Right Minding

The tediousness of the left brain chores I am currently mired in, has my right brain parched. Circumstances don't help either- trapped in a seemingly unending winter, there's little outside that inspires - it's just grimy snow and salt frosted sidewalks. Last night I dug out some old footage from a year ago that I took down at the South Street Seaport for a little respite. It was from a cold February day but the sun was shining and the sparkling undulating Hudson river was mesmerizing. If you've watched Jill Bolte's Stroke of Insight, you'll know what I mean when I say it's moments like this that unlock that right brain and allow you to enter and become part of the everyday nature that surrounds us. Until you allow the outlines of the piers boats, people and the city itself to infringe on your perceptions, you are immersed in an oasis of waves and sparkle.

+ OccasionalOasis: Stone River; Sparkle


Not the garden variety. I have a pair of abstract encaustic paintings titled Seed that I've appropriately decided to seed my new Etsy shop with. It will be a place for me to sell artwork and perhaps some things for the home, some vintage things - all with a nature or garden aesthetic.

The paintings have an interesting creative path. They started as digital studies created in photoshop. I was at the time exploring layering in photoshop with colored/tinted water textures. Layering in photoshop requires pretty much the same kind of eye or skill as you might need for the physical medium of watercolors adding, subtracting, translucent colors until they are right.

When I started working with encaustics, another medium with translucent qualitites - I thought this would translate well. So I started with a current digital medium and then back a to medium that dates back to Roman and Egyptian times. I animated the layers of the digital artwork to make a short video go take a look and compare.


While NYC dips into temperatures below freezing again, I continue to work on designs for Summer 2011 and thought I would share an interesting trend prediction from Li Edelkoort's recent presentation - water. Not just aesthetically as in color palettes drawn from rivers, reefs, pools, oceans, mermaids and the like but also conceptually- as a symbol of rejuvenation.

She says it is now time to open the sluice of creativity and let flow the new ideas that we have held back for too long. Yeah! With gardening there's actually been a few years of fairly visionary new ideas - vertical gardens, hydroponics, skyscraper and rooftop farming to name a few- now its the creative turn of the entrepeneurs and manufacturers to turn these ideas into broader commercial solutions and the public to try them out.

Water in the garden is obviously subject to either circumstance, you live by water or your preparedness to create a body of water. There is however a wealth of ideas for a more common situation - the damp garden, why improve a soggy part of the garden when you can fill it with primulas, irises and other water loving plants instead. Go take a visual trip down by the water and there's more at Beth Chatto's Garden.

Last year at Kmart I picked up a water lily growing kit in their garden department and pondered whether I might try growing it in a container of water with things like umbrella plants on my window sill. I decided against it - but maybe this year.

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