Zombie squash and learning from nature

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There are all sorts of stories and blogs out there about doing art from nature, learning landscapes, all that kind of thing, so I’ll do my best not to bore you to tears.

Yes, I’ll wait patiently here while you’re out.

Hello?  Anyone?

So the two of you that are left reading this, I’ll say that there is plenty to learn from in nature.  There are so many textures, views, styles and all kinds of visuals that an artist can easily spend a lifetime learning just the natural side of art. Case in point, a simple trip to the local pumpkin patch can be a huge boon to the imagination.

So we’re looking through the squash, gourds, vines, pumpkins and all the other plant life, and we find sort of the typical lineup of a pumpkin patch:

Everything normal, except for the ZOMBIE SQUASH GETTING READY TO EAT THE OTHERS!*

Up to this point, I thought just the oddly shaped gourds you find in the pumpkin patch, with their twisted fins and designs, were about as weird as they get. Note exhibit A, especially the green funky one at the top:

Unusual?  Sure, at least for city boys like me. But it’s not ZOMBIE SQUASH™!

That thing is just terrible looking, all gnarled and wrinkled and textured. I think it started crawling towards me too:

Then it turned over and went back the other way:

After it ate one of the kids, it finally occurred to me that this is exactly what nature can do.  Nature (and let’s not forget the farming involved in this too) created this unique, textured and thoroughly inspirational piece for me to work with.  It fires the imagination to think of all of the things this could be, and then hurrying on to write stories, or paint pictures or make movies or whatever it will be that inspires you.

Is it a crawling zombie worm?  Is it an alien larvae? Did someone leave an apple in the sauna?  With a quick flash of nature, and the sense to open up your eyes and look at all that’s around you, you can be inspired to create things that are unique to you, and to your vision.

For me, I saw this:

and immediately saw in my head the terrifying creature coming from the heavens, a violent, tortured look on it’s face, to destroy us all.

Awesome.

*Note: It’s actually a Blue Hubbard Squash, but I like ZOMBIE SQUASH™ better.

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