This reminded me of my learning of Mondrian's trees.
Over easter or spring break in 1991 I had an assignment to make a composition based upon a thing found in the natural world. I chose ball moss. Ball moss is a tangle of long tendrils and delicate flowers that grows on Texas shade trees. The assignment consisted of a 20x30 illustration board and a glazed ceramic plate, which I believe is a riff playing off of some Bauhaus lesson. I drew an oak branch with a ball of ball moss that morphed into a composition of "L"s and squares. An upperclassman pointed out to me that Mondrian started with trees.