Our vacation house was nestled amongst tall pines and the ground was thick with ferns. Early in our stay I picked some and flattened them inside a heavy book, and was able to glue them to some postcards a week later.
The background for this was made with a styrofoam meat tray. Even though I took two bags of supplies on vacation with me, I still considered myself to have limited resources. After cooking for 9 people all week I had a lot of styrofoam trays in the recycle bin, and I grabbed one and started carving random lines into it with a dull pencil. I really didn't have a plan or vision for what it would look like, but when I went to test it out, I serendipitously chose white paint and stamped it over a dark background and realized it looked a lot like birch bark. (which made me start thinking about what other natural materials/images I could use from my surroundings, and the fern exploration began.)
When I had used up my small stash of dried ferns, I was still in postcard-making mode. I didn't have time to press and dry more ferns so I decided to try using them as stamps. I rolled green paint onto the fern with my trusty brayer and pressed it carefully onto the card. I was surprised by the level of detail I was able to get.
Let's try it with white paint...
I also tried using them as masks - laying the ferns on top of a green painted background, rolling white paint over the whole thing, and then removing the paint-covered ferns. I stamped with copper paint on top of the masked prints.
I then went kind of fern crazy and made and mailed a big pile of these cards.
Before we left I picked some more fronds and they are currently being pressed in my huge dictionary.
I will likely forget about them and when I eventually stumble upon them in the dead of winter I will have a wonderful summertime connection.
Do you make art on vacation?
What kinds of local "supplies" have you used?