ALWAYS LOOKING for something fresh when designing a new tree, I am rarely drawn to the traditional color schemes of the holiday season it seems. Not that the traditional reds and greens aren’t beautiful and symbolic of Christmas—they are absolutely iconic. It's just that I find great pleasure in combining new shapes, color and form. I steered far from the traditional with the first tree I designed that is crafted by Dennis Bauer: The Decorated Tree's Alpine Feather Tree (sold here at Hometraditions.com) In Matthew Mead's beautiful holiday publication, the tree decorated in rich pinks and oranges (as appearing in the pages of Matthew Mead’s Christmas All Through the House (sold here on Amazon.com). The tree is also detailed in this blog post.
IN A SIMILAR, but much more subdued warm color scheme, I've decorated this beautifully sparse “natural-cut” tree (yes, it's real) for Christmas this year. I found this tree at at Atlanta's Georgia State Farmer's Market—grown and sold by my favorite sellers there—Joel and Irene Owens. Their trees are grown in Tuckasegee, North Carolina and brought to Atlanta every year. Decorated in summery tones of yellow, gold, silver and several shades of turquoise, this color scheme reminds me of a memorable trip taken to Tulum, Mexico last November, where the turquoise Caribbean water and the golden sun and sand were an inspiring part of the everyday landscape. Nights there, the sky was filled with awe-inspiring stars, so I've also used tiny LED Starry String Lights from Restoration Hardware to light the tree (a decidedly modern version of Martin Luther's lighting the first evergreen with candles to rekindle the starry night sky inside his home).
HERE, I ONLY used the top two-thirds of the tree, and left most of the long trunk formed by trimming off the less desirable bottom branches. This way the tree fit nicely into a tall metal urn, which I packed with moistened sand—ironically enough—to hold the tree firmly in place.
WHEN FOLLOWING the paths least traveled in life, the world becomes ripe with wonder and surprise again. This is my symbolic and literal way to usher in a fresh perspective to my life that has drastically changed this year. Hopefully, I can soon find my way back to happier and more prosperous times again. It's been a process, so please excuse me while I decorate for Christmas and welcome sunny colors to the mix that brings the warmth the Caribbean to my living room.
WE’RE INUNDATED with the expected every day. And because of these mental habits, we tend to become disengaged with the immediate world around us. It’s only when we travel, either physically or metaphorically, that we can let our minds wander and experience the awe that makes life new and exciting once again. One of my favorite YouTube videos I've encountered this year says it all—about awe. Please take the time to watch it:
IN THIS VIDEO, "Performance Philosopher" Jason Silva explains that "one of the ways we elicit wonder is by scrambling the self temporarily so that the world can seep in." If we don’t do this from time to time, we no longer are engaged by what we perceive as the everyday banality of the mundane. "We have eyes, yet see not, ears that hear not, and hearts that neither feel, nor understand," according to this video. As an artist, the creatively productive zone where I find new ways of looking at things is a necessary process in moving outside of my comfort zone—to find a fresh perspective. It's sometimes an extremely arduous process, as this year has definitely been for me. But as Jason finds the words to express the reconfiguring and assimilating that takes place to create poetry in our lives, he concludes this hopeful video with the words, "we have a responsibility to awe." So with that said, I wish everyone that reads my blog an AWEsome holiday season ahead.
©2013 DARRYL MOLAND | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
collecting, photography and styling by Darryl Moland.