Originals by Synkroniciti: Outgoing Tide

After a few years and two floods, I’m finally painting again. Nothing calms me down better than putting some color on canvas and seeing what crops up.

The section of wall to the left of our fireplace has some damage from whatever hung there in the past. It’s a rather tall footprint, and I didn’t have anything to fill it, so I headed to the craft store and bought a canvas. I hung the bare canvas briefly and realized that I should have bought a taller one, as part of the damage still showed clearly. Instead of returning it, I decided to make this a mixed media piece and attach a fabric skirt to the bottom to extend it.  I went through my fabric stash and, after some deliberation, settled on a gauzy green fabric embroidered with vines. I gathered it in the lower right corner and tied it off with some twine. To make the transition work and help anchor the fabric, I glued pine bark gathered in my back yard across the top of the skirt. Then I applied gesso to give the canvas some personality and texture.

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The next step was to make the piece more cohesive and cut down the contrasts between the canvas, bark, and fabric. I began shading the canvas with tones of yellow with red and pink mixed in. I painted the bark, favoring metallics, yellows, greens and blues that would give the bark more color and some iridescence, exaggerating the edges and patterns that were already present. White gesso, which has more body than paint, created a smokestack effect across the upper third of the painting, while a blue creature with arms appeared in the middle third. At this point I had not yet made a conscious decision as to what this painting was going to present, but the hints were all there.

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With the encouragement of Facebook friends, the painting became a beach scene featuring a starfish. As I began to paint and overpaint the starfish, building a nice layer of impasto (texture achieved by layering paint), I also detailed the foliage of a plant, intending to place a flower between the rocky bark and the creature, who appeared to be stranded on the sand. I worked more pink and red into the sand, which I later toned down.

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I could not leave that beautiful creature to die on the sand, so I began to shade in some water, thinking he was in some inlet or tidal pool. The water grew deeper and more turquoise, then I decided it was deep enough to splash where it hit the starfish. White gesso created the illusion beautifully. The flower had its first incarnation and other plants sprang up on the shore. At some point, I noticed that there were pockets under the bark where I could put items… a bit of pine cone, some fuzzy dried plant matter. Have you ever cut up a pine cone? It’s a daunting task.

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During the next phase I tried out some things that I liked, messed them up and then came up with better things. The only time that painting gets stressful is when I get attached to a particular item… a texture, a line, some shading… and it gets destroyed as I’m working. I’ve learned that, most of the time, the thing that comes next is more well-suited to the piece as a whole. Here are a few nice near misses.

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Here is the final product, Outgoing Tide, my seventh completed painting. The shading on the sand and the plants took me some time, but I am pleased. There’s a painted seedpod added that I find a happy touch. Painting the sides black makes the piece stand out; I went back and did that to 5 of my other 6 paintings. They won’t need framing now. As far as perspective goes, I decided we are on our stomachs looking down over a rocky ridge past some plants in the foreground  toward a tidal inlet surrounded by sand. The tide is going out, and that starfish will be carried back out to sea, far from the yellow flower that reaches out to him. From a damaged wall comes a vibrant new piece of art. I’m going to have to paint more.

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My Feathered Friends: Party Shoes and Nesting Shoes

Turning old shoes into pieces of art sounded like fun; I had no idea it would also be therapeutic. Last weekend’s Walk in My Shoes Soirée saw the debut of my Party Shoes and Nesting Shoes, two pairs of my old shoes converted into art objects. The process made me reflect on my life… from the costume jewelry of my childhood to the nests that symbolize new dreams that I have for my life and art. It was a wonderful project and I felt lighter, happier for doing it. I would love to repurpose old shoes as keepsakes for others.

Party Shoes

I turned a pair of high heels that had become excruciatingly uncomfortable over time into Party Shoes. I like to think of them as the drag queens of the repurposed shoe world, beautiful and flashy with glitter, flowers, feathers and ribbon. They were plain black pumps to start off, with a little velvety section over the top of the foot and a simple black bow. I finger painted them with acrylic glitter paint, one in green and silver, the other in green and blue, and stuffed them with glittery fabric flowers. I brushed some silver paint on to add a little more definition in some places. Originally I planned to fill the shoes with beaded necklaces, but the result did not please my eye, so, after a trip to Michael’s craft store, I went down a different path.

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At this point the designs diverged much more. Blue and green was stuffed with a bit of non-descript fabric to keep the toe area plump. This fabric was covered over with a lustrous blue ribbon which loops its way over and around the shoe before forming a celebratory bow above it, as well as a matching blue feather boa that envelops most of the back portion of the shoe and cascades down from the heel. I intended to put a piece of metal in the shape of two joined leaves which had come off of one of my favorite hair clips many years ago across the toes, but the leaves came apart by accident. One leaf remains on the front toe while the other is fixed on one side of the heel, helping to hold the boa onto the shoe. I placed a clear glass bead, the kind you might use in bulk to fill a vase, like a droplet on the toe-leaf, where it looks like a bit of dew. Absolutely fabulous!

As for green and silver, she was stuffed with a piece of purple shantung. A scintillating stripe of gold glitter ribbon anchors itself from the heel and holds the design together. I placed a section of a rhinestone necklace, the kind of costume jewelry my grandmother would bring out for me to play with when I was small,  around the gentle curve above the toe bed, placing a clear pink glass bead on either side for a neater, more finished look. A spray of feathers juts up from the back of the heel, sticking straight up with pride, and a gold ribbon reminiscent of a gilt spider web drapes itself over the shoe. Unable to make it stick with glue, I used a pair of sparkly earrings to pin it on either side and threw in three other pairs  to add a little more bling. This shoe is a celebration of all of those gaudy baubles we loved in childhood–the ones society tells us to put away if we want to be taken seriously. Society be damned! We need the whimsical and the kitschy in our lives.

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Nesting Shoes

The Nesting Shoes have quite a different mood. These winged boots are about the collaboration between earth (reality)  and sky (imagination) to provide for the nurturing of a baby dream. That dream could be anything: a project, an artwork, a vocation, a career, or even an actual baby. These shoes have an artistic, self expressive side as well as a practical one. They are mama shoes.

I took a pair of grey boots that had never fit properly…the arch is in the wrong place for my foot. I bought them years ago, along with a matching pair in brown. In denial, I hung on to them, occasionally wearing them, as if they would magically fit someday. I found a much better use for them.

 

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First, I cut away most of the upper portion of the shoe that surrounded the ankle. I left a thin strip on either side, like an ear, to support the wings that would be introduced later. I stuffed the shoes with raffia, one in a dark color and one in a straw color. Into the darker one I placed a large straw colored bead, careful to hide its hollowness. I glued somber colored mosses around the nest and tied a necklace with a spectacular plastic pendant around the opening, knotting it into a bow in the back so that the pendant would hang down above the toe. Black and reddish brown acrylic paint was added in whorls and stripes to accentuate the shape of the shoe and make it feel more natural, less mass-produced. Finally, sprays of peacock and other feathers were added over and under the “ears” to create the illusion of wings. She stands firm on earth, but the glory of her feathers declares that she is ready to fly away if need be.

 

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The other boot was the most difficult of all the shoes to make. It took hours for the tacky glue to dry on one section so that I could move her to glue down the next section. I can’t count the times things had to be reattached. I was worried she wouldn’t be done in time, but she was, and she was everybody’s favorite.

 

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I tied together three small speckled beads on a piece of raffia and placed them in the nest. I knew from an earlier project that these beads make the best eggs. A piece of rough ribbon, something like pieces of thin twine laid next to each other to make a thick strip and painted across with white stripes, was glued around the nest opening. I  cut a matching pair of wings from a cardboard mailer and glued them to the shoe’s “ears”. Brushing on yellow and black acrylic paint, I made them into butterfly wings. This would have been easier to do before I had attached them, but I hadn’t had the idea yet. I then began to attach bright green and neutral moss, as well as some delightful bark lichen and seed pods from sweet gum trees which I had picked up on walks. The seashells and glass beads which peer out from below the moss proved the hardest to secure. I love the encrustation of different objects, especially the whorl of a shell attached to one side of the heel. This shell took so many attempts before the glue finally stuck, and it is also one of the elements that keeps the left wing from falling off (if you try, you can also find a bit of twine that helps do the job). Working with so many items of varying weight was a huge challenge, but the “faerie” Nesting shoe came together beautifully. She is heavy on the earth, but graceful and delicate as well, with her fragile butterfly wings and brilliant bright colors. If the first nesting boot were autumn, this one is certainly spring.

Hmmm… that leaves winter and summer for the brown boots, doesn’t it?

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From My Garden: Twenty Camellias in Haiku

Last spring I planted camellias in our front flowerbeds, not fully appreciating what a blessing I was giving myself. My husband and I worked the soil, adding amendments to create the acidity needed for the new camellias and azaleas. We went to Maas Nursery, the best place in the Houston area to get camellias, and purchased one Royal Velvet (deep red), one Purple Dawn (purplish pink) and a variety I had never heard of before, Sadaharu Oh (pink and white) named after a baseball player. The Royal Velvet has opened three glorious blooms so far, the Purple Dawn is a week from blooming  for the first time, but the Sadaharu Oh has proved unexpectedly prolific. Eighteen blooms have come and gone over the past month and it shows no sign of slowing down. Every time I tried to count the buds I would lose track somewhere between sixty and seventy.

I have been battling a respiratory infection this winter and without the joy my camellias have brought I don’t know how I would have made it through. But there is something about the fleeting nature of the camellia flower that makes one think of mortality and the beauty of life anyway.

These photos were taken in my garden and in my home and inspired the camellia theme for the week. In turn, I was inspired by the haikus of Matsuo Bashō and decided to try my hand at haikus. Staying traditional by keeping the 5-7-5 syllable count in three lines, I also tried to keep a sense of the jarring, unexpected nature of the content. I don’t know how successful I was, but the enjoyment I received from the mental exercise was well worth the time spent. I hope you will love them.

 

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a bowl of petals

this fierce corolla looks up

to contain the sun

 

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a pink and white bloom

adorns the glossy green leaves

crowned by threads of light

 

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a bee drinks deeply

ensconced in choice filaments

briefly imprisoned

 

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 the bee roaming freely

high on nectar among petals

is distinctly small

 

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the waxy flower

incapable of flying

makes the bee her slave

 

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in the flower’s bell

a bee hangs like a clapper

that will never ring

 

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after winter rain

shining with damp radiance

blooms have not fallen

 

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a fragile wax bloom

pours out its captured water

cup overflowing

 

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flower petals moist

textured like a infant’s skin

lasting only days

 

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in winter’s darkness

the camellia flowers

bring back the sunlight

 

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blossom beneath leaves

out of reach of wind and rain

afraid of falling

 

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a fallen flower

vibrant colors bathed in tears

is already dead

 

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cradled on pine straw

the flower’s lifeless body

collects dewy tears

 

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like a fallen star

gracing my simple table

bringing nature home

 

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remaining lovely

in a dish splashed with water

bloom cut off from life

 

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like a frilly dress

layers exposed for all eyes

she remains empty

 

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moisture is fickle

too much and the bloom will rot

too little she wilts

 

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each bloom so unique

drops in her time from the plant

nature is wasteful

 

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a fleeting flower

dropping helplessly to earth

evokes our own death

 

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a flower lingers

uncoupled from life and dead

may we do the same

 

Connecting Flourishes: Norway By Way of South Dakota

In Rapid City, South Dakota, USA, on the edge of the Black Hills, in a peaceful green space on the older side of town, there stands a delightfully unexpected structure: a carved wooden church in medieval style called the Chapel in the Hills. It is in fact a replica of the Borgund Church, a Stavkirke (Stave church) built in the late 1100s, which stands in Laerdal, Norway. So what, you may wonder, is it doing here?

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Well, in the 1960s South Dakota native Dr. Harry Gregerson, the creator and preacher of the Lutheran Vespers Radio Hour, was looking for a way to expand his ministry and make something more tangible than a radio broadcast. He decided to build a structure near the Black Hills that could give vacationers a place of pilgrimage and worship. In choosing to make a copy of the Borgund church, he created a link to the cultural roots of the Norwegian Lutherans who settled in South Dakota. The Norwegian Department of Antiquities sent the blueprints of the church and a local construction company spearheaded the effort. The wood carvings were a joint project between the Norwegian master carver Erik Fridstrøm and Helge Christiansen of Rapid City. These fantastic flourishes inspire awe and yet seem quite at home here. Rapid City is right next door, and yet the area recedes into the hills, feeling quite remote and peaceful, an excellent place to meditate. There is also a small Norwegian museum and a stabbur, a small grass-roofed storehouse, that serves as a visitor center. The stabbur was built in Norway, shipped to Rapid City in pieces, and rebuilt here.

 

 

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The flourishes on, in and about the church weave together Christianity with pre-Christian Norwegian symbols. The continuity between the Christian and naturalistic symbolism is both beautiful and striking. It can be interpreted as a refreshing acknowledgement that the same God might choose different ways to speak to different peoples. The first congregants of the Borgund church would have been converted Vikings, with minds shaped by Norse myths and naturalistic rituals.

I: Runestones

Runestones are stones decorated with naturalistic motifs. The Vikings and the Celts were masters at making runestones; many of their descendants Christianized the art form so they could keep their artistic language. These two feature serpents and dragons, symbols of chaotic forces which shape time and nature, ambivalent forces which both destroy and build up. The rectangular, seated runestone on the left shows that time and Creation have been forever marked by the Cross. In the crucifixion, life has also been destroyed and rebuilt. Common themes were important to encourage conversion and promote understanding.

 

 II: Doorways

The entire church is circled by an antechamber/corridor. Weapons were to be dropped in this space and were not allowed in the house of worship. In case you think the Viking converts were progressive, you should know that men and women entered through different doorways and did not associate with each other in the church building. Children entered with the women until the young boys came of age. Young men were then allowed to use the men’s doorway inside the front entrance.

The men’s entrance with intricate carving. More dragons and serpents.

The women’s entrance on the side of the church, featuring carvings of lionesses, a rather ferocious symbol of femininity. Note the lioness faces at the bottom of the pilasters. I imagine these Viking ladies were not wallflowers.

One of the outside doors features a metal ring. In medieval Borgund, any criminal who was touching this ring could not be apprehended by authorities. It was apparently not unheard of for such people to starve to death on the steps of the church, covered in their own excrement.

Inside the church, there is a plain door with no adornments next to a sliding window that opens into the corridor. This was a station for people with leprosy, so that they could take Communion without entering the church proper.

III: A Ship of a Different Kind

The church interior is fashioned as an upside down Viking ship, cleverly using the most familiar of forms, but also turning it on its head. Look at those ominous faces carved on the high posts!

The altar and chancel area stand out for their simplicity. The pan fixed in the front served as a baptismal font.

IV: There Be Dragons

High atop the church building there are four dragons, fashioned like those that would have been at the prow of a Viking ship. In addition to serving practically as aids to drainage, they functioned much like gargoyles, impressing people and “chasing away devils”. The detail and the care that goes into each shingle, each cross, each flourish is absolutely marvelous.

I happened to catch a squirrel sunning himself on the high branches, mimicking the dragons astride the church. Nature seems playfully at peace with this Stavekirke from another land. On another day, in another post, I may take you on the walkway that leads back toward the hills, where the rabbits feed lazily, and the forest is peopled with life-sized stone figures that range from moving to creepy. But for today this magnificent building is more than enough.

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All images by Katherine McDaniel, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

From the Trail: A Walk at Lake Brownwood State Park

It is easy to miss delightful things when we only accept and cultivate experiences that we expect to be life-changing.

Last summer, my husband and I stayed one night at Lake Brownwood State Park here in Texas on our way to New Mexico. I woke up early that morning and decided that I would take a walk over to the lake. I didn’t expect much, being far more excited about the places to come, but it was not too hot yet and I needed the exercise.

The hike was a pleasant one, notable for the interesting mix of desert and wetland plants and the juxtaposition of habitats. The Western Cross Timbers, Edwards Plateau, Grand Prairie and Rolling Plains regions all come together here. There are also some attractive stone structures and features made by the  Civilian Conservation Corps before and during the World War II era (1933-42). Moths and butterflies were plentiful, and I met up with an itinerant road runner who kept me from missing the trail on the way back. This trail reminded me that some of life’s great moments happen unannounced. If we only take those walks that promise to impress us with spectacular scenery, we miss the subtler beauty that lies all around us. Sometimes that is all we need and all the more precious.

 Woodland Mood

Wetland Mood

Desert Mood

Flora’s Fancies

Winged Beauty

Trailrunner

Ranger Residence

Stairs to Boat Dock

Lantern

Stone Tables and Benches

Top Ten Originals of 2016

Here are the ten most viewed original art pieces posted in 2016. Synkroniciti is so proud that you like viewing the things we make! We look forward to producing many new things in 2017 and the years beyond.

Beloved’s Journey will be returning soon and Becoming Euridice, our first large scale collaborative project, will begin taking tangible form in 2017.

10. Beloved’s Journey, Chapter 5: Zerzura

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9. The Soul in the Flame: Campfire Imps, Set 3

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8. Beloved’s Journey, Chapter 6: A Conversation in the Desert

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7. Party Scenes: Campfire Imps, Set 2

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6. Beloved’s Journey, Chapter 7: In Mother’s Garden

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5. A Strange Authenticity: Photographs from Johnson Mesa

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4. Beloved’s Journey, Chapter 4: Journeys Begin

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3. Two Views from a Cage: Adjoining Cells by Katherine McDaniel

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2. Personified Flame: Campfire Imps, Set 1

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1.Building Faerie Houses, Part Two: Faerie House Listing Gallery

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Two Views from a Cage: Adjoining Cells by Katherine McDaniel

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When two people settle into a pattern of behavior it becomes increasingly difficult to change habits. In some cases, it may be that those very habits are all that connect us.

For some people, the simple perception that there is a pattern, a hint of a cage, will be enough to make them want to fly away. For others, the pattern becomes so familiar that they will endure all manner of tortures to stay within its boundaries. The cage metaphor constructs a trap that necessitates escape or acquiescence.

There are always multiple viewpoints in any situation. In Adjoining Cells, reading down the columns produces a different result than reading across. Does one perspective offer more hope than the other?

 

Image © William Warby with CCLicense

 

 

 

 

A Strange Authenticity: The Spirit of Johnson Mesa

How do we recharge when the world becomes too much to endure? Seeking different sights and sounds can help.

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The recognizable prominence of Johnson Mesa, from Little Horse Mesa in Sugarite Canyon State Park.

Near Raton, New Mexico, a small, shabby town along I-25, a place where you can buy tobacco and school supplies on the same grocery aisle, lies Johnson Mesa. The mesa dominates the area to the east of Raton, near Sugarite State Park. NM Highway 72 clambers up the sides of it and cuts across. The world up here is different: rolling grassland with mountains in the distance and a wind that howls like someone looking for a lost soul. I’d be nervous to be on the mesa during a storm, but I am sure the show would be spectacular. Ever since we found this road years ago (at the time the mesa top was white with snow) I’ve wanted to take pictures up here.

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Johnson Mesa, Set 1: Hello

Farmers have eked out a living on the mesa since the 1880s, when coal miners and rail workers searching for a safer, more stable occupation settled the small town of Bell, which had some of the first telephone connections in New Mexico. That’s a bit ironic, considering how hard it is to get a cell signal anywhere around Raton. This plain, 2,000 feet above the valley floor, was once a place of relative hustle and bustle, with 5 schools and a post office. Life was difficult and the entire community was snowbound every winter. After World War I, Bell fizzled and the post office closed in 1933. A few families live here in the summer, but no one makes a habit of staying through the winter anymore.

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Johnson Mesa, Set 2: Barns

The old barns are magical, but the jewel is the Johnson Mesa Church. With pink pews and fake hydrangea blooms, the chapel has its share of the tacky and the provincial, but there is something more here, something enduring and reassuring. Maybe it’s hearing the mad roar of the wind outside or seeing bird’s nests solidly anchored under the eaves. Maybe it’s seeing an obviously beloved space exposed to the elements and to human experience, the door unlocked and the outhouses pristine. Perhaps these things help us feel the presence of a God too often obscured by modern noise. And if God is on the mesa, as lonely as it is, then God is in our world, sustaining and preserving and experiencing with us.

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Johnson Mesa, Set 3: Without

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Johnson Mesa, Set 4: Within

It’s been a hard summer for my family. Our home flooded for the second time this past April (we flooded previously in 2009) and my mother’s health has been terrible. Between working to get things in Houston stable and running up to Oklahoma City to help my mother, there hasn’t been a lot of time to listen or create. When I have tried to keep up with the world around me, I’ve been struck by the tragedies: Orlando, Nice, Turkey, and depressed by the incredible rudeness and lack of compassion in American politics. It is a difficult time, but Johnson Mesa tells me that something always survives, always endures. I needed to see that. Maybe you need to see it, too.

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Johnson Mesa, Set 5: Farewell

Peace,

kat

If you would like to see more photos, please check out my Flickr album. All images are licensed with Creative Commons Licenses, so you are free to download them and use them in any way that makes you happy, as long as you attribute the image to me.

Building Faerie Houses, Part Two: Faerie House Listing Gallery

Synkroniciti and FAE Realty present recently listed faerie houses, all built at our last synkroniciti gathering, In the Garden.

I hope you enjoy looking at them even a quarter as much as we enjoyed making them. My thanks to Kelly, Susan, Louis, André and Shanáy for their originality, creativity and friendship. I’ve enjoyed my stint as real estate editor over at FAE and hope the listings are all to your liking. Wink.

Listing One: Broken Pot House and Snail Guesthouse (Katherine)

These two low lying homes, designed to be perfect for small toads or frogs and stylish enough for fairies, nestle happily into the mulch. The main house is colorful, yet blends into the garden, while the guest house is a picturesque bungalow that would be a great fit for a single fairy. Style meets functionality beneath the crepe myrtle.

 

Listing Two: Pine Cone Garden Apartments for the Wee-est of the Wee (Susan)

Teeny folks will appreciate this lovely set of garden flats in a pine cone, artfully constructed for the artistic eye with a lovely view near the acanthus. Longing for the romance of Greece or the Mediterranean but don’t want to leave your tidy flat? This is your place.

 

Listing Three: Shell Basket House (André)

You’re not a sea fairy, but you’ve always wanted to live in your own sea shell. Now you can, as the rooms of Shell Basket House are just that. The arms of this house are flung out in celebration, imitating the upright attitude of the nearby calla lily. When the sun hits it just right the entire place has the feeling of an offering. Offering and celebration, not a bad way to see life, eh?

 

 Listing Four: Vine Gazebo (Kelly)

This delightfully crafted tall gazebo in our hottest neighborhood, between the elephant ear and the pink camellia, is a real stand out. Lounge in a romantic mood, as sun and shade drift by. The epitome of high flying garden elegance and airy sculptural form!

 

Listing Five: Yellow Cup House (Shanáy)

Just next door to Vine Gazebo is this gorgeous, evocative home for a big fairy family of sensitive taste. It recalls the essence of sea and forest, some of nature’s most holy places. At the same time, a variety of color, form and texture keeps the place from feeling too reverent. This is a place to make memories.

 

Listing Six: Feather Cup House (Susan)

This charming domicile is all about soft textures and luxury. For the sustainability conscious fairy, the feathers catch the morning dew and dry out nicely by mid-day. On the other side of the pink camellia from Yellow Cup House, it is a favorite with the local cat, a large half Maine Coon tabby named Yuri. The ideal resident is a cat whisperer and certainly should not be allergic. Fairies, if you would like a furry feline friend, look no further.

 

Listing Seven: Bark House (Louis)

Looking for your fairy dream palace? Near the ginger stalks and fern stands this stunning home made of bark and twine. Elegant and refined, it still looks completely natural on the wild side of the garden. Beautifully appointed and inviting, it’s already attracted attention from the creatures in the garden. CONTRACT PENDING

( Can you find our newest resident and happy customer? Bark House is Lizard approved.)

 

The process of making these Faerie houses was so much fun. We learned and were influenced by each other, and yet each piece has a completely different character and structure. As adults we don’t have enough creative playtime in our lives. Can’t wait to do it again sometime!

The Essence of Green: Thoughts and Pictures

Imagine for a moment a world without the color green.  What a sad place! What does green mean to us?

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#1 Bleached

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#2 Stolen

The modern English word green is derived from the same Germanic root as the words grass and grow. No color is more tied to nature or life itself. Spring is the season when the world seems to exult in viridescence, as chlorophyll surges to convert increased sunlight into growth. Green is connected not only to sunlight, but to water, which lies in droplets upon leaves and is processed by hidden roots into verdant foliage and colorful blossoms. Other colors may crown plants, but green predominates the landscape. Lizards, insects and other animals camouflage their bodies into this varied and brilliant green canvas of life.

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#3 Sacred

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#4 Grail

We humans, who are not by nature green things, are drawn to green. Emerald, jade, grasshopper, artichoke, asparagus, teal, olive, mint, avocado– so many shades. Not only do we love green and its promise of continuing life, we use it as a metaphor for aspects of the human condition. Youth, growth and fertility are counterbalanced by death, jealousy and sickness. Thus green reminds us that there is no change without death, no growth devoid of failure. A naive person is green, like an unripe fruit. Green is also a color of safety, one that tells us when to move forward, and yet a color of risk. After all, it was in a garden gleaming with green that Eve was tempted.

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# 5 Pregnant

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#6 Tears

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#7 Tenacious

Science tells us that green is light with a wavelength of roughly 495–570 nm, the color lying between blue and yellow on the visible spectrum. But surely green is much more.

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#8 Promise

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#9 Abundant

Images by  Katherine McDaniel