Symbiosis is a painting series depicting Kelp inspired by an under water photograph.
At the top of the new year, 2021, it became clear that I need to step it up when it comes to marketing Citrine Tangerine. With clarity came a wave of reality – This year was going to be filled with hard work. 2021 would be the hardest year of all because it was the one upon me! I was ready. I made a plan. Now is the time to put everything I've prepared into action. It was settled! I'd create small monthly collections featuring the birthstones. This way I could cut down on how many pieces of jewelry I create but keep the website updated frequently enough to keep it interesting. These monthly collections inspired beauty looks for self portraits, new blog posts, crystal readings, and fresh ideas for product photography. Here we are 8 months down and it's been rewarding. So much good has happened. The gratitude I feel is insurmountable. I'll never forget the love.
When the May Collection came around I had no idea the impact and inspiration Emeralds would bring to light. It was late April when I started designing pieces, photographing jewelry, and recording the Crystal Reading from The Book Of Stones - when inspiration struck. The photographs from this collection are memorable. It was the way the green of Craig's tumbled raw emeralds illuminated in the sunlight. I'd also made two electro-formed Moldavite rings and a few new Herkimer Diamond rings too. Inspiration must have been in the air.
For some reason the word 'Symbiosis' popped into my head. Why was this word suddenly present in my mind? It was like I found a 'pocket' of consciousness. Soon I was pondering how we as humans relate to one another, animals, objects and the planet, I recalled many years ago how concept of Symbiosis was introduced as a concept in school. We discussed different kinds of Symbiosis – Mutualism being one I want to be part of as a global community member. But even parasitic Symbiosis is an inherently necessary aspect of how our complex planet operates.
Moving into this tangent focused around the concepts of Symbiosis I found an incredibly intriguing photograph of Kelp. This photograph was the beginning of a deep pondering on the Symbiosis humanity has with Oceans and their life forms, specifically Kelp. These green and alien like organisms reminded me of the links connecting my jewelry designs. Their growths, one on top of the other, reminded me of how we build ourselves in years at a time. Their tendrils also remind me of DNA for some reason. I discovered Kelp are not plants but a Heterokont. This word made me laugh a bit. Kelp are part of the order Laminariales. Our oceans are responsible for a substantial amount of our breathable Oxygen. Some people eat Kelp for health benefits. Large bodies of water are sources of relaxation, memories, and travel. Our oceans remind me of power. They remind me of the vastness of our planet and just how small we humans are.
'Seaweed' prior to this moment was a source of irrational fear rooting from my childhood. Nothing in particular happened to me regarding sea weed, I just did not like it! Swimming in Northern Michigan's fresh water lakes such as Higgins Lake or Lake Huron afforded me the privilege of crystal clear waters. If the water was full of long tendrils, good luck getting me in there! It just always freaked me out not knowing what was below. Never before had I seen Kelp in the light that underwater photographs of Laminariales shined on their beauty. Pure Green and Blue rays of color. Simply breath taking. Gorgeous. Stunning. This is when I knew something was emerging from my soul. I just had to paint these out of this world pictures. Like every other time I tried something new, the first pieces were NOT what I imagined but it was the start of decompressing from the lock downs in 2020.
What a year 2020 was... Nothing went as planned but painting kept me sane when I couldn't travel. I planned for another time, some time in the future... Painting kept my imagination alive. It brought color, imagination, and adventure into a very traumatizing and still year. Never did I think painting would be therapeutic but this was just one of many discoveries made last year. The creative community on a global level banded together in such a beneficial way. I am so grateful for everyone I met during these times and to have participated in several 'Lockdown Exhibitions'. It sparked a new connection with painting that is alive in this latest series of works.
There are several photographs of kelp that made me want to go somewhere new. Some where I've never gone before and perhaps I never will be able to go, to an ocean forest filled with kelp -- To experience the order of Laminariales from the ocean floor looking up. After a while my imagination took control. I hope you're able to dive into the atmospheres of this series. It is my intention that you feel more calm, more alive, and to spark your curiosity with this series. Our world is truly a beautiful place to behold. Our imaginations are powerful tools to be used for our advantage. Allow your mind to flow and extend, kind of like the laminariales some of which reach 120 feet in length. Thank you for being here.
About the Author & Artist
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.