Finca La Isla Botanical Gardens

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A highlight of our trip to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica was visiting a working tropical farm in the jungle. Here a father and son raise pepper, cacao, tropical fruits, and ornamental plants. We had a lesson and tasting of local fruits and learned how chocolate is made.

Continue reading “Finca La Isla Botanical Gardens”

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Forest books mushroom

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Image @ T. Folkerts

Instead of going into landfill, why not take once loved books and make them into walls?
The decaying pages make homes for mushrooms and insects and moss. Who knows, maybe mice and birds may enjoy the material too. Read more about this art installation by clicking here.

Ordinariness

Spent the day turning the soil and adding compost after finding the last few hidden potato jewels, bathed away the sweat and dirt, and put the used art materials from yesterday’s creating back into their places. Dinner was left over sausage pasta made crunchy by oven reheating. A mystery movie and a quick beginning reading of “Buddha in the Attic” before a sinking into a cozy bed. It’s been a precious day of small joys strung together to make a necklace of summer memories.

Bees keep us alive

 

I’ve chosen to focus on bees in the piece on transformation for my art for the Coastside Drs Without Borders Art Auction. Here’s my in-progress piece – encaustic flora seed raviolis for bees!

The below film was instrumental in me making that decision.

My kind of shows at Palo Alto Art Center

I just saw a most inspiring and innovative group of shows at the Palo Alto Art Center. They are having their Winter 2011 Exhibitions: Patrick Doughtery, a site specific installation; the Nature of Entanglements; and Architecture of Memory, Mildred Howard. I have to say I loved all three of them. If you have seen my art, you know I have an affinity for installation and organic materials and found objects. There is plenty of that here!

The Nature of Entanglements mixes an artist group show with basket and nest artifacts. I really enjoyed that tie in – the historic, cultural, and naturally created functional work with the artists’ interpretation of ‘entanglement’ through painting, drawing, and installation.

Mildred Howard’s constructions using different kinds and colors of bottles were beautiful and strange. For inspiration she tapped into ancient West African and Black Atlantic Southern bottle houses and their spiritual protection. It brought to mind a full size greenhouse made out of large pickle jars I saw during my travels to the Czech Republic.

And lastly, Patrick Doughtery has to be one of my heroes! His whimsical, alive feeling installations just delighted me, as well as the mother and son who ran around throughout the piece with me. He even used willow from Pescadero, near where I live. Go to the Palo Alto Art Center to experience it for yourself! I’ve included a video for your enjoyment.

Incredible live bridges of India

It is estimated that planning for these bridges took 10-15 years in many cases, and because they grown out of living tree roots, they are considered the most sustainable foot bridges in the world.

These structures are extremely robust, reach up to 100 feet in length and date back more than five centuries.

Read more about it here.

Elder earth art mandalas in Half Moon Bay

I recently taught an Earth Art class at the Coastsiders Senior Center on Half Moon Bay. We had a brief talk about Andy Goldsworthy and mandala symbolisn. The elders had bunches of material to work: stones, flower petals, leaves, sticks, and more. Most of the materials were gathered during a walk and some donated by a flower shop in town.

We had an “instant art show” at the Senior luncheon for the enjoyment of the diners.

Another person’s trash, my treasure

This assemblage artist dream is to come across a load of beautiful burgundy plum branches on their way to the dump. For some reason, just like last year, I ended up at Aleana Jean’s gardening shop after her dad has pruned their trees. They gladly let me take some trimmings off their hands and promised to call me when Jerry gets out the shears to do the next tree!

So what am I going to do with these you may ask? Hmmm, not sure, the sky’s the limit!