Despite the extended drought in Florida, the diversity and beauty of the plant life is stunning. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, where these original images were taken, is a wonderful place to see some of these plants.
A light rain had just ended, providing an extra sheen to the already shiny leaves. The top image is of a plant I cannot name. But as I worked with it, the texture and colors of its large leathery leaf began to look like the arms and legs of dancers hidden in a wet translucent mass. The second image is a much more straightforward presentation of one of the many varieties of large philodendron that thrive here, some of which have leaves that are dream-like in their own right.
We no longer trust beauty as a serious means of investigation. But it can be ... In fact, beauty can be incendiary; it can be subversive; it can make us cringe.
-- David Maisel, Photographer
"It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it." -- Anais Nin
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders of the universe, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.” -- Rachel Carson