Finding My Way Forward

I've missed my old blog, Lorien Hall Everyday. I miss the simplicity - the pared-backness about it. I've missed having a dedicated space to write. And I've missed writing. Sometimes I find when I shift things around for the sake of improvement, I create a less productive situation. But how could I have known prior? Like when I moved my computer desk from the nook to the west wall and ever since then I have spent such little time on my computer. I moved it because I wanted to put a chair in the nook so I could sit there and read and write and enjoy the sunlight coming though the windows. I don't do that. Maybe it's the chair. I spent more time in the nook when I had my desk there.

Since combining my blog with my website, I find that I am less motivated to write.

So now I will move my computer desk back to the nook and I will separate out my blog from my website. I hope that by so doing I will move my work and my writing along in a more steady and consistent manner. I want to be a productive person, more so than I am today. And while I am becoming to believe less and less that there a magic trick to becoming productive, hopefully these changes will have an impact. 

These changes represent a larger picture of what I am going through right now. I am trying to find my way forward. 2017 has proved to be a very different year for me. In some ways it's been good and positive, but in other ways it has been my worst year yet. This is especially true financially. I have never been in a worse financial spot than I am now. Also I have never been in a more confusing spot as to my future than I am now...immediate and distant. I have ideas for the future and I am moving on those, but as an artist who is staying in the artist's vein, I am taking the less predictably stable route. I can't not do this. If I am not meant to be a full-time creative for life then I will have to be knocked over the head and dragged towards my new profession. And if that new direction is where my future happiness and success lies, then so be it as I know I can always lead a create life otherwise. But until then I will fight to pay the bills by what beats in my heart the most. 

So now I will wish myself the best of luck in this endeavor.

Open Studio Days for Workshop II

Workshop II participants will have access to my studio on Wednesday April the 12th and Wednesday April the 19th to work on their designs. This will allow you to:

  • Work on your design in the quiet of my studio so you don't have the distractions of home or work.
  • Have use of the studio's drafting boards, which is very useful especially if you don't have your own at home.
  • Have access to my books and magazines for design inspiration.
  • Receive additional one-on-one help from me.
  • Hang out and talk gardens and landscapes!

Open studio hours are from 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Come anytime and stay for as little or as long as you like.

Notes: Adam and Eve

The Japanese Garden can be thought of as Adam and Eve after they had eaten the fruit. Nature is as Adam and Eve who had not eaten.
Nature = Naked
Gardens = Clothed
Japanese gardens, unlike a completely nude beauty, is a beauty who has suitably clothed her body.

I am not sure where I read this. It is an interesting comparison to consider. 

Notes: Link Between Gardens and Poetry

I think these notes comes from "Magic of Trees and Stones" by Katsuo Saito.

...a means of self-expression using a variety of images drawn from nature. Rather than recreating nature as found in the real world, were distilled images and arranging these poetic fragments into an amalgam in the garden. 
Heian Gardens: not perceived as total compositions but rather as a collection of poetic images. But images were not always first-hand, but images from poetry.
The use of existing, commonly understood poetic images as a basis for garden design.
Much of Japanese poetry was given over to nature description.
"Pine Tree" and "Wait" both equals "Matsu". So the pine tree becomes a suggestion of waiting, in particular - yearning for a lover or the resolution of an impossible situation.
'Birds and Flowers of Spring and Summer', one of a pair of six-fold screens by Kano Eino (Edo Period) | Suntory Museum of Art.

'Birds and Flowers of Spring and Summer', one of a pair of six-fold screens by Kano Eino (Edo Period) | Suntory Museum of Art.

Notes from Note Taking

I am up early each morning now preparing for my landscape and garden design workshops. This means I am reading through all my design notes from the past several years. So often when we fill our blank books with information and insights, we rarely have reason and chance to re-visit them. And so they sit for years on a shelf or in a box. All that knowledge. All those thoughts.

It is proving to be a source of deep happiness to re-read all my notes and so often I think of someone with whom I want to share these little snippets with. But can people endure early morning texts each day? So I shall deposit them here. They will be random and many without context. Much like my notebooks themselves.

  • familiarity with a newness
  • areas of retreat, areas of social gathering
  • never put a camber with gravel - have a one-way fall
  • cambers are good for asphalt
  • asphalt isn't great for areas with a high water table
  • edging always comes first to establish levels
  • best time to find out about he water table is winter time - dig a meter deep (even in Utah?)
  • we are designers and specifiers
  • loose gravel weighs about 70% of the weight of the same solid rock
  • sedimentary rocks changes soil PH
  • granite does not change soil PH
  • put it down 65mm thick so it finishes 50mm thick
  • we are all bound in an endless cycle of suffering, caused by want and desire

Pure Land (Jodo): A Heaven where the spirits of enlightened individuals enter at death to be removed from the endless cycle of death and rebirth. It's an island - connected to shore by a bridge, Pure Land is attainable.

Aware (Ah-wa-ray): An epiphany at the discovery of beauty in the pathos of life.

Artist Statement

Below is an old Artist Statement I wrote about my work with the Great Salt Lake.

The mystical and ever-changing landscape of the Great Salt Lake in Utah's Great Basin is a highly curious subject for exploration. The story of space and time is told in surreal ways as wind and water carve and sculpt the salted sand into sinuous curves. Light and shadow weave into the water and rake across the sand, emphasizing the patterns and forms.

It's an elemental and otherworldly landscape, paired back to the minimal: sand, salt, water, and sky, with some mountains hosted along the distant horizon. Plant and animal life is limited. Yet in this seemingly basic environment, complexity and intricacy are tireless if one only looks. As an artist integrating myself into this space, I find surprising worlds through the lens of the camera. 

Here's to the ones who dream. Foolish as they may seem. Here's to the hearts that ache. Here's to the mess we make.

 - La La Land

Shop Update: Interpretive Landscape Drawings

Last year I took several road trips and wanders around the West. During these excursions I created interpretive landscape drawings or sketches, minimal marks to capture the landscape. I have now added several of my favorites to my online shop and they are available for purchase. 

2017 will see more wanders and more sketches. I am excited for where the open road will take me and to the plants, rocks, and forms I will appreciate and interpret along the way.

All sketches come initialed.

A quote for the New Year

We favor the simple expression of the complex thought.
— Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb

I haven't made any New Year's resolutions yet. I have mixed feeling about them. But I do like this quote and I think it is worth some pondering over as a new year does begin. 

And since it is a new year that means my Rothko 2016 calendar I bought from the Tate Modern in London last December is no longer of daily use. How sad. For the past two years my calendars have come from the Tate Modern. However, I didn't get over there in time for the 2017 version. A pity.