Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cercis Occidentalis

Tree Love! The summer has been full of home construction, mostly hard scape in the yard and readying for new landscaping. A trip to the nursery in our local foothills yielded this find. It's a tree or it's a shrub, depending on your pruning skills. The one at the nursery grew in a shape reminiscent of a menorah. It's small leaves are heart shaped and how can you not love that? I was ready to sit down and start drawing. I was captivated.

Here is the official encyclopedia entry on this lovely specimen:

The western redbud (Cercis occidentalis syn. Cercis orbiculata Greene) is a small tree or shrub in the legume family. It is found across the American Southwest, from California to Utah.

The thin, shiny brown branches bear shiny heart-shaped leaves which are light green early in the season and darken as they age. Leaves on plants at higher elevation may turn gold or red as the weather cools. The showy flowers are bright pink or magenta, and grow in clusters all over the shrub, making the plant very colorful and noticeable in the landscape. The shrub bears 3-inch-long brown legume pods which are very thin and dry.

Native Californians used the twigs of the western redbud to weave baskets, and even pruned the shrub to encourage growth of new twigs. The bark provided a faint reddish dye for the finished basketry.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Art of Dolan Geiman

I found Dolan Geiman's amazing work on the fabulous Design*Sponge blog. He is a one man super star and very keen art marketer. The work is incredible, wonderful collage/silk screen originals, assemblage work and very affordable digital prints. Check them out at his shop
and don't forget to spend some time at his website as well. It is a veritable feast.

Friday, July 13, 2007

2-1 Match Campaign from Environmental Defense

Triple the Value of Your Donation

Long-time Environmental Defense trustee, Robert W. Wilson, has generously offered to match every online gift 2-for-1 until we reach our goal.

Donate today to our Match Campaign and your gift to support our global warming work will go three-times as far.

July 14th is the deadline for your donation.

Check out Environmental Defense to donate and help their push to raise money for global warming awareness.

From eDefense:

Your donation to our 2-for-1 Match Campaign couldn't come at a better time. We are gearing up for a major push to get Washington to take meaningful action on global warming this year.

The science is clear and the window of opportunity to act is closing. We must cut our global warming pollution by 80 percent by 2050 in order to avoid the worst impacts. To meet this ambitious goal, we have to act now.

This is a race against time - a race to get our political leaders to lead. Together, we've done a lot to raise awareness and to create political momentum. These steps have been important, but they are not enough. We need action.

Your gift will help us keep the pressure on, target key congressional leaders, reach out to new coalition partners and make sure we take advantage of this opportunity for action in 2007.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Summer Beauty

All the flowers are thriving in the warm summer sun (which happens to be absent this morning).

There is inspiration just outside the studio door and garden helpers as well.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, delivers a powerful Commencement address

Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, delivered the Commencement address June 17 at Stanford University. This link was passed on to me from Alyson Stanfield.

Here is just a small excerpt:

"Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world—equal to but distinct from scientific and conceptual methods. Art addresses us in the fullness of our being—simultaneously speaking to our intellect, emotions, intuition, imagination, memory, and physical senses. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images.

Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions. And it remembers. As Robert Frost once said about poetry, "It is a way of remembering that which it would impoverish us to forget." Art awakens, enlarges, refines, and restores our humanity. You don't outgrow art. The same work can mean something different at each stage of your life. A good book changes as you change."

Read the entire commencement speech HERE it's worth the time and effort. WOW!

Sempe on Summer

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Camilla Engman & Port2Port

One of my favorite illustrators, Camilla Engman, has created two images especially for port2port press summer special projects. Two images for $16. Beautiful. Thank you to Design*Sponge for the heads-up!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Summer Scrub

At last the skylights in the workshop are clean. Beautiful light again for the summer months of painting.
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