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“As I grew older, I realized that it was much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art.” — Albrecht Dürer

Dürer, Adam and Eve, copper engraving, 1504. From the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public domain.

I came upon this quote courtesy of the acrostic puzzles I frequently solve online. I shy away from any absolutes such as “the greatest,” but Dürer’s thought is a good companion for this particular project of drawing a different leaf every day. Immersion in natural beauty is definitely good for my spirit as well as my relationship with other living things. Whether it is simplicity that I’m encountering, I’m not sure. Leaves are stunningly complex, and the complexity is one source of their beauty. But one could also say truly that there is something very simple about them, and there is definitely a simplicity to an art practice that seeks only to reflect what is in nature.



Arizona madrone, to be precise: Arbutus arizonica. The colors, which ranged through magenta, orange, and green, were tempting, but I’ll have many other days for drawing leaves with this coloration.

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