And they are the creations of Mauli McDonald of ‘art and nature’ out of New London, NH.
A visit to a fine arts festival at Roseland Cottage situated in the heart of Woodstock, Connecticut makes for a pleasant afternoon. The grounds of this 1846 home, a national historic landmark, is filled from corner to corner with 175 artisans and their wares, from jewelry to pottery and more for two days every October.
As I toured the artisans’ booths this year, on October 19th, I did not bother much to take out my camera as usual. For some reason, I wasn’t in the picture taking mood, but I was admiring many of the art works showcased and being offered for sale by the participants. I picked up a few holiday themed ornaments, a really nice pottery piece, and enjoyed a lunch as I chatted with a group at a table filled with visitors from all around New England.
But one artisan that day struck me in particular – and it was the works by Mauli McDonald of ‘art of nature’ from New London, NH. She had beautiful organic wreaths and center pieces. Even her business card connected with me. It was created on torn edged paper with a real feather pasted on the center below her business name.
Mauli’s words provide the perfect explanation, as presented on her website, of her art form:
“The materials that I have chosen to work with have in some way enchanted me. The soft edge of a feather, the curve and cradle of an antler, the green pool moss on a white wintered log—each object speaks. And as you will discover, many of the designs carry, as well, a native, organic, almost unsophisticated style.”
As I looked over her unique wreaths created with native and organic materials that day, I was in awe of how she assembled the textures, colors, and overall feel. She definitely has talent – and when you see her pieces in person, you witness her ability to capture materials from the forest floors in well-balanced compositions.
But more importantly, the objects she uses are organic, natural and make one think of things in nature which she so beautifully captured in an art form. As you look and admire them, many may bring you memories of scenes in nature you have experienced in your own walks through parks, forests, or even in your own backyard.
As I browsed along her website later, I spotted her ‘antique art’ pieces where a violin or snowshoe was used in combination with treasures from nature. How wonderful these pieces are because they capture a keepsakes and combine it with nature’s treasures.
As Mauli McDonald states,
“I am drawn to certain thing simply because I like the object. A singular piece may have no function, but there is something about it that I find appealing.”
I totally get that statement. Being ‘drawn to something’ because it has a particular connection or appeal. Like the violin, for example, made me think of my father who plays one. And the snowshoe is one of my hobbies in winter. But the way this artist assembles theses treasures with nature is truly beautiful. It pays homage to both objects – the treasures found in life and given by nature to us every day.
Mauli McDonald’s works are wonderful examples of “combining nature with art” and I wanted to share them with you. Take the time to visit Mauli McDonald’s website at www.natureswildart.com and if you should happen to be traveling in New Hampshire, I suspect a visit to her beautiful shop would be worthwhile. Just look at the entrance!
It is located at 9 Newport Road, New London, NH 03257. To reach Mauli, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-526-2638.
For more information regarding the Roseland Cottage Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, visit HistoricNewEngland.org/Festivals.
Written by Cathy Testa
P.S. Tips when you visit Roseland Cottage for their next annual show, just enjoy – everything is there for you, parking is in lots across the street, some on lawn areas, lunch is available as there are many choices by the food vendors, live music is playing too. I would say the only tip is to note this event on your calendar so you don’t miss it next year.