Lara Call Gastinger's Story Behind the Art

Collected Mosses
I selected several mosses that Bartram had collected. I love the small details and overlooked aspect of mosses and have always gravitated towards them. They are so elegant and pure in their structure - vibrant green, efficient and so purposeful as they extend their sporophytes upwards. I wanted to draw attention to the diversity and beauty of these small specimens. I want viewers to look at this painting and come away with an awareness of the beauty of small plants that exist everywhere, if one just takes the time to bend down and look closely.
I arranged them on the paper so that they looked like a scientific collection and to see the comparisons of the different mosses. Since I am trained with a masters in biology, there is a scientific educational aspect to my work that comes through especially in this piece.
I started with a sepia tone detailed paintings and ended up adding more and more color as the painting progressed. The apple moss is distinct in its shiny red like apple spororphyte that i knew i wanted to be in color. It was unfortunate that I only had live specimens of the fern moss and the spine-leaf moss. I had wanted to find specimens of all of them but was limited by time and the season.
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  • (C) Lara Call Gastinger