In the spirit of iconic “HOPE” poster of President-Elect Obama by graphic artist Shepard Fairey, here’s a clever site where you can instantly upload any photo and create your very own Obamicon. I used a photo from our back yard — but it’s even better with image of spouses, grandbabies and pets. ObamiconMe.com is sponsored by the wonderful illustration and graphic design publication, Paste Magazine.
Congratulations to Joy in Ontario, selected by random.org to be the winner of the Be Yourself print! And thanks to everyone who left a comment — it’s been very inspiring to read other gardeners’ plans for the new year. I will have another giveaway next month.
Waverly Fitzgerald at the wonderfully esoteric School of the Seasons believes that January is “a blank month, best spent dreaming about what you want to do during the next year.”
I’d like to believe that’s the reason my brain is so sluggish today, dragging out even simple art assignments… like the lab pup character design (above) that would normally take up only an hour or two. Instead, it has taken most of the day to get paws and ears to come out right, tails to curve properly and faces to express that happy-go-lucky lab puppy smile.
But I can’t blame January. It’s actually more likely that the slow-as-sorghum trickle of my creative juices is the result of our relentlessly muggy weather. The thermometer on our back fence has been stuck in the mid 70s for more than a week now, a fact I try not to mention to our shivering friends up north. But the unseasonably balmy weather, almost 20 degrees above average, is causing its own problems in the garden.
Utterly confused, the entire broccoli crop burst into bloom overnight and was lost. We salvaged 10 heads, but the flavor and texture is poor. I replanted a third of the patch (18 transplants) but another mass of warm Gulf air came ashore and they are showing signs of bolting, too. The lettuce rapidly gave up the ghost, convinced that May was here.
The forecast is for cooler temperatures by early next week, so I’ll compost all the casualties and sow an interim crop of spinach and peas. Meanwhile, we’re getting ready to start some flats of herbs and heirloom vegetables for spring planting and the downtown Growers’ Market. The Perfect Man has been rising early to garden before work, mulching around his fruit trees and digging a new bed for his growing collection of bulbs. Garden life marches on.
She’s acrylic on black illustration board — something fun to paint on a rainy night. The black background is interesting, because you simply leave it showing where you want to have dark outlines (the lettering, for example) and the result is a rich, velvety matte black underlying all the bright colors.
Hector & Persephone never expected to find true love in the catnip patch.
I love painting on the backs of old postcards. It’s fun working in a cozy 4×6-inch window, with old stamps and handwritten messages peeking through the color.
This week, I’ll be working on art for my Holiday Open Studio.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the first of the fall garden broccoli matured. Nothing tastes better than tender, steamed broccoli carried straight from the garden to the stove. The Perfect Man drizzled a bit of lemon butter over the top — ahhhh. Heaven! Next week, the first round of cabbage will be ready. And the kale, sweetened by last week’s freeze, is growing faster than ever. Alas, a couple of 80-degree days last week caused the lettuces to bolt. (If at first you don’t succeed… plant, plant again.) And our cauliflower seems to be sulking, all leaves and no tasty center, while its neighboring veggies are happily producing abundant winter fare. Every gardening season has its little mysteries.
Dear Illustrated Garden readers,
Wishing you peace, here’s my Holiday Print for 2008. She’s painted in watercolor and gouache, and will arrive nicely matted and backed with acid-free museum stock. This is an annual edition of 100, and each piece is numbered, signed and also bears a remarque (a tiny just-for-you original sketch, drawn on the print next to the signature). Matted dimensions are 10×12 inches.
In thanks for a year of friendship and good gardening advice, I’m making my holiday print available to my blog readers for $20 + $3 postage. (International postage will be based on location.) Let me know if you would like a special message added with your remarque.
To request a print, email me: email@example.com
There was a wonderful surprise in my email inbox last night: a message from amazing Chicago artist Anne Leuck Feldhaus. No one on the planet paints a dog quite the way Anne does. Her vividly colored canines leap and fly across the canvas, a kaleidoscope of paws and ears and wagging tails. I dare you to look at her artwork without smiling.
Not long ago, Anne asked for feedback on her web site. She entered all the commenters in a give-away drawing for a signed black poodle print, and to my delight (it’s a beautiful print) and complete amazement (I never win ANYTHING) my comment won. Thank you, Anne!
Now I’m inspired to have my own give-away. Here’s the deal:
1. Leave a comment at the end of this post. (If you have a favorite garden-related book to recommend, I’d love to know about it.)
2. One week from today, on Nov. 21, I’ll use random.org to select the winner.
3. The give-away goodies include The 20-Minute Gardener by Tom Christopher and Marty Asher; a Garden Days Journal by Karen Strohbeen and Bill Luchsinger; and a handbound blank book I made. (It has cream-colored writing paper inside, and is covered in fabric purchased several years ago in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I have written and drawn some inspirations on one page of the blank book … and to round out the whole package, I’m also including a raku kitty cat ornament from the clay studio.)