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  • Writer's pictureMary Ellen Sisulak


Updated: Sep 19, 2022

Equistem- Mixed Media

Horsetail grow in my high woods and I marvel at their construction. They are a dry plant and sectioned, the sections diminishing in size as they go to the top, which pop off cleanly if pulled. The ancestors of these plants were gigantic in Paleozoic times. It's a perennial that is a living fossil, with only one living genus in its family Equisetaceae. It reproduces by spores rather than seeds. An interesting fact is that John Napier was inspired by this plant to invent logarithms. It has been used for folk medicine for centuries. My composition is composed of the life cycle of the plant, but I have disregarded the scale or size of the parts. The black onyx stones are used to describe the spores and the cool background of purple, the dark under story where they grow. I am using leather stretched over a birch panel as my canvas. The leather is enhanced by carving and tooling to give additional texture. It is painted with acrylics because they are compatible and adaptable to layering layering colors. "black onyx is considered very protective and grounding, known for the energy of strong support, stamina, and determination to help one persevere." The leather and painting is wrapped around the sides of the piece for a balanced finish. Equistem measures 18" x 24" x 2"

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