"Life is much too short to pursue anything other than your passion; my work combines my reverence for the simple beauty of nature with my passion for fine art and design."
Combining simple design with natural elements is what truly distinguishes Mortensen's unique art form. Trees and plants in particular have stimulated his artistic tendencies as he creates two- and three-dimensional collages from actual botanical specimens. Often geometric in design, the patterns Mortensen creates juxtapose with the organic properties of the botanical specimens to create repetition of both positive and negative shapes.
He uses a traditional pressing and drying process to preserve the natural color of each leaf and flower he gathers. Once pressed and dried, each specimen is like a fragile natural paper and is ready for use in the design/production process. Each piece of art created requires thousands of specimens to choose just the right size, shape, and color. Using an archival adhesive, each specimen is hand mounted to mat board. Lastly, the entire piece is sprayed with a UV varnish and framed with TrueVue Conservation Glass.
With undergraduate degrees in liberal arts from Utah State University, Mortensen fulfilled prerequisites for architecture studies, which included many art and design classes. Simultaneously, he began creating his first pieces of botanical art. After studying architecture at the University of Utah for two years, Mortensen realized his true passion was in creating his leaf art. His best training, however, may have come from his childhood and the hundreds of hours spent exploring his rural surroundings.
Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Merit Award, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, CO, Cherry Creek, 2008
Jurors Choice Award, 2D, Columbus, OH, Columbus Arts Festival, 2007
First Place, 2D, Minneapolis, MN, Stone Arch Arts Festival, 2007
Rocky Mountain Biennial, Fort Collins, CO, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2004
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, Logan, UT, Pauni Family, 2006
Permanent Installation, Alliance for the Varied Arts, Logan, UT, 2004