Title

Plant Anatomical Structures and Art

Presenter Information

Corrine Towner

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

In the fine arts synthetic products are generally scorned as substrates for pigments and other media. Why are man-made fibers generally considered unsuitable as means of artistic expression? Why are natural fibers preferred? Is it just a traditional artistic prejudice? The material used in paper making is mainly cellulose from wood pulp or cotton. Even man-made cellulose products such as rayon fibers can’t be used exclusively for paper because they don’t adhere to each other properly. Canvases are usually made from traditional materials like cotton or linen and supported on wooden stretcher bars. A woven fabric doesn’t need adherent fiber properties like paper does but the coarsely woven, slightly rough texture of natural fibers absorbs the materials used for priming canvases in a useful manner to create a suitable surface for oil pigments. As an artist I have studied printmaking and the properties of different papers used for various artistic processes. As a botanist, I have studied plant anatomy and plant structures such as xylem and phloem fibers, the seed hairs of cotton, and the bast (phloem) fibers of linen as well as their connections to art, particularly in paper making. I connected my own works in printmaking and painting with the structures of the plants that the materials I used were derived from, and this greatly increased my appreciation and understanding of plant anatomy.

Poster Number

21

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mary Poulson

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 10:50 AM

Plant Anatomical Structures and Art

SURC Ballroom C/D

In the fine arts synthetic products are generally scorned as substrates for pigments and other media. Why are man-made fibers generally considered unsuitable as means of artistic expression? Why are natural fibers preferred? Is it just a traditional artistic prejudice? The material used in paper making is mainly cellulose from wood pulp or cotton. Even man-made cellulose products such as rayon fibers can’t be used exclusively for paper because they don’t adhere to each other properly. Canvases are usually made from traditional materials like cotton or linen and supported on wooden stretcher bars. A woven fabric doesn’t need adherent fiber properties like paper does but the coarsely woven, slightly rough texture of natural fibers absorbs the materials used for priming canvases in a useful manner to create a suitable surface for oil pigments. As an artist I have studied printmaking and the properties of different papers used for various artistic processes. As a botanist, I have studied plant anatomy and plant structures such as xylem and phloem fibers, the seed hairs of cotton, and the bast (phloem) fibers of linen as well as their connections to art, particularly in paper making. I connected my own works in printmaking and painting with the structures of the plants that the materials I used were derived from, and this greatly increased my appreciation and understanding of plant anatomy.