June 15th, 2012
Usually I remember to bring my phone and since I upgraded to the 4s, the photo quality is amazing. I’m constantly finding incrediby beautiful things to capture. This time of year (disclaimer: the bark was earlier in the spring) the gardens are ablaze. I look for color combinations and textures that I can use as inspiration for future projects. Several years ago (probably more like fifteen) I used a feather as inspiration for the colors of a brochure for the Oregon Department of Geography and Mineral Industries. The feather was way more beautiful than the final printed piece but it was a nice try.
Beautiful euphorbia, such wacky alien-like poddish shapes. The chartreuse combined with the purple twining branches in the background results in a perfect set of complementary colors.
Here’s a color that, amazingly enough, DOES appear in nature. But, sadly, wouldn’t appear in any of my design work. Gotta find some client who’ll go for a brilliant (bilious) shock of pink.
Now THESE are colors I could use. Really handsome. Warm. Organic. Also could use that texture, maybe it would work as a background image for somebody’s brochure.
April 20th, 2012
Here’s my Earth Day greeting …. a world of raindrops! It’s a bit awkward but I was determined to make it work so I kept at it. There are so many ways to celebrate earth day, from pulling the dreaded English Ivy from trees in Forest Park to planting a garden in your own home. Either works….
Here’s a bit of history about Earth Day, from Senator Gaylord Nelson, its founder:
“Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political “limelight” once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day. ……Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.”
Read the full account : http://earthday.envirolink.org/history.html
Get out and plant a garden!
April 11th, 2012
BELOW DRAWINGS, L to R: Collect rain water in rain barrels to water your garden. Soak pans, rather than scrubbing with the water running. Take a shower, not a bath
By popular demand, I’m adding some of the drawings I did for the AWARD-WINNING Clackamas River Water Providers’ 2011 Calendar, as mentioned in my previous post. Now you can see some of my original work that beautifies the pages of this calendar.
It’s such a great project, each Spring the Clackamas River Water Conservation Program Coordinator sends out a request to elementary school kids in North Clackamas School District for their ideas about ways to conserve water. The community votes on their favorite drawings and the top 13 vote getters are used, with the TOP top vote getter appearing on the cover. They are really fabulous. I’ve attached a copy of it in the previous blog post. I then choose a color palette to complement those drawings and then add my own little spot drawings to illustrate the multiple tips and Did You Knows? sprinkled throughout the calendar pages. Of course I do the rest of the calendar layout as well.
BELOW DRAWINGS, L to R: Water early in the morning. A trickling fountain save more water than one spraying. When cleaning your goldfish bowl, use the water for your plants
If you have a project that requires a spot illustration, give me a call!
March 30th, 2012
The calendar I designed for Clackamas River Water Providers just won an Excellence in Communications Award from the American Waterworks Assoc., Pacific Northwest Section.This is a Water Conservation Calendar that features drawings done by kids in the North Clackamas School district. Their drawings are fabulous. There are also many really nice illustrations that I did throughout.
P.P. S. Now they need to hire me to design the overall award …. seriously now.
January 29th, 2012
Is it me or does this look like dancing skirts? Maybe I’ve watched too many dance performances. Color, texture, movement, animation. Lots of movements in these flaking scales. This beautifully colored bark inspires me. Maybe I can use this color palette in a future project? This must be an Acer griseum. Not positive though. The bark looks a little different. Whatever it is, it’s a splash of color in this gray time of year. That accent of lime green is a perfect contrast/complement to the orange.
December 23rd, 2011
So a couple of weeks ago we were in New York visiting my daughter and we were lucky to be there for SantaCon. Hilarious. Santas (and elves, xmas trees, reindeer, dreidels, etc.) everywhere. EVERYWHERE! Every bar in town was filled with Santas. There were five or six centralized gathering spots, this is in the South Street Seaport. Plus they collected 6,000 pounds of food for Manhattan and Brooklyn food banks. I know it’s an international event, there’s even one in Portland. I still can’t figure out where they get so many Santa outfits. I would love to see an aerial shot of the city with all the red slinking along every street.
November 22nd, 2011
It’s once again time for the raindrop turkey. Does he look more like a peacock? I actually found some beautiful photos of turkeys. Note below.
Did you know: until the 20th century pork ribs were the traditional thanksgiving meal? Turkey eggs aren’t sold because of the high demand for the whole turkey? If the eggs were sold, they would cost about $3.50 an egg. Yikes. Brining the turkey makes the dark meat cook in the same amount of time as the white meat, otherwise the white meat dries out because you have to cook the dark meat longer to get it done. I tried brining once but I couldn’t get the bird to stay submerged in the salted water. I put a brick on top of it but this seemed to add some unwanted dirt/brick chunks to the bird. Yech. Haven’t decided yet this year about the process. That first thanksgiving, in 1621, was held to celebrate the colonists’ good harvest. At first, the Plymouth colony didn’t have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists so the Wampanoag Indians pitched in and gave them seeds and taught them to fish. Thanks to Wikipedia!
THANKSGIVING HAPPINESS TO ALL
November 12th, 2011
For the past couple of days on my walks around the neighborhood I’ve noticed pieces of Birch bark on the ground. Betula papyrifa. Paper Birch. All those plant species I learned while studying landscape architecture (go Ducks!), I’ve not forgotten. I’m continually amazed at how many I can still remember. I think we learned 600 different plants … shrubs, trees, ground covers …. that would work in the Pacific Northwest. Personally I don’t like the scraggly form of a birch tree but the bark is another story.
So here are some fun genus/species names that are fun to say: Populus tremuloides; Pseudotsuga taxifolia; Mahonia aquifolium; Rhus typhina;
I could go on and on …
November 3rd, 2011
Seen recently at the Greek festival, these great marble (?) floor designs with such striking patterns. They’re on the way into the museum which was really fascinating. There were all these stories, written by local Greek, about their ancestors from the old country and when they left the Old World for the New. Greek Festival is a very very popular Northeast Portland October event, featuring entertainment and the most delicious baklava, not to mention donut holes, ever.
But I digress …. These mosaic floors: Elegant. Symmetrical. Stunning. I think it’s the colors as much as anything that I love in these patterns. When we were little, my sisters and I used to make mosaics out of little bits of linoleum. I still have one I made in the shape of a christmas stocking. It’s a little rougher than these beautifully intricate designs. Okay, a lot rougher. Maybe I could replace our cracking kitchen floor with a tile mosaic? Would love that.
So I get together, occasionally, with former neighbors (from childhood) and various and sundry others for craft night or, as we call it, crap night. Since I’m not much of a crafter I usually am replacing buttons on clothes during crap night, but I was so inspired by these designs I actually went out and bought the materials to make a needlepoint pillow using the second pattern seen here. Will see how it turns out.
September 26th, 2011
I varied my typical walking route one Saturday morning and came across this very interesting and unique garden of dolls. I tried to find some reference to these on the internet but can’t find anything so I’m guessing whoever lives here created these. Each is unique. They’re all in a seated position and seem to be gazing downward. They all have their hands in their laps. They look quite content, like they’re waiting for a parade, or what? Some have beads strewn over their necks. I really love the idea of not only creating such a unique collection but displaying it in your front yard. Much more interesting than pink flamingos! Although there is a lot to be said for pink flamingos.
Another reminder of the value of changing your pace …. and taking another path.