunate to live in two places with extraordinary natural beauty: the Oregon Coast and Southwest Harbor, ME. For the last twenty years, she has been using canvas and board to translate what she sees and feels in each environment. Her seascapes are timeless, capturing both calm and drama. Her bird and animal portraits show great detail, as she extracts each subject from its natural environment. And then Speakman also composes simple still life compositions. Painting in both oil and acrylic, art sizes range from 8”X 10” to 36” X 36".  Her paintings can be viewed at Sesame + Lilies, the retail/design studio she owns in Cannon Beach.