Balanced Living for Creatives

Balanced Living for Creatives
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May 28, 2010

Surf and Shore


This is an oil painting, semi-abstract in nature, done entirely by palette knife. The palette knife (painting knife actually) is great for impasto or thick swaths of paint. Basically I started in one corner and worked my way down and across to complete the painting image.
Surf and Shore, oil on panel, 9 x 12.

May 25, 2010

Plaited basket



This is an example of plaiting. It is a simple construction, this one being thin strips of plain paper. Baskets are often made with this technique, using natural materials such as flat reeds.

May 18, 2010

Iris Leaves in Coil Basketry


At a crafts guilds fair, I saw a woman making baskets from natural materials. I got inspired to make some baskets. Here is the start of a coiled basket made with plant material from my garden--Iris leaves, vinca vines, and stems from rosemary (for a lovely scent). Unfortunately, it's not the right time of year to collect Iris leaves. The ones I used here were from last year and are very weathered from being on the ground all winter. At the end of summer or fall I will collect some more Iris leaves and see about doing some basketry work with them.

May 8, 2010

History of Plants


Plants have moved through the world through the fabric of human society. Sociology shows us how and why people create communities, move on, interact either violently or cooperatively, and ultimately create an environment where humans thrive. Perhaps a good term might be sociobotany to describe the way that humans have sought after plants, often for profit, sometimes to death. I am interested in the history of plants within human society. For instance, this capsicum is one of the chile peppers developed from native South American plants. 600 years ago Europeans sent out huge exploratory ships trying to find alternative routes to the spice islands and Asian spice regions. Piper nigrum, common black pepper, was a cherished and necessary spice in early European society, both for flavoring and for making stored meats and foods edible for longer periods. The first expeditions, a la Columbus, made their way to South and Central America regions and they did NOT find black pepper, or cinnamon, or any of the other economically important spices. What they did find was chile peppers, potatoes, a cinnamon-like plant, tomatoes, corn, and many other horticultural finds that quickly made it into culinary traditions of many lands throughout the world. The chile peppers, especially, were adopted in Asia and Southeast Asia. Today, Asia is the greatest producer of some types of chile peppers and it seems as if the hot pepper has always been part of that region of the world. This chile pepper is the jalapeno, a cultivar of Capsicum annuum. What medium do you think it is? Graphite? Ink wash? Black watercolor? It is done 100 percent digitally in Photoshop.

May 7, 2010

Desert and Prairie


Desert and prairie plants fulfill a unique niche. People often think of a desert as devoid of life, however life abounds in even the harshest desert conditions. Plants, insects, small animals, as well as their predators, such as hawks, vultures, coyotes or foxes. Most of these living things have created unique survival strategies and are well-worth studying to understand their behaviors. This watercolor painting shows the abundance of the plant life found in desert/prairie areas.