Saturday, November 22, 2008

Arbor Day

Wiliwili, Erythrina sandwicensis
Arbor Day is a day to recognize and plant trees. Trees are the most massive, longest lived, and tallest organisms ever to inhabit earth. Trees support more communities of living things than any other organism on earth. Trees are our greatest natural resource. November is the month that we celebrate Arbor Day in Hawaii, usually the second saturday of the month.

The Maui Nui Botanical Gardens hosts the celebration on Maui and in honor of the event, give away many hundreds of trees. And these are not just trees, they are all indigenous, some endemic and endangered Hawaiian species that are rare and hard to find. 

A Celebration Of Tree Planters Around The World:
Arbor Day is also celebrated in other countries including Australia. Variations are celebrated as 'Greening Week' of Japan, 'The New Year's Days of Trees' in Israel, 'The Tree-loving Week' of Korea, 'The Reforestation Week' of Yugoslavia, 'The Students' Afforestation Day' of Iceland and 'The National Festival of Tree Planting' in India.
It seems that now, this time in our history, the world has a growing common concern; our environment. One of my favorite tree notations reguarding Wangari Maathai, known as the "Tree Woman" of Kenya, founder of the Green Belt Movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004, responsible for the planting of over 30 million trees,
“Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Original Oil crayon drawing on Rives BFK hotpress drawing paper 19" x 24"
This is one of a series of drawings that I did in the early '80's after reading newspaper articles concerning the tension in the middle east.

"All art can be placed somewhere along a political spectrum, supporting one set of class interests or another, actively or passively, at the very least supporting existing conditions by ignoring other possibilities, silence giving consent." M. Stevens

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Watercolor Drawings

Original watercolor drawing; part of a series of watercolor studies, I really enjoy doing figure drawings using a model.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Paper Samples

Beautiful papers made from various plants; hibiscus, philodendron and spider lily.

Papers from various plants grouped together. The light brown paper on top of the pile is a piece of tapa. Tapa is a polynesian word for bark cloth. Tapa is made from the inner bark of plants and trees. The inner bark is obtained by peeling off the outer bast or bark, soaking and pounding the fibers until the bark piece becomes very soft and the fibers have spread out to the desired size of cloth. Its very similar to making handmade papers except tht with tapa there is no cooking involved. For this little piece of tapa, I used the inner bark from a Ficus or Banyan tree and pounded the piece with a wooden meat tenderizer.

A very loose, lacy, fibrous brown paper made from the cooked and pounded leaf sheaths of a philodendron plant paired together with the soft, blotterlike white papers made from the inner bark of Hibiscus.

Useful Uses For Handmade Paper

The handmade papers on the left are folded into envelopes and used as very rustic stationary. The envelopes have two paper layers, the white paper for the base layer is made from the bast fibers or the stripped inner bark of hibiscus branches. Each branch is cut, peeled and cooked. Hibiscus paper is naturally very white and soft like cotton. The second layer of paper is made from a mixture of different plant fibers, the dominant brown flecks come from the shed leaf sheaths of a Monstera plant. The leaf sheaths are reddish to dark brown in color. The fibers are very coarse and really hard to break down. I love the effects from this plant, the papers have a really lacy look to them and are a great combination layered with papers made from softer, blotterlike fibers such as hibiscus.