Create art with sun, sun and nature print paper.


For starters, let’s go back to that old adage that you make lemonade when life gives you lemons. What I want to discuss is how to take the brutal summer sun and make it an asset… not a handicap.

Let me introduce you to the fascinating method of taking photographs without a camera or phone. This is called “solar footprints”. This process does not involve any hazardous chemicals, and it is a relatively inexpensive undertaking. Many large arts and crafts stores sell “sun-printed” paper, or you can choose to shop online.

Take a tour of what in my youth we called five-and-a-half shops. Buy a cheap photo frame. This will allow you to have a rigid piece of glass with a protective wooden and / or plastic border; this will minimize the risk of cutting yourself when coming in contact with the edge of the glass.

Find a sunny sidewalk. Place the “sun print” paper on it and quickly place relatively flat objects of nature on it. Gently place the glass on top to flatten these elements. Go and hide in a shady corner. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun. Within minutes you will notice a subtle change in the color of the paper that has been left exposed to the sun; it is your signal to quickly take the paper inside and put it in a water bath. This way you will definitely fix the image on the paper.

You will probably want to give the process another chance. Experiment with different natural shapes and designs. Let your artistic inclination take flight.

Free up a few fridge magnets and proudly display your summer art on the front of this chunky kitchen appliance.

Neil Garrison was the longtime naturalist of a central Oklahoma nature center. His email is [email protected]


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