my motto is put it in order

Those friends of mine who work with me weekly, in the glass studio, tease me mercilessly about my tendency to organize.  Today’s post sets the art standard for organizing.  I would be proud to be considered in Ursus’ company.

Ursus Werhlifrom The Art of Clean Up, book by Ursus Werhli, published by KEIN & ABER AG

Ursus Werhlifrom The Art of Clean Up, book by Ursus Werhli, published by KEIN & ABER AG

Ursus Werhlifrom The Art of Clean Up, book by Ursus Werhli, published by KEIN & ABER AG

Werhli is a Swiss artist and comedian. His upcoming book showcases the fine art of organizing. He should take my recent camping photos as a fine example of what you can organize in the wild.

Linda Oefflingfrom my camping trip, photos by Linda Oeffling

You think I’m kidding?  Just let me have the keys to cars in the parking lot …

Ursus Wehrlijust kidding . . . its Ursus again (The Art of Clean Up, published by KEIN & ABER AG)

You can find more of his books on Amazon, in a series called “Tidying Up Art”.    Visit the TED website to view the video, “Ursus Wehrli Tidies Up Art.”

green man

The green man has been dated all the way back to the second century.  He is a face. . .  made of leaves?  peering out from leaves?  imagined out of greenery?  He can be found on ancient memorials, temples, cathedrals, and tombs. Consensus seems to be that he is the symbol of the eternal cycle of nature.

Green Man-from the website English Folk Church

New designs for the Green Man abound even today. Here are a couple that caught my eye, with their intricate graphic quality and precision.  Q. Cassetti is an graphic designer living in New York.  She has a large body of work, and many awards to her credit.  See more of her work on her website:

Green Man 10, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkGreen Man 10, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink

Green Man14, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkGreen Man14, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink

A Riddle

I am born on May Morning – by sticks, bells, and ribbons I am the sap – in the dark root
I am the dancer – with his six fools
I am the tump – behind the old church
I am the lost soul – under the misericord
I am the oak – against the stars

I am the face – that peers through the leaves
I am the fear – in a child’ s mind
I am the demon – on the roof-boss

I am killed in October – and laid on church altars

I am the guiser – on the bright bonfire
I am the old grain – sown with the seed
I am the flame – in the pumpkin ‘ s grin
I am the spirit – in the kern-baby’s bosom

Phill Lister 1982, from English Folk Church

flower power

Take one colorful bloom, and expand into parts, and you have a powerful photograph with a very graphic quality.

Qi WeiGerbera Exploded #1, Qi Wei

The artist notes:

“…what is interesting to me is how much more expanded some flowers can get when they are disassembled – the relative surface area to size of a rose is so much greater compared to a larger flower like the sunflower.” -Qi Wei

Because he captures the image immediately after disassembling, the colors and textures are fresh.

Qi WeiChrysanthemum Exploded #1, Qi Wei

“Exploded Flowers” is just one series of photographs that Qi Wei exhibits on his blog. He also has a series titled “Inversion”.

Qi WeiInversion #01, Qi Wei

I love my computer and my Adobe graphic programs, so I do enjoy when artists employ computer arts to expand their craft. Photoshop offers a way to take photographs a step further, or sideways, or upside down. In Inversion #01, he took a long exposure at night, converted the image to black and white, and then inverted it in Photoshop.

sunny friday

Since I have returned from camping I just can’t seem to get into my regular pattern.  Isn’t that the way when you leave your normal routine?  Reality is always a slap in the face when you return.  I LOVE my reality, and I still feel that way.  So today’s post is really late – it is afternoon already. I have a lovely summer picture for you today.

Edward HopperThe Long Leg, Edward Hopper

There’s just something about it that is peaceful and lonely, and bittersweet, like the end of summer.  The colors are so smooth.  I want to be on that boat, leaning against the tilt and feeling the wind, hearing the rush of water as I skim over the rippled surface.

This painting belongs to the Huntington Library Art Collection, and it will become a new postage stamp on August 24.

Those familiar with classic art might know Edward Hopper for his famous painting, “Nighthawks”.

Edward HopperNighthawks, Edward Hopper

This was painted in 1942 and is part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. I remember it as one of the first paintings discussed in my freshman year of college art history class.

“The viewer, drawn to the light shining from the interior, is shut out from the scene by a seamless wedge of glass, a characteristic of Art Deco design. Hopper’s understanding of the expressive possibilities of light playing upon the simplified shapes gives the painting its beauty. Fluorescent lights had just come into use in the early 1940s, and the eerie glow flooding the dark street corner may be attributed to this innovation. The moody contrast of light against dark and the air of menace inside has been linked to film noir, a movement in American cinema that featured stories of urban crime and moral corruption.” – from the website,

moss and wood

I love to find other artists who like to make things using materials from nature.  Mr. Lentz makes some pretty unique creations, and has an interesting blog as well.

Mr. LentzNatural Weathered Wood and Moss Briefcase, Mr. Lentz

He lives in Colorado, and is a photographer as well as an artist and woodworker. He has an Etsy shop where his art can be viewed and purchased.

Mr. Lentz, pendantAll Natural Wood and Moss Necklace, Mr. Lentz

The moss used in his jewelry has been dried and preserved. The wood is stained with walnut husks – no toxins here, and it is such a beautiful finish. After staining, it is treated with flax seed oil to give it a subtle shine and pleasant smell.

Mr. Lentz, pendantsNatural Materials and Wood, Mr. Lentz

The first pendant is made of rooster feathers.  The second is elk hair.  I don’t so much love the hair thing, but I think maybe it would be cool to have one made with some of your horse’s mane or tail. Or some of your favorite pet’s fur?  I think I’ll have to put this artist on my list of favorites.

more shopping for artistic things

I found this business card in my stack of visited places & art shows.  If you go to the Of Nature Website, you can see the detailed, copper-clad little nature masterpieces.

ofnatureOak Leaf Pin, 2.25″ $48

Gordon JamesGinko Pendants, 1.25″ for $35

Gordon JamesFern Earrings, 1″ for $30

Each tiny work of art is an actual item from the woods, carefully preserved and coated in copper. A patina (chemical that reacts with copper to change color) is applied to the metal.   Patinas are hand mixed, then layered to achieve the desired result. Ofnature also has an Etsy shop, making it easy to purchase.

a little time in paradise

I recently spent some time up in Northern Wisconsin, taking kayak and tent to spend some time in a beautiful place. We have gotten pretty good at it — sleeping on an air mattress helps, as does the gourmet meals and regular trips to town for ice, wine, and ice cream.

french toastHot coffee, french toast, cherries cooked down with a little sweet wine

On this trip we saw deer coming to the lake to drink the cool, clear water,  as well as eagle parents and a juvenile who swooped overhead several times.  My camping companion saw otters clambering through the mud to feast on the plentiful fish. Unfortunately, I missed seeing that, being on another part of the lake.  We stalked the same place the rest of the trip, but did not see them again.

bald eagleBald Eagle.  Definitely need a better telephoto lens – they just would not let me get very close.

Of course, all of this is so inspirational to me, and creating something is always in my thoughts.  A typical day involved me puttering along the shoreline, collecting interesting pieces of driftwood.

driftwood on my kayakDriftwood collection and a stick (bark neatly chewed off by a beaver)

There are always a lot of downed birch trees in the woods.  Birch bark is invaluable for starting a campfire; it is always instant success.  I also have a project in mind, so spent some time stripping bark to take home and finding branches.  Of course, I would never damage a live tree for any of that – plenty of findings on the ground.

birch barkBirch bark and sticks

In the evening, we took the kayaks onto the lake to wait for the stars to peek out.  The loons called, with their eerie sound. A campfire or two twinkled in the distance, and we were lucky to have neighbors that loved the silence and natural sounds as much as we do (no radios to destroy the peace).

sunset on the lakeEvening falls on the lake

Now I have a new store of creative materials in stock.  I’ll have to get to work and make something so that others can bring a little piece of the north woods into their own home.