Thursday, April 24, 2008

April in England: 2

.....and now for some buds....

April in England: 1

"....And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf..." so wrote Robert Browning of April in England in his Home Thoughts from Abroad. Looking at those numerous "tiny" leaves these last few days it has been on my mind. Although he describes the Chaffinch singing on the orchard bough, on my recent walks I have found the melodious, lazy Blackbird's song and the laugh of the flight-dipping Green Woodpecker the most evocative.

I will divide this into two posts- first the leaves:

Monday, April 21, 2008

English Spring Woodland

My last post has possibly given a false impression of April in England- here the weather changes dramatically from day to day. Yesterday, walking in a wood near Bath, instead of snow the ground was sprinkled with white Wind Flowers (Wood Anemones) as well as Primroses, Celandines, Bluebells, Ground Ivy and Violets.

April: Oxford Road, San Marino CA & Oxford UK

Last week I returned to the UK for a period, according to the terms of my Visa, and last week I received emails with very different images of April both from California and Oxfordshire. The first photo was from Scott Smith of Kate Holt and me in the Huntington Botanical Gardens, Oxford Road, San Marino (see posts Huntington Gardens). The second email from UK Artist Helen Ganly showed evocative photos of a Winter Wonderland Oxfordshire- I start with flowers from my Huntington images and include some Malibu Lagoon yellow flowers:

Au revoir Santa Monica

Last week it was sad to leave Santa Monica and family and friends- and to leave the Ficus Trees still vulnerable although watched over by Treesavers. Today Treesavers meet with the Mayor and City Manager, hoping to reach some resolution. But what trust can you put in a City Council that allows their Receptionist to put an Attorney's Brief in the Trash Bin on a whim (see Treesavers Blogspot 3-29-08)? One feels this extraordinary behavior could only happen in an exaggerated comedy film- fact inevitably being stranger than fiction.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Huntington Botanical Gardens: 2

My second post for Huntington Gardens concerns the Bamboo groves on the way to the Japanese Gardens. As a child I was excited by what appeared to be a bamboo forest by a magical pond- full of bulrushes, dragonflies and tadpoles- which was at the bottom of my paternal Grandparent's garden. Bamboos may not be trees but the similarity to Palm trees in the Huntington was remarkable- as was the patterns they made. I will head the images with a Palm tree:

Huntington Botanical Gardens

Huntington Botanical Gardens: 1

Yesterday I was visually and physically refreshed and stimulated by a visit to Huntington Botanical Gardens with photographer Scott Smith and writer Kate Holt.

I will divide this into two posts. First, the Desert Gardens, always full of surprizes:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Tree Light Boxes

On several occasions I have mentioned the Light Boxes of Santa Monican trees that I am making. As I am still developing them, I have hesitated to do a post. However, as people keep asking me questions about them, here is an explanation:

They are semi-sculptural, the trees being modelled in light-relief, a mold made and that in turn cast into. This "tool" is then vacuum formed in a translucent acrylic which is finally back-lit, being set in a box containing either florescent lamps or LED'S. Some - for instance, the Jacaranda and Green Gem- are then treated with recycled glass to give color and texture whereas others have the addition of heat-molded colored acrylic, as in the flowers of the Silk Floss tree.

From the top: 1. Jacaranda, 2. Silk Floss, 3. detail Silk Floss Flower, 4. Green Gem (Ficus), 5. Green Gem clay model, 6. Green Gem rubber mold, 7. Green Gem "tool", 8. Bus Stop Palms, 9. detail Bus Stop Palms.