I am a recent fan of Tina Mammoser. I find her artwork atmospheric and meditative, especially her coastal paintings. The play of light, shadow and color in her work is fabulous. Her background is interesting and she has discovered a way of melding all her loves (the coast/geology, bicycling, painting) into what makes up her life as an artist. I will definitely be purchasing one of her books - and someday would love to own an original painting.
One thing which was confirmed over and over again while I was in London, is that I love, love installations, temporary or permanent.
I love the creative potential of materials, the use of space, light and color...how forms and arrangements can create otherworldly experiences.
Here is one I recently came across which I want to experience in person. Just look at the expression on the faces of the individuals who participate. Those looks of wonderment and curiosity are why I do what I do - and why I want to design and build installations.
My goal as a landscape designer has always been to give a person an unique and memorable experience. One that suspends time, suspends thoughts; that when you are there, you couldn't be anywhere else.
I have been planning and sketching during these past several months about how to incorporate installations into my life as a designer and will hopefully be starting on some of my ideas next month. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
I thought I should at least get one blog post in during September.
I returned from London on September 10th....20 days ago. Since then there's been a lot of sorting out - some physical, but mostly mental and emotional.
Nothing about my future is defined yet, but I am sketching out several ideas and options.
For now I am in Utah enjoying nature, becoming reacquainted with family and friends, and exploring potential design commissions.
There's something about this time of year that makes me want to harvest summer squash and zucchini from the garden and prepare it for dinner tonight. It's my childhood again, peeking up over the counter looking at me. Growing up, summertime dinners mostly came from the garden, and I am grateful my parents instilled in me the blessings of planting, tending, and harvesting from your own soil each season. It makes one conscious of time, nature, and the value of life, work, and sharing.
I have loved this video since it came out three years back and re-watched it again a few weeks ago. I still love it. The husband-wife team, Tiger in a Jar, does some fabulous work.
There are several makers and designers I follow on Instagram whose work I absolutely admire. As I was reading one of their blogs I came across a set of four questions that are being passed around their network of creatives. Normally you are invited to answer these four questions by one of your peers, but seeing how I will probably not be invited anytime soon, I thought I would ask myself. And it's not because I think I have amazing answers or anything, but rather, I want to discover for myself, what my answers are.
What am I working on?
Currently I am preparing a Master Plan for my friends in Shropshire. If you have been following me you know this was for my final project at school, but now I need to get the design client-ready which entails lots of writing and some rendering.
I am also working on a Q&A for my Lorien Hall website. As a landscape and garden designer I get asked the same questions over and over so this is my way of presenting my answers to the masses. By going through these questions it is also helping me refine and define my business plan and set goals for the future.
In my loose hours I have been doing some exploratory writing, charting, and planning for future projects that are all about collaboration and creativity, but not about landscape design. I am extremely excited about the prospects.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a great question. What is it that sets me and my work apart. I think I spend more time on site than many other landscape designers. I won't work on a project unless I can see the ground - so if I am working in Utah and it's freezing and covered by snow, I will wait until spring before starting any new projects. I spend a lot of time on-site prior to designing and I try to be on-site during the initial concept stage. And the more I can be on-site during installation the better. I am present as much as possible because I think in the end, it makes a massive difference.
Also - I do most of my work by hand rather than using a computer. I think the medium you design with will directly and strongly influence the outcome of the design and for that reason, I stick to my pencils and markers so that I don't become too mechanical and limited in my expression. I am thinking of moving into watercolour for my medium.
Why do I create what I do?
I love nature.
I love design.
I love imagination.
I love contributing to other people's happiness.
Being a landscape and garden design allows me to be absorbed by all four.
How does my creative process work?
As stated above, I spend a lot of time on-site. To me, this is a very important part of my creative process. Having just finished a year at the Inchbald I am exciting to see how my creative process has evolved and changed. Once I start back designing in my own studio I envision utilizing more sketches, mood boards, models, playfulness, and as always, lots of day-dreaming.
When I was a young girl we had a large hillside behind our house which was covered in tall wheat-like grass. Here we could run, hide and explore. At the top of that hill was a very large and open field (an old buried dump site we could sometimes find treasures in) and if you walked far enough south you came to a lone cherry tree from an old orchard that provided us with sweet eats in the summer months. To the back side of our house there was a gully which we called The Back Fence - a city-owned easement completely full of palm trees. Of course, being in Utah - they were not palm trees at all. But to me they were and I had a jungle to play in everyday. Monkeys lived in the trees. But of course, they didn't really.
I had terrible allergies growing up - and everything outside our back door made my eyes go red, puff up, and itch like mad. My throat would swell up and be scratchy and my nose ran badly. But I didn't care. I went out anyway. There were too many lives to live - too many worlds to explore.
In The Fields there were a few large tangles of barbed wire piled into a mess - must have been left over from the dumping grounds. There was a particular one - our favourite one - which we dubbed as Big Mouth because there was a large piece we could pull up like an upper lip then crawl into the space behind as we stepped over the lower lip. We would hide inside this mess of pokey wire to feel protected and enclosed - somehow we never came out bleeding.
The two main trails leading from the base of the hill to the top had names. The dominant sweeping half-circular trail was the Jolly Roger. The one further north was the Spanish Main.
Off the Spanish Main was The Time Machine - a large old log pointing downhill with a wide enough girth to hold three, maybe four of us. We spent many hours playing on this old tree trunk, gripping the worn down branch stubs, and riding the waves of wheat as the wind moved across the fair fields. Right next to the Time Machine was The Quarry. Here the hillside indented and was filled with a massive pile of rocks which hid old glass bottles. We found some neat items in those rocks. And some neat rocks.
Spring was signaled by the first sprouts of green at the base of the hill and on those lion-lamb days we flew kites on the crest. Summer was full-throttle expeditions hoping that dinner was delayed just a little bit longer, and that we could retreat to our imaginary worlds afterwards until dark. As we moved into Fall it was transformative to watch the mass of golden wheat heads move rhythmically in the wind before the white flakes of Winter fell - matting down the golden shafts and providing the best sledding hill we could have asked for. Sometimes tunnels were built.
There was no fence or barrier between the boundary of my parents property and these other worlds where my younger siblings and I played in most days. And though we definitely grew up in suburbia Utah - and had all the benefits of a friendly butter-and-sugar-borrowing neighborhood where riding bicycles around the block was also a constant - we also had this incredible connection to a non-structured space and time where we could play out our imaginations. Nothing was as it was. Even our days spent on the swing set wasn't that - it was a large ship! Jumping on the trampoline was anything but jumping on the trampoline. Instead there were waterfalls and pools made out of crystals with greenery in luscious abundance. We were creative - we used our imaginations - anything was possible. We pushed "reality" away and created our own.
Now, as I develop and explore my identity as a landscape and garden designer - I draw from my precious childhood memories to understand who I am, where I come from and where and how I "became". I love and hold dear the spaces that we defined, that in turn - defined us. There was such freedom in those days.
I want to capture and create this freedom and looseness in my designs. Less formal hedges, more loose grass. Less manicured lawn, more dirt to make mud pies and watering holes with. Less "don't you dare pick the flowers", more handpicked bouquets for the dinner table or for mom on Mother's Day (even if they are weeds). Less boundaries, more exploration.
Do we allow ourselves to have enough unstructured hours in our weeks and months? Do we play enough? And not just our children, but we ourselves? I believe that our gardens and landscapes can pull this out of us if we let them be a bit "unstructured" as well.
Now the hillside of tall grass is gone including Big Mouth, many trees have been taken out of the Back Fence and there is a fence on the boundary line. The Time Machine was hauled off, The Jolly Roger and The Spanish Main plowed over. On the top of the hill are condominiums filled with people who will never know what worlds they are built on. But we still remember.
It's where we played. It's where we became.
And that will never leave us.
Since last September, the potential use of Light and Shadow in my design work has been a constant in my thoughts. This women captures the simple beauty of these elements so elegantly.
I am enchanted.
And not to mention that each tool she uses is an amazing piece of art in and of itself. (Now you'll watch it again just to pay attention!) I love Japanese tools.
My first acquaintance with the inspiring Peak District. I'm especially loving the Heather.
I have had these images floating around on my macbook screen for months now. Time to post them so I can clean up my desktop!
I fell in love with these images during D3, the third design of the school year. My project was based on the concept of a kaleidoscope and I used a lot of colored glass in my project so I was soaking up anything that had to do with color and glass.
The light, color, reflection and simple shapes which defines this installation (for a car commercial) is, to me, brilliant. And the location looks like it might have well been in my home state of Utah! This particular natural landscape combined with the man-made art pieces compliment each other to reveal awesome in the purest form of the word.
: the guiding beliefs of a person, group, or organization
Full Definition of ETHOS
: the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution
the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations.
synonyms: spirit, character, atmosphere, climate, prevailing tendency, mood, feeling, temper, tenor, flavour, essence, quintessence
As the school year comes to a close, I have been updating all of my social media sites/bios/profiles/etc. to reflect where I am at in life. Inchbald is slowly moving into the archives while new adventures await me and challenge my curiosity.
Part of this updating-my-life is writing a new statement on my Profile Page on lorienhall.com. I have been doing some mental note taking these past several days as to what I want to say about who I am and what I believe as a landscape and garden design. What is my ethos?
A few key points come to mind as I have thought through this - I highly value raw nature - I want to work on projects connected to raw nature. And with interesting architecture. I value quality design, quality project management and quality materials. It doesn't need to be luxury, but well thought-out. I enjoy wonder and originality, while still feeling grounded and sensible. I want to be a part of a team that will do the job right, do the job justice and in doing so everyone involved feels a sense of accomplishment and pride.
I want to work on projects and with clients who allow me to be a creative and work through the creative process properly...lots of time on site for understanding, time back in the studio/workshop building scratch models, exploring with materials and testing out ideas.
In effect, I want to be a part of something bigger than myself - something that will make an important difference to the lives of my clients and the lives of everyone I work with.
And to my own life as well.
I don't know if I fit that all in, or any of it in for that matter in my new Profile - but this is what it now says:
What do you think? Maybe I should just copy and paste what I wrote in this post and use that instead! Ha. To see the profile in context, go to lorienhall.com and click on "profile" under the "info" tab.
Middle of July and we all wish we were heading to the pool.
Architectural Digest just came out with a slideshow of 15 amazing pools around the world. The ads are super annoying though - so I will just share some of my tops!
The common threads that runs through these destinations are their incredible connection to raw nature - as well as their impeccable design and excellent execution in installation. All three elements I appreciate in any project, luxury or not.
First, a huge shout out to my home state of Utah! I will see you in a few months! (Though probably not this place.)
I love blue on blue when it comes to pools visually merging into the ocean.
Anyone who has kept track of luxury resorts has seen these pools - a favourite one to publish!
It's as if the ocean has receded, leaving this pool of water behind...
Those desert sands as a backdrop makes my jaw drop.
There are a few other really great ones! Then some...that aren't so much, for me anyway. Here's a link to the feature if you want to see the rest...and endure all the advertising noise around it...
A lot of people are asking me when am I going to be back in town.
Mid-September is the answer!
And whether it's for a short visit, or a permanent stay...can't say quite yet.
The future is wide open.
It's been a week since the final exhibition and in a few days it will have been a week since graduation! I can't believe it's all come to a close. Well, for the most part anyway - I am actually at the school this week finalizing the master plan for my final project. As I was behind schedule going into final exhibition prep I wasn't able to complete a deliverable drawing for my clients in time. At first, it was kind of anti-climactic going back to studio after graduation, and last Friday I was tired and a bit frustrated about it - but this week I am much more positive and am excited to have the mental and physical space to wrap this up. Today was productive and enjoyable. I also feel a sense of freedom about the project and my time, which is nice.
Below are some pictures from last week - another post will be coming later in the week which explains my final exhibition in more detail with some decent photos attached.
This is a picture my friend, Aleja, took of my overall exhibition. More to come on this later.
Me in front of my exhibition soon after it was up! At this point in the day - I was still a little stressed - or a lot. :) I assembled my display just in time - then ran into the dressing room to change into my dress and put some make-up on.
Soon after I came out into the hall the family who owns the site I designed for my final project and the year-end exhibition showed up! It was the first time they had seen any of my ideas and they loved everything! Which relieved a lot of my stress and set the tone for the rest of the day. Here I am showing Lucy some pieces of trace paper which visually explain the design process I went through to reach the final stage. Several people loved these little trace-paper booklets. Good thing I kept all of those "scraps."
At 18.00 I changed into my evening attire and fixed my hair and makeup. From 18.30 until 21.00 we had the 'private viewing' where we could each invite two guests. The room was also full of professionals in our field who could be promising contacts for employment, with judges laced throughout...awards would be presented to students on graduation Wednesday. There was also light food and drinks! I really enjoyed this part of the day even though I had been on my feet for most if it. My energy was renewed while explaining my design to those who would listen.
The night before graduation (Tuesday night) Keanan messaged me to see if I was at home. It was just after midnight - yes I am home. I am in bed. He said he had to see me - life or death and that he was on his way! I had no idea what was going on and my imagination started running wild with what could have happened to him. I was so nervous! When I met him out on Shaftesbury Avenue at about 12:30 I was greeted with this! A big, beautiful bouquet of flowers from my family! This right here was when I felt the happiest last week. It was so unexpected and wonderful! I love my family and wish they could have been here with me.
Graduation Day: I barely made it in time! I was one lucky girl as the bus I had to catch was pulling up just as I exited my building.
Graduation was nice. It was fun to see classmates win the well-deserved awards and listen to Sarah represent the group through her enjoyable speech. I was very pleased and honored to have won the Society of Garden Designer's Award. The book "Led By The Land | Landscapes by Kim Wilkie" is what is wrapped in that green paper. I am looking quite tired at this point!
You may notice the white little rectangles along my shins....
...I glued each of the names of my family members to my legs so they could walk the stage with me! I couldn't have done it without their support. I also had an "Aunts and Uncles", "Cousins" and "GFM Supporters" tags. I am extremely grateful for everyone who helped me get here! It wasn't easy, but worth all the effort.
Since these days I have been quite checked out and exhausted while processing and recovering. I did take Saturday to help my dear friend, Rosie, put together a Mad Hatter costume which was great fun (finally focusing on someone other than myself!). Then we met up with my other dear friend, Madeline, to have a celebratory dinner at my favourite restaurant, Granger and Co.
There is so much to celebrate.
This entire year at the Inchbald has been so challenging, and so rewarding, both professionally and personally. I had several wonderful victories and also many melt-downs, at least one per project (sometimes they were pretty bad), except for maybe D5 and D6! I did try to keep all tears out of the studio...which I think I achieved, but sometimes they came right after I left the building. This past month I especially haven't felt like myself (or my best self) and apologies to any classmates/tutors who had to witness my unpleasantries. I can become quiet, stubborn and moody - and sometimes a fatalist. But there were also a lot of great times. Some good laughs and memories! I am truly grateful to all who helped me get through this last push, even the times I didn't seem too grateful. I learned something positive to take with me into my future from everyone at the school. They have all made me a better designer, and more importantly, a better person.
Here are the shout-outs to some key people during my year at the Inchbald:
Andrew: A massive thank you to an excellent man who pushed and encouraged me to go beyond and break through my boundaries. I know I still have a ways to go and some more "breaking" to do, but your guidance has been crucial in my development as a designer. I am very blessed to have had you as a mentor and teacher. And I think it would be totally cool to one day collaborate on installation art.
Marcus: I enjoyed exploring my ideas with this insightful and poetic teacher. PG discussions were a favourite part of the year and your questions made me think, analyze and question my own beliefs about design as it relates to gardens. Thanks for hailing a taxi for me on exhibition day.
Claire: Your smile and happiness are contagious! This Aussi always had great insight and feedback for my designs as I processed through them. I don't think I could ever get tired of Claire - she's one you would want on your design team.
David: David was a light bulb for me in my final weeks and helped me make several key break-throughs. Massive help! And thank you for trying to cheer me up and cheer me on when I was feeling despondent about my final exhibition.
Chloe: Not enough time with Chloe! To be taught by you was a complete thrill. To have you share the way you see and feel the world, time, and space was enlightening.
Jeremy: Can I stay past 5:00, please?? He was patient, kind, supportive and a real friend. Sorry I got you into trouble that one time you did let me stay. Long live Ireland!
Sharon: I wouldn't even have made it to the Inchbald if it weren't for Sharon. I had decided I wasn't going to go - then I got an email from you one December day checking up on me...and it got the ball rolling. Bless you, Sharon! Always a step ahead.
Pauline: I will miss your laugh! I once heard it while riding on the upper level of the bus (I didn't know we took the same bus at the time) and just knew it was you!
Robert: Your unconditional kindness and concern for your fellow-American always meant a lot to me! I appreciate our exploratory conversations, sharing of ideas and your ability to express your ideas. I always looked forward to your presentations of your work. I am a fan. Also - as I am still maturing, especially in attitude, you are a great one to look to.
Graham: I aspire to be as efficient and no-non-sense like Graham. I learned a lot about just-get-it-done from this dear friend, though I still am learning how to apply it. His design work is wonderful and solid. He will be a successful and prolific designer. Above all, he makes me laugh. And I think I make him laugh. Looking forward to all the gardens we will see together.
Rachel: Whenever I try to compliment Rachel I fear my American ways make it seem not so complimentary as I mean to be! Rachel, you have an iron will and determination. That I admire. You love and understand true beauty, both in the material exterior and in the human interior. I have learned a lot just by observing this lady and the way she moves through life.
Sarah: You are so Swiss! ;). And that really says it all. I don't think I saw you in a sour mood even once during the entire year. You are quick to laugh and have a great energy for life and a gift for living every day to it's fullest! Your thought process for your designs and the way you see gardens is amazing. I always learned so much by listening to you share your insights.
Maria: Dear Maria who had to leave us early! But for a better cause! I truly enjoy our friendship and hope it lasts a long time. Your experiences of what you have learned in life thus far have been important to me and I always paid a lot of attention every time you spoke. I am a better person for having your smile and laugh in my life. Best of luck with the little one!
Anastasia: Your ability to create concepts and your attention to detail is stunning. I still think you would be an amazing jewelry designer! I hope you end up somewhere you love doing something that you truly love. You deserve to be a creative in your professional life. I look forward to seeing where you end up!
Tetiana: Your determination right there at the end was admirable. You had a dream and you chased it to the end and made it happen. Watching you grow and progress from across the drafting table was a journey in and of itself. I remember the times when I had to snap my fingers in front of your face to bring you back to reality - but keep on dreaming and acheiving!
Jonathan: My friend and classmate who I was always bumping elbows and backs with! We sure did endure a tight space in studio. You were always checking up on me to see if I was doing okay - sometimes several times a day. Thank you for that! You have a great heart and it was always fun seeing what crazy/fun/creative ideas you would include into your designs. Party. On.
Liz: You inspire me, my soul-sister! You are so talented and it's a gift to see what you develop and create with your designs. I am so glad we met and became friends! I look forward to future adventures and to see where life takes you. You are brave and daring - and will go far. I am so thrilled to walk the Peak District with you in the coming weeks! See you soon.
Thank you everyone for your support throughout the year! What a journey!!! Here's to the end of one adventure, and the beginning of another!
Wow has life been crazy/stressful/hard/emotional/blessed/wonderful/exhausting for the past 10 days! (I wasn't always in the best of moods, though I tried to remember to be). There were (many) times I didn't think I was going to make it, but at the same time I knew it couldn't be any other way.
And now THIS is happening:
I was so sick for 10+ days a while back followed by the worse case of designer's block I have ever had - which put me 3-4 weeks behind schedule...and it's been frustrating trying to get caught up without sacrificing the integrity in my design. But everything is coming, and has come, together. There have been A LOT of miracles happen these past few weeks to make this possible and so many people have been my angels. I'll share more about this later in the week.
So. Final exhibition is upon us! I have a 5:00 am rise-time in order to get everything ready. I can't forget a single thing or I am a dead-woman.
Here's my packing list:
- Aerial Perspective Drawing
- Trace Booklets
- Evening Dress (we have a change in wardrobe at 18.00 hours)
- Rose Tights
- Not-real Pearl Earings
- Evening Shoes
- 2 iPads for Slideshows
- Charger for iPads
- Chargers for both of those items
- Extra Mat Board
- iPad Wall-Mounts
- Oyster Card
- Extra Felt
- Metal Brackets (School)
- Shelf (School)
- Felt Pieces for Model (School)
- Lots of Long Pins (School)
- Black Felt for Panel (School)
- Scalpel With Extra Blades
- Cutting Mat
- Foam-Core Mounted Signs for Panel (School)
- Metal Ruler
- Needle and Thread
- Bobby Pins
- Extra Nylons (Regular, Just In Case)
- My Secret Plan
- Brolly (that's umbrella - you should never leave the flat without one )
- I Hope Someone Has the Velcro
I think I will need to bring a suitcase.
And I hope I haven't forgotten anything.
Yesterday I took a few hours away from exhibition prep....red on red is back! Brighter this time. Now I am ready to go - this Inchbald plan has been in the works for over two years! I still can't believe I made it here - and I can't believe it's coming to a close. One of the best years of my life and it can only get better from here. A million thanks to all who helped my get here.
Well that double-walled industrial cardboard I was searching for was indeed found. However....it's been trumped by felt!!
The Final Exhibition Adventure continues.....
The search for industrial-sized corrugated cardboard continues.
And lots of it.
All anyone needs to know is that I finished D7 on time with a rush right there at the end where I cranked out 6 3D drawings (sketches) in about 10 minutes. And in my construction details for a wall I simply said, build it strong. It might not be the most complete project I've ever done, but I'm happy with it all things considered. I will spend the next week developing it further and tackling areas and details I haven't yet solidified so it will be ready for final exhibition.
Final exhibition. Two weeks. Two weeks more to really push it and make this happen.
There is so much to do, but this will happen.
I am up early - cleaning and organizing my MacBook screen so I can think more efficiently today.
This image has been hanging around on the desktop for awhile now - just because I love it so much. I don't want to file it away and have it lost from memory for forever...so I am posting it here.
I LOVE porches and I think these architectural details of the porch are awesome.
Here's a look at part of my D6 since you haven't seen anything for awhile...
We were to design a show garden. I decided on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the Fresh Gardens category.
I first designed the concept on trace paper - then quickly moved into SketchUp where I worked through the design and concept details. So many hours in SketchUp on this one I think I fried my brains. I haven't done the write up yet about the concept, Perception of Experience & Memory - but when I do, I will add it here and let you know!
I don't think I will attempt to have this garden created for Chelsea or for another show...unless someone wants to sponsor me?