Freeing the Imagination – Day 93

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 93 of the 365 Days Project is by Patricia Boyd.]

Gourd sculpture of a woman by Patricia Boyd
“Blessed Harvest” by Patricia Boyd. Photo courtesy ©Patricia Boyd.

This is what happens when the imagination is given free reign…

#93 – The Artist Mind, when allowed complete freedom, sees unlimited potential in the humblest of materials. Even gourds.

Gourds are an unusual medium for sculpture but Patricia Boyd thinks far beyond the usual “craft” of gourdwork. Few people realize that there is an entire creative industry that services artists who work with gourds. Gourd farms grow gourds of every shape and size and ship them around the world. There are specialized gourd tools, gourd dyes, gourd books and gourd festivals…..there’s even an American Gourd Society.

Gourd sculpture of a woman dancing by Patricia Boyd
Primitive Dance” by Patricia Boyd. Photo courtesy ©Patricia Boyd.

Patricia Boyd is a native of California who developed a passion for working with gourds following a trip to Africa. The voyage sparked a desire in her to share the images and life seen on the plains of Kenya and gourds proved to be the perfect medium to express her emotions. Her work expertly captures the movement, forms and essence of her African experience.

“I see gourds like individual fingerprints,” said Boyd. “As Earth’s original vessels, each grows in its own unique form. I want my work to tell a story and speak to the heart. I don’t look for perfect shapes when shopping for gourds, I see a potential in almost every gourd because there is so much you can do as you allow your imagination to be free.”

Gourd sculpture of a woman by Patricia Boyd
“Jus’ Gotta Praise Him” by Patricia Boyd. Photo courtesy ©Patricia Boyd.

“They come in all sizes, a million sizes,” explained Boyd. “What most people do is they take the gourd and they make bowls out of them. Usually the ones I get they want to throw away because they’re weird. Nobody wants them. They usually want a perfect gourd.”

Odd-shaped gourds provide the ultimate inspiration for her work. One figurine was created out of a gourd that grew along a fence, creating a dent on one side. Boyd used that dent to accent the bottom of a child hugging her mother. A nub on one gourd becomes a belly button on a pregnant woman. Another grossly misshapen gourd is turned into a mystical grandmother holding a child.

“People used to give me these gourds and when gourd growers realized that I was selling work made from them, they started offering these odd-shaped gourds as a special category! Now other people are looking for them because there’s so many other things that you can see in these ‘gourds that nobody wants’.”

For Patricia Boyd, the possibilities are endless.

SerenaK signature

Gourd sculpture of a man by Patricia Boyd
“Primal Thoughts” by Patricia Boyd. Photo courtesy ©Patricia Boyd.

Artist Credits for the images included in this post:
Blessed Harvest
Patricia Boyd, California
Gourds, mixed media

Primitive Dance
Patricia Boyd, California
Gourds, mixed media

Jus’ Gotta Praise Him
Patricia Boyd, California
Gourds, mixed media

Primal Thoughts
Patricia Boyd, California
Gourds, mixed media

Patricia Boyd’s artwork can be viewed at: Patricia Boyd

The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

Click to view The 365 Days Project

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