Sharp leaves unfurl from either side of a ram鈥檚 skull, where horns curve up and out.

Small insects and hummingbirds alight on stems and flowers. Veins curl like coral from behind rib cages. A bird鈥檚 talons grip an arrow that ends in feather wisps. A spider waits in its perfect web, gold spinnerets jutting from its abdomen.

It鈥檚 almost impossible to believe that these are sculptures, handmade from something as ordinary as paper, using an X-Acto knife and glue to achieve incredibly fine detail.

According to multidisciplinary fine artist Marisa Arag贸n Ware, creating these intricate, three-dimensional sculptures is a painstaking process that can be laborious and often feels like trying to solve a puzzle. 鈥淣ot everyone can relate to oil paints or marble,鈥 she says, 鈥渂ut everyone has handled a piece of paper. What I find most profound about the art form is that an artist can take something so commonplace and everyday as paper and turn it into something extraordinary.鈥

Ware currently teaches in Colorado, where she was born and raised and where she garnered a deep appreciation for nature from a childhood spent roaming through forests and meadows with nature-loving parents. Her scientist father helped develop her talent for observation by encouraging her to crouch down and study subtle differences at eye level. She went from recording the individual veining on a single flower鈥檚 petals to helping injured wildlife with her mother, who loved every little bird and raccoon.

鈥淚 learned,鈥 Ware says now, 鈥渉ow to pay attention and appreciate the ordinary beauty all around us.鈥


 

See more of Ware鈥檚 work at marisaware.com.

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