This article was written by Jules Masterjohn for Durango Magazine, Winter-Spring 2006-07. (click on images to enlarge)
(cont.) photographs and paper sculpure are then exhibited in galleries and museums, and purchased by collectors. Other outdoor artworks include her "Offerings" series, which was inspired by seeing lily pads floating on pond water. Long has placed circles of handmade paper on the surface of lakes, streams and canals. To date, 20 "Offering pieces have been created in bodies of water all over the world.
Natural materials like pine cones, leaves and twigs are also used by Long to create non-permanent outdoor artworks. "Concentric Circles" - 16' in diameter - is a sculpture that is made of mounded pine needles and paper pulp. It rests on the forest floor. During its ten-year existence, each spring the artist reshapes the circular mounds, renewing it for another season. Permanence is not one of Long's goals, her inspiration instead lies in working with the changing cycles of nature.
Meandering through the tall ponderosa pine forest on the acreage where she and her husband have lived for 23 years, she developed "Forest Walk". This trail through the woodlands connects various designated areas where Long has intentionally placed fallen tree limbs, gathered pine cones and arranged rocks and bones in circles, spirals and random patterns. These compositions of indigenous materials indicate nesting spots or places for contemplation along the trail.
Long is at work in the forest developing another art trail. She is artist-in-residence at Edgemont Highlands, a private residential development in the forest just northeast of Durango, where she has been commissioned to create outdoor sculptural artworks along the community's hiking trails.
Choosing to "intervene subtly and temporarily with nature", her art lends itself to documentation in film. Currently in production, a documentary film, "Seeing the Forest for the Trees, is scheduled for release at the Durango Independent Film Festival in 2008. Highlighting Long's outdoor art trails and productive diverse artistic career, the film focuses attention on one of Durango's unique artists, whose perspective on nature draws attention to and enriches one's appreciation of the surrounding natural wonders.