Since the last entry from my garden The Gardener’s Almanac of Irreproducible Phenomena has published a series of botanical stationary and prints. The response has been wonderful, and I am grateful for the support of friends and new patrons from around the country. I am beginning to hear from people who share how they have used the cards, sending them as thank-you’s, condolence, letters and in sets as gifts. There are now ten in the series, with more to come each month. Here are a few glimpses of what’s in the shop.
“Birds of a Feather” came together as a duo after a beautiful escape to Bainbridge Island and meetings with the often elusive Varied Thrush. This bird is garden royalty. What I did not realize until this week is that the fancy Robin with its distinctive black necklace is the author of the first song of spring: a single one-toned note that I have heard for years and never could identify. As I walked around Blakely Harbor I found a tiny feather that matched perfectly the feathers dropped by the Varied Thrush in my garden. As I was photographing the cards it seemed to say: keep me, and it became part of the design.
All of the cards and prints are printed in archival inks on fine rag paper. Cards come in sets of six, with a mix of options for what to include (see choices in individual shop listings.) The cards are individually wrapped with a clear sleeve, making them suitable as gifts for framing or as stationary sets.
In recent days I have been preoccupied with Ukraine. As an artist how do you respond to catastrophe and the seemingly limitless predilection of the human race towards violence? Do you replicate the darkness, or try in some way to carry both the darkness and hope within the art? During the first months of pandemic The Water Tower became my vehicle for channeling the forces of chaos and the unknown. This week, looking at the barrens of the winter garden, the wheelbarrow standing against the moss in all its rusted glory struck me as the emblem of this time. Dresden, Syria, Nagasaki, tsunami. . . the aftermath is always rubble and ruin and the task at hand is to make sense of it. Organize, haul, and take away what is broken. A wheel and a cart is the unsung hero of the act of recovery. It is also a steady companion to the gardener, and a quietly elegant feat of practical design.
Click on any image to be taken to the individual listing or go here for the set of all the available cards. Although I continue to draw and paint, and am at work on a large commission, these small intimate works of botanical and natural history art give me great satisfaction. During the pandemic the circumference of life has grown close, my circle small, and I find that conversations and friendships matter now more than ever. I invite you to remember the wonder of a postage stamp, your name handwritten on an envelope, and the suspense of wondering what is inside. We never know what is ahead, but it is always a good time to let someone know you love them.