Painting Our Cosmos

With Spectacular Swirling Patterns

What started out as Art Play is now a galactic exploration into the birth of stars, nebulas, flow lines, fractals, spiral motion, and The Great Attractor. From this exploration, Painting Our Cosmos came to be — a simple and fun way to create your own cloud of gas and dust within a galaxy of wonderment.

After a star is born….

over the next few million years, winds blow the surrounding gas into spectacular swirling patterns. It blows away the gas, it blows away the dust, and lets us see this beautiful new thing, this place where the star was born.
How Stars are Formed and Born

nebula (a massive cloud of gas and dust in outer space) is sometimes the birthplace of stars. The Orion Nebula where new stars — a youthful million years old — are still forming is a great example. Google nebula images and be wowed by the display of colors and swirling patterns.

Left: Rosette Nebula, Right: Orion Nebula


Painting Our Cosmos

What you’ll need to get started:

  • Two sheets of glass or plexiglass (use plexiglass when working with kids).       At least 3/8″ to 1/4″ thick for durability. The glass in the video is 19″ in diameter. The two sheets are repurposed for Art Play. The glass came from being used as table tops.
  • Acrylic paints or tempera paints, including several metallic paints.
  • Large sheets of paper or art board that cover the glass, black captures the cosmos and space.
  • Sink or tub with water for cleaning along with rags.
  • Your curious and playful nature!

The Process:

  • Squirt dabs of paint on the first sheet of glass, three to five colors.
  • Place the second sheet of glass on top and watch the colors mush together.
  • Swirl the top glass clockwise about 3/4 of the way around. The more you move the glass in the circular motion, the more the colors blend and sometimes over blend. It’s all about process. Experiment with different circular motions, 180 to 360 degrees or more, and see what resonates to your liking.
  • Separate the glass carefully, there will be suction from the paint. It is helpful to have the top glass be off center from the bottom glass so you have an edge to grab.
  • Make a print from each glass. Pat down lightly with your hands, yet firm enough to make a nice print. I find when using a roller the paint smears.
  • Use different colored paper. Have fun! Yes, it’s possible to make two prints from the same sheet of glass.
  • Name your creation.
  • Clean glass and start all over!

Before cleaning the glass take a look at the texture and colors. Both on the glass and paper you’ll see where the paint makes extraordinary branching patterns. Nature in action here! Both the spiral motion of rotating the glass, and the branching patterns from the paint are patterns found in nature (e.g., spiral-sunflower, pine cone, fingerprint; branching-rivers, tree branches, lightening) and in galaxies.

Cheers to the birth of new stars!

With Sweet Grace.

Stop, Observe, Create

And Be Amazed At What Comes Forth

cabbage prints

I am continually amazed and awed by the shapes, patterns, colors, and textures of fruits and vegetables cut in half. A friend gifted me this particular cabbage and I did not get the chance to enjoy eating it when picked fresh from her farm. While cutting the cabbage, getting it ready for my vermicompost bin, I stopped and observed the beauty graced by nature’s design. Ding, ding, ding, it’s time to create! The paints and paper come out, and I begin print making with the sliced cabbage. This is truly a nature inspired moment filled with curiosity. Oh what fun!

Next time you slice a fruit or veggie in half, be ready. You may be struck with a “I gotta act on this” moment. Have your paints and paper near by. You never know where your imagination will take you.

Nature’s Sweet Grace.

The R’s of being green for 2010

The 3 R’s of being green have been around for a long time – reduce, reuse, recycle. They have been the base for consumer education when it comes to taking care of the earth. Today, this base knowledge is one that cannot be ignored. The awareness that each persons participation in caring for the earth does make a difference. It’s about the BIG picture. In this effort, other R’s have joined the base for consumer education and participation.

Reduce: Less is more! 5 minute shower instead of a 20 minute shower, shorter distance travel, lower thermostat and water heater settings, reduce household waste, compost,  buy bulk to reduce packaging…

Reuse: Using the same item more than once, hopefully a lot more! Stainless steel water bottles, shopping bags, glass jars…

Recycle: Turning materials that would otherwise be considered waste into something new – glass is made into new glass containers, paper into new paper (post-consumer waste), plastic into play ground equipment…

Repurpose: Taking something and giving it a different use. Tires as boat fenders, steel drums as feeding troughs, old clothes into quilts, worn out clothes into rags, magazines into paper beads or bowls…

Renewable: When a resource is replaced by natural processes at a rate comparable or faster than its rate of consumption by humans, it is renewable.

Rethink (precycle): Reduce waste by rethinking our purchases. It’s an effort to reduce the amount of stuff that gets put into landfill and recycling bins. Is the product for one time usage? Is the packaging reuseable?…

Regifting (regiving): Taking a gift that you’ve received and gifting it to another. Item should not be used or broken, and of course do not regift it back to the original gift-giver.

Refill: Some companies are offering initiatives for consumers to reuse containers and bring them back for refilling. Soap powders and cleaning fluids.

Replenish: Environmental responsibility – Some companies are planting trees when consumers buy one of their products.

Recreate: If you don’t like what’s going on in the world today, be the change you wish to see. Start a movement, create a shift.

Reestablish: Connect with traditions from past generations: Grow your own food, gardening, canning, farmers markets and community gatherings, quilting, playing games, and have everyone’s hands in the creation of a meal.

Reflect: Taking the time to slow down and be conscious of our actions, choices, lifestyle, and purchases for the higher good of all.

Nature’s Sweet Grace.