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Photosynthesis and Seasonal Change


Chlorophyll is necessary in order for plants to convert carbon dioxide and water, using sunlight into oxygen and glucose. During spring and summer when light intensity is high, this process excites electrons in photosystems and the reaction, photosynthesis, creates the green color in leaves. During autumn and winter, the light intensity is low, photosynthesis stops, and to conserve water and energy, plants sheds their leaves as a defense mechanism to survive a cold and dry winter. Since most plants are not undergoing photosynthesis, the green chlorophyll disappears from their leaves. This gives a chance for accessory pigments of red, yellow or orange color to be seen. This is the reason why deciduous trees like oak and maple trees turn their green leaves into red or brown color.

I think of the sunlight hitting aspen leaves as the breeze blows. The leaves twinkle like diamonds in constant motion. As the sun passes, motion and elongated shadows create more conflict between light and dark. My experiments with shape, color, highlights and shadow to depict movement with reflected light.

Just as color changes with the season, my work builds on and continues a series of pieces that are similar yet different. The series is connected by a common thread depicting reflected light and shadow. The traditionally flat canvas, confined and contained within square or rectangle edges is challenged. The intent is to make art that appears as if it has recesses or fissures and experimentation with methods to make canvases give the impression of peaks and valleys remains. The concept includes further investigations with varying shapes and color.


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KENNETH CRAIG PRUITT