Natural Beauties

This week we had the good fortune to meet Owen Mortensen, a visual artist from northern Utah.

p-2.jpg.scaled.500.jpg  This year, Owen is debuting four new lines of art that combine timeless design with the natural aesthetics of organic objects.  With an emphasis on sustainability, each piece is created with minimal impact on the environment and inspires the viewer to recognize the intense beauty found in the everyday objects of nature.

Owen’s Web site,, is brimming with beautiful images — we recommend taking a look when you need a break today. But in the meantime, here are a few of our favorites:

p-3.jpg.scaled.500.jpg Golden Rain Tree Pods, 30″x30″
The seed pod of the Golden Rain Tree has a simple, heart-shaped design with one or two black, pearl-sized seeds. This piece explores repetition of pattern as hundreds of pods are arranged in a grid.

p-1.jpg.scaled.500.jpg Repurposed Reeds, 25″x25″
Reeds bleached and weathered by the elements are selectively torched black and strategically placed to form positive and negative circles.

p-4.jpg.scaled.500.jpg Cropped Maple Circle, 22″x22″
“Mondrian meets Mother Nature.” Maples of all different sizes and colors were cropped and meticulously arranged to create this modern yet organic piece.

p-8.jpg.scaled.500.jpg Circle of Smoke Tree Blossoms, 24″x24″
Thousands of delicate smoke tree blossoms are painstakingly arranged to form a simple circle. Actual specimens, pressed, dried and glued by hand to archival mat board. Framed with UV glass.


Falling Pines, 13″x32″
“Visual Haiku” Pine needles gracefully pile on the ground. Actual specimens, pressed, dried and glued to archival mat board. Framed with UV glass.

p.jpg.scaled.500.jpg S3 Window, 17″x27″
S3 is artistic notation for selectively skeletonized sycamores. Actual leaves are selectively skeletonized using a painstaking process to reveal the delicate and transparent veining. Organic modernism at its best, each piece juxtaposes clean lines with the natural aesthetics of the leaf to create a truly original work of organic art.

p-10.jpg.scaled.500.jpg Single Bleached Bison Skull, 24″x24″x10″ ea.
Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “Sun-bleached bones were most wonderful against the blue – that blue that will always be there as it is now after all man’s destruction is finished.”

Whether your wall is sky blue-hued or not, this actual bison skull adds both texture and intrigue to any wall as natural art. Indeed, there is something wonderful about the simple beauty of nature.

And finally, there’s this installation, which we could look at all day:

AVA Maple Installation


Thousands of maple leaves transition from green to red from the entrance of the Alliance of the Varied Arts, in Logan, Utah. Documented with photography.


Environmental installations are ephemeral by nature and may only last a few minutes depending on the weather.

To learn more, visit or call 435-787-0287.

*Pictured at top: Chinese Chestnut Study, 18″ x 18″ The Chinese Chestnut (“Bull Pod”, “Bat Nut”) is perhaps one of the most unearthly looking seed pods in existence. True to its common names, it truly resembles a bull head or bat. One of the pods is painted red for visual interest. Custom colors available.

Posted via email from Mountain Living magazine