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I started placing organic elements in my paintings one year after finding some leaves in my garden that resembled lace. These once robust tree pieces had become buried right next to the soil under a pile of their friends, decomposing over the winter into very delicate objects. I brought them inside and let them dry thoroughly for a month or more before deciding to place them on a canvas. They were fragile so I coated them with acrylic medium and let them dry. The color was a drab brown so I painted them. From that point on I really began looking at what nature's castoffs had to offer. I am the only person in my neighborhood who kneels down with a small bag and carefully selects fallen leaves and seeds and pine needles to save and repurpose.