Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Landscaping as Art

My mind has been full of the shapes, colors, textures and seasonal interest of plants. We are replacing the plants and huge amounts of pachysandra in our front yard. Thinking about the way to design a fairly large space has had my head swimming.
There are so many similar design elements to think about that it's been interesting to figure out what to plant, and how to layer the plants. Leaf shape, height and width, deciduous or evergreen...colors - so many variables and trying to visualize the final result, is as challenging as creating art.
I haven't been in the studio because I've been reading books about landscaping, visiting nurseries and friends' gardens, and dealing with living in Zone 4-5 and the plants that will grow here. The first decisions have been made and they start planting tomorrow...I'll post some before and after photo's soon. If you have a favorite plant, shrub, grass or perennial, let me know. The Old English Roses are a sure thing!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Shibori, explored

The Shibori class was wonderful. Jan is a very patient and helpful teacher, and there were other students with lots of experience. Seeing other students create their work speeds up the learning process - and adds to the inspiration. Dyeing is similar to what printing photograph's used to be for me. You put something in a tray/bucket, and after a bit of time, find something wonderful developing under your hands.

If you like the looks of this work, I recommend taking a class with Jan Myers Newbury. Her workshop schedule is here: And any chance you get to see her work, run, don't walk! Although making the fabric is intriguing, and joyful, using it in a composition is a challenge. Cutting into it feels like torture - unless you know you can make more.

This piece was done on a pole, and twisted in opposite directions. That's how you get that nice "V" shape.

Underpainted, folded in half, and put on a pole on the diagonal. Making these is so much fun because it's so exciting to see what comes out of the dye bath.
This is a close up of the one above. Love those shapes and colors, and wish I could do them on purpose...they're accidental so I may never make them again.
This was underpainted too, folded, and then clamped with two sizes of circles...pretty cool, huh?
This was underpainted, put on a pole and scrunched down with wrinkles in it... I want to do more of these.