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Rhonda Barrett

Tell us a little about your piece?

I wanted to create a piece to celebrate the natural patterns of our earth and the seasonal decorations we are blessed with. I decided this was best represented by a tree changing as the seasons passed. To create the four trees, I used a template or pattern so that each tree was the same. This was created with vellum, a transparent paper, to represent how this element is secondary to what happens in the foliage. 


I split the canvas into quarters in a diamond pattern to elude to the cyclical nature of this repeated pattern of the seasons. I chose a color from my newspaper palette to collage the background of each tree in a color that represented a particular season. Yellow for the sunny days of summer, orange for the peaches, pumpkins and leaves of autumn, white for the snow of winter, and lime green for the freshness of spring. I then added foliage to each tree using newspaper that suited the season. 


In this way, I felt that I have represented the greatest pattern known to us, the seasons. This repetitive design is the decorative backdrop to our lives, yet often overlooked for man-made patterns. I may have taken an abstract approach to the term pattern, and certainly to the word 'decorative', but, as an artist it is my goal to keep my audience appreciative of our planet and the infinite beauty found within in.   

What part of the collaboration did you enjoy the most?

I feel limited by the regimented idea of a pattern, and therefore took some time to assemble my thoughts about the word itself. The Oxford definition of 'Decorative' is 'decorated in a way that makes it attractive; intended to look attractive or pretty'. The word 'intention' changed everything! 


Did nature intend to look so beautiful? No matter. I intended to make it pleasing to the eye in my attempt to recreate the pattern of the seasons by using trees that were all created using the same pattern in a diamond pattern. 


So the most challenging aspect was to not be too abstract in my creation of pattern. 

What was the most collaboration did you enjoy the most?

The most enjoyable aspect of the brief was the consideration of the word itself. When we study our language and the intended meaning of certain terms it can extend our understanding of what is important to us. Mindfully rolling the word over in my mind caused me to realize that man-made patterns generate less enthusiasm in me than natures patterns.  

How did you enjoy working with Excel Blades, tools?

These blades are always comfortable to work with and allowed me to create small shapes with greater accuracy than my other blades. It also sliced through 4 layers of vellum easily so that all my trees could be created from the same pattern. That sun-shiney yellow handle was also helpful: I could find it easily when my workspace got a little too messy. 

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