22 April 2010

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

 Happy Earth Day!  This does not look like your typical garden.  I found these amazing images on Apartment TherapyThe Garden of Cosmic Speculation is located in Scotland on 30 acres of land owned by one Charles Jencks.  The garden is apparently only opened 1 day per year- and that day is coming up on May 3!

Metal sculptures co-mingle with green landscaping to provoke thought about scientific concepts found in nature-- repeating patterns, the fibonacci series, fractals, and DNA.  It must be amazing to see this in person!

17 April 2010

How do I love thee?

With all natural handmade soap, of course.  A while back my beau and I had a great weekend in Toronto where we stayed at the Gladstone Hotel.  Each room is designed by a different artist and the bar area on the first floor is the place to hang out with a cappuccino and your morning paper!  I loved the sample sizes of locally handmade, all natural soaps and moisturizers in our room from a company called Honey Pie Hives and Herbals.  The bars are wrapped inside waxed paper with a hand drawn label.  The solid bar of beeswax moisturizer that you can rub on dry cracked soles of feet and hands was my ultimate fave.  My bar was running low and breaking into pieces so I decided to look for HoneyPie online and was delighted to find their adorable website where they sell the soaps and moisturizers along with teas, beeswax candles and honey- all made on their bee farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada.  I'm truly in love with my new stash of soap and moisturizer!

15 April 2010

April is National Poetry Month!

Did you know, April is National Poetry Month? You can read all about it here at the Academy of American Poets website.

05 April 2010

tips for being an artist in/of the world

1. Start or grow your art library!  Collect monographs of artist's work that inspires you or books about how to move your career forward.  During those times when I feel discouraged, unmotivated, uninspired I pick up a favorite book and it gets me going again. 

2. Approach your artwork and your fellow artists as though you were an 85 year man with a lifetime of experience and wisdom under your belt--no fear, no intimidation, no sense of "too cool for school" or pretension. I say this because the other day, my boyfriend and I went to see the exhibit at the Society for Contemporary Craft. We struck up a conversation with the woman sitting at the desk and she offered to show us the studios and classroom spaces downstairs. We took a look around and were stopped by some men who were in a wood turning/wood carving class.....where an 85 year old man  showed us his art work and then asked us to help him carry his materials upstairs. No pretension, no shyness, just straight up willing to share, talk and be friendly.  Now that's hip!

3. Take an interest in projects that your friends are working on, talk to them, offer to help them, collaborate.  Who better to solve problems with than your best pal? 

4.  See some artwork that you really like, that inspires you?  Get in contact with the artist!  Send them an email, write a letter- find out what makes her (or him) tick.  More likely than not, s/he will be more than happy to respond to someone who is interested in the work.  That is how I've done a lot of interviews on this very blog.

4. Surround yourself with inspiring images and objects that you love.  It helps keep the creative fires stoked.  You don't have to spend a lot of money on random stuff- just hone in on things that you really love, that have meaning to you and keep those things close. 

5.  Collect everything, keep a sketchbook, notice what you notice, and channel that information into your creative work!  You never know when that quirky label or a glass jar might come in handy. 

02 April 2010

Lately Looking at:

Edgar Miller and the Hand-Made Home

I had the good fortune to stumble on this book in the library while perusing the home decor section.  I was looking for ideas and inspiration in order to tackle some decorating projects this summer.  I could not have asked for a more inspiring or interesting look into the life and work of a phenomenal artist that I'd never even heard of before.  Edgar Miller was able to work in an amazing array of media-- drawing and painting to wood carving, creative tiling, ceramics and intricate stained glass.  He believed in creating art for the home and worked on renovating and designing a series of artist studios and buildings in Chicago in the 20's and 30's and what beautiful art it was.   His work references a wide variety of styles and influences but above all has the spirit of someone with truly unique vision, a love of craft, of nature as his subject matter and of creating for its own sake. 

The picture above is the cover of the book, Edgar designed the stained glass window in the background and hand carved the ceiling, doors, banisters in the photograph.
To the left is one of the studio apartments with his leaded stained glass windows and below, a detail from one of the windows.

I have been so inspired reading through this book and studying the photographs-- such beautiful and intricate work.