Wednesday, September 25, 2013

parking day with unm

UNM Landscape architecture students made a park outside of CityLab along. It was a beautiful day, plenty of sun, flower seeds and seed bombs making there way into the city.

See more about parking day here.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

desert bound

I'm sitting in the emptiness of my studio apartment, packing up some drawings for an exhibition in September. It was such an amazing space to live in for almost 3 years. Drafting table as the central axis. So many thought streams of work came together in this space.

I'll be living in Albuquerque for a couple of years because I am starting a masters of landscape architecture. I don't know what to expect, but I do know that I am looking forward to a ton of drawing, research and time in the desert. I hope to post some thoughts and drawings from my sketchbooks and personal studio work.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer project thing two: Murals

Theme: Botanical: We will be using tree shadows and plants that grow on the site as a starting point in this multi faceted project. I prefer to make murals that are abstract in nature, less directly representational.  We will look at and discuss interpretive and scientific ways of drawing plants. If you have any suggestions or links, I'd love to hear about them in the comment section.

I am looking at fibinacci sequence as a way to spiral students and neighbors through the passages. That led to a ton of other mathematical research such as fractels and Mandelbrot sets. Not sure if I can or should insert that imagery, but it is stunning.

I'm also looking at the cellular structure of plants, I remember being blown away in a Botany class by the beauty and abstract qualities of the cross sectional slides. I'm going to try to gather some commonly known plants, like sunflowers, mint, corn and maple trees to use as layers or components of the spiral.

I also just went to an amazing exhibit at the American Philisophical Society, "Through the Looking Lens" on Cornelius Varley, he was an artist who made drawings and water colors of cross sections of plants. His color palate is definitely going to inform the choices that I make on site. I've always loved old hand drawn maps and botanical studies are becoming a close second. The second botanist that I am researching  is William Bartram,  we will go to the gardens at least once as a group. Here is some of the source imagery that I am looking at so far. Links will follow at the end.

Cornelius Varley

Mandelbrot Set

fibonacci Sequence

Bass wood Rings

Zea Maize (corn) root cross section

Architectural rendering by Henaghen Peng for the VA Museum

My chief collaborator is Kaitlin Pomerantz, who has been doing some great projects with "weed"/wild plant identification in Philadelphia.

we the weeds

I start in one week, I know that I have 2 walls, (actually one building, a childcare center) and one smallish wall 9'high by 16' long. I will be working with a highschool team to create some of the imagery and to execute the murals. 
It's always a wild ride, stay tuned...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Project: Thing One

There is a new Restored Spaces project starting at Shoemaker Mastery Charter School in West Philadelphia. I will act as the consultant on the art making concept, and do a quick summer project from July 1- July 19th.

You can learn more about the Restored Spaces initiative by following the link below. Many of my previous projects are documented there.

 Restored Spaces at Mural Arts

We partner with various city and national entities to promote environmental awareness and promote the interface of visual art with natural systems. In this case the plant life that is embedded into the streets and marginal places, and a new planting that will be bases on stories that we hope to collect from the elders in this community. Every culture has folkloric and medicinal uses for wild plants and herbs. We hope to add them into a mixed perreniel bed.

The other plants that we are researching are for pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, so we expect to use butterfly bushes, grasses, yarrow, mint, lavender, milkweed etc.

My hope for the garden is that it softens a 4 foot high berm around the school entrance, and becomes the seismic record of breezes, sunlight and shadow and seasonal changes.

View of School with mature trees and berm

The stone wall is about four feet high- imagine nasturtiums and grasses spilling over the edge.

Here are some source images:

Designing With Grasses: Neil Lucas

miscanthus in winter

Piet Oudolf

We have plans for 3 12 foot long x 2 foot deep beds. 

Here are some of the places that I have been for inspiration:

Friday, June 7, 2013

the discipline of presence

" I love all men who dive", wrote Herman Melville to a friend. "Any fish can swim near the surface but it takes a great whale to go down stairs five miles or more; and if he don't attain the bottom, why all the lead in Galena can't fashion a plummet that will."

My friend and fellow artist Tim Hawkesworth quotes this in the beginning of one of his morning talks, before we head to our studios for a day of immersive drawing, painting, or hanging around looking at things.

I'm going through boxes that I never fully unpacked here, getting ready for another move. I have notebooks that date back to the mid 90's - at the beginning of the dive into an artist's life. I think I have been writing the same thing in notebook after notebook. It's kind of rediculous and comforting. So many lists, so many things that I can never undo.

The further I get into it, the deeper I go, the stronger the sense of urgency. To have and cultivate a kind and curious and disciplined life of paying attention, of being present.  And then this, this morning, on my facebook feed.

How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Presence Over Productivity

"There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life. A day that closely resembles every other day of the past ten or twenty years does not suggest itself as a good one. But who would not call Pasteur’s life a good one, or Thomas Mann’s?" Annie Dillard The Writing Life.

Monday, January 28, 2013


can never keep up with the thought stream, but I like to see what emmerges. I love this space so much- the silence. hear and here. I hope I can be in the desert next year. This is place is pretty dark, I only get early morning light, and then tree diffused light the rest of the day. Dappled, cast green. I love the way that light spills under the edges of the curtains and all of my books piled up around me. So lovely. More drawings are under way.

"Sol did not in my experience collaborate on his ideas. Those were private considerations. As generous and collaborative as Sol was, he was also extremely private, internal, and silent. No small talk. This combination of disciplined internal creativity and enormous generosity of spirit is the the Sol Lewitt that I know."
C Venezia


from a notebook 2012

Monday, January 21, 2013


Five years ago I was in Mesa Verde in the snow. I'm still making drawings from the ideas that emerged from that time. The west is hard wired into me. I am in a period of working, drawing, and staying still. It's getting to me.  The winter stillness has not been peaceful. I need to protect and cultivate my solitary studio time. Everything feels stuck and uninspired, but I have to keep coaxing it anyway. Teasing it out- lowering the standards right? I hate that feeling. 

Monday, January 7, 2013


I have this idea that if I could just do the basic things everyday, that I would feel like less of a failure. It's a fallacy. I think the idea of failure or success has more to do with mood, or expectations. I know even on the weeks and months when I am in a groove, then the failure becomes less about getting there, and more about what happens in the practice, (take your pick.)

But... fear of failure or dread of failure does seem to be a constant companion. It starts and stops the most amazing things. It's just fear though, no need to make such a big deal about it. It's real, it's there, it's not going anywhere.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

don't be careful

Happy 2013!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

please join us

Design Philadelphia is an annual event that celebrates the work of designers and fine artists that live and work in Philadelphia. I have participated in past years with an installation at Artemide Lighting in Old City , and with my tyler foundations class pop up drawing event at the Welcome House project by Marianne Bernstein.

 This year, I invited 3 artists to join me in a panel discussion and conversation. 

Friday October 12
6:30 reception
7-9 discussion
Thinking in Space: Thinking In Form

Crane Arts Old School White Space
1417  North 2nd Street.
Philadelphia Pa 19122
The places that we carry inform the way that we approach our work and site responses- from visualizing a place where sculptures either disrupt or enhance the atmosphere, to creating a space that is compelling. This session will explore how art and design alters the perception of space- both inside and out. Philadelphia based artists and landscape architects will share projects and discuss inspiration and approaches to an engaged studio practice. 
Participants: Artists Beverly Fisher, Eve Mosher and Jury Smith, Landscape Architect Sara Pevaroff Schuh.

I have been so inspired by the many conversations I have had over the years with artists and designers about the nature of work, the projects that stay with them, or the ones that got away. I wanted to open it up a little more, and share that conversation with my friends, students and peers. Please join us.

thinking in space: thinking in form