Friday, April 29
Tuesday, April 26
Sunday, April 17
Friday, April 15
Sam, just hours after his spring, 2005 haircut
I thought I would post some photos of my trusty companion, Sam, who is 16 (human) years old this year (2005) That means he's over 100 in dog years. Definitely a senior, and a right spry senior at that. He still enjoys life, wags his tail, loves walks (although he seems to love the first half of the walk more than the second, going-home half...)
I am going to write some of his story here on my blog. I'll add to it as I have time. It's a remarkable story and Sam has been an incredible old friend for a long time. He's getting really old. We don't know how much longer he'll be with us. But... you never know with anybody, right? I mean, I could die tomorrow. Or tonight. So could he. So could any of us. Life is too precious to let it go by without expressing appreciation.
So here, I am expressing appreciation for a friend who has loved me -- loved Mickey, Gabe, Tim -- unconditionally. No matter what. He beams love to us. He also beams at us: "food, please, just a mere scrap of that thing you're eating."
It seems to me, people usually wait until someone dies to share their feelings about that person, or to share a tribute to that person. Why not do it while your loved ones are still alive?
It's like flowers ... why wait until a funeral to bring flowers? Bring flowers whenever you think about it! While your husband, wife, mother, sister, grandparent, friend .... are still alive, to enjoy the flowers. So, I'm writing this tribute (and it's a work in progress, mind you) about Sam while he's still quite alive -- and kickin.
Sam, on the day of his spring haircut.
He looks younger and older at the same time. Younger because he just isn't covered with all that shag ... and older because you can see how skinny he is and you can see all his lumps and bumps. Signs of age, I guess. sigh.
Sam likes to go with us on our pilgrimages to the river. Here he is with me, his favorite "alpha dog" a couple months ago. Late February, same hike below:
Why fight over the chair, they've just learned to share it.
to be continued......
Wednesday, April 13
I found this dandy little clip in Greenclips, an email subscription-based newsletter. You can subscribe to Greenclips here:
In a surprising twist on continuing education, residents of the Gowanus section of Brooklyn paid $20 to take Dumpster Diving 301, a course on fishing for free home-improvement materials—things like scratched doors and mismatched kitchen cupboards—from construction waste bins. Students in the seminar, sponsored by an "art combine" called the Madagascar Institute, where do-it-yourselfers trying to cut construction costs by sorting through nail- and-grime-ridden rejectamenta. Their leaders were two seasoned teachers, Omar Freilla and Maureen Flaherty. Like a lot of other Dumpster divers, Ms. Flaherty and Mr. Freilla—who said he and his wife plan to buy and restore a home in the South Bronx using found materials—practice the sport not only to conserve cash but also to decrease Earth-clogging waste. One of Ms. Flaherty’s biggest tips was to watch for building permits and construction-size dumpsters. Meanwhile, Build It Green! NYC, a 17,500-square-foot low-end ‘Lowe's,’ opened last month in Astoria, Queens, with stacks of reclaimed kitchen cabinets, mismatched doors and carefully mined wood molding, along with sinks, radiators, handrails— even a few new Andersen windows. -- 1st printed in The New York Times, 24 Mar 05, p. D10, by Carole Braden
Tuesday, April 5
More sketchbooks, these are from the Smithsonian Museum's Archives from an online exhibit called "Wish You Were Here: Artists on Vacation"
This one is a sketch of Venice by Hermaan Dudley Murphy -- someone I've never heard of until the moment I saw this equisite sketch at the Smithsonian site. I love the way only a small part of the sketch is finished with detail. Leaves enough to my eye/brain to fill in on their own.
And a few more sketches from the travel journal of Grace Albee.
Hannah Hinchman has kept a naturalist's journal for many years - she teaches workshops in how to "keep" a naturalist journal. I love this sketch -- it reminds me a little of my invented musical notation system. These are visual notations of bird songs.
Monday, April 4
Thinking about Lawrence Halprin and his 100 sketchbooks got me thinking about sketchbooks and journals in general ... and about the ones I've kept since I was 16. I wanted to find out how other artists and creative professionals have used sketchbooks and journals. The Smithsonian Museum has an online exhibit called Visual Thinking: Sketchbooks from the Archives of American Art. The collection is diverse and inspiring, with artists such as Oscar Bluemner, Rosina Emmet Sherwood, William Harnett,
For a more contemporary point of view on the value of keeping a visual journal, Larry Seiler has a demonstration/article on wetcanvas
Here is a set of sketches and doodles I have made over the years ... there is no rhyme or reason to the order of these drawings, nor to the choice of which ones to scan and post online. Just a random sampling. You can click the button to go directly to the slideshow:
Sunday, April 3
A discussion on Garden Web about water feature trends got me thinking what exactly is it that makes a well designed water feature?
I remember Lawrence Halprin from my days in landscape architecture school ... I was impressed by the 100’s of sketchbooks he had filled over the years. Of particular interest to me were his sketch studies of waterfalls, creeks, plunge pools, eddies and other water shapes in mountain creeks and rivers ... he spent countless hours studying the way water acts naturally so he could design the urban concrete fountains for which he is known. Some of my favorites are Lovejoy Plaza and the Ira Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon and Freeway Park in Seattle. In Washington DC, the FDR Memorial waterfalls are well used. You pretty much have to have studied the natural flow of water to make convincing monumental artificial falls like these, also at the FDR Memorial.
Halprin is by no means the only architect/landscape architect or designer noted for beautiful, appropriate and celebrated water features. But he is one who influenced me, influenced the way I design and the way I look to nature for guidance, for ideas, for inspiration.