Found and Collected

Autumn days are growing shorter. The time has passed much too quickly and I have a few photos to share, starting with this one featuring bittersweet (one of my favorite materials). The inspiration for this arrangement came after reading Dutch floral artist Gerd Verschoor’s
book “Beyond Flowers, Collecting and Arranging Natural Objects”. In this book I found a kindred spirit with things found and collected, and I used that energy to make this piece using all found objects. The bittersweet provided by mother nature, the driftwood from the bay and an old discarded rusted disc came together almost as if they were old friends.

365 Days of Ikebana-Day 295

I’ve been busy preparing a piece for Artomatic, more details will be posted in the next week. For now I can say my work will be on the 2nd floor (as will be the work of my partner Frederick ) and I am still busy with the construction and installation.

Artomatic is the Washington, DC area’s one-of-a-kind art extravaganza, involving hundreds of regional artists, performers and volunteers. The free art festival features a wide variety of paintings, sculpture, photography, music, theater, poetry, dance and workshops. Artomatic transforms available space into a playground for artistic expression. The event is completely open-entry; there are no juries or curators.
Dates: May 18 – June 24, 2012

Hours: Wed & Thurs noon-10 p.m., Fri & Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun noon–5 p.m., Closed on Mon and Tues

Location: 1851 S. Bell St. Crystal City, Virginia. The closest Metro station is Crystal City.

For details about events, see

365 Days of Ikebana-Day 190

The only fresh material I had today to work with was the “Mickey Mouse” anthuriums from Saturday’s workshop. I had a long list of things to do today, and I really should have put getting some fresh flowers and foliage at the top. But sometimes you have to work with what you have, and I did. I have a great driftwood branch that I love, and it seemed like a good start. Then I found a structure I had made months ago with cut pieces of rose stems, gold wire and white pearl and gold beads. It’a piece I made just to see what it would look like, and to try to see if I could recycle some of the discarded stems. They almost always go in the trash as they don’t break down very well in the compost. It’s been waiting to be used and tonight it really was the finishing touch I needed for this piece. Hooray for recycling and experimentation!!!

365 Days of Ikebana-Day 165

The last rose of the year from the garden, hard to believe that it’s possible this late in December. One of my new containers is a mid century Russell Wright piece (given to me by Frederick and his mother Phyllis), I believe it is a vegetable bowl, and I thought I should use it today. I added bits of cedar and ilex and a great piece of driftwood that Frederick found for me. For a bits and pieces arrangement it’s not bad. I’ve been thinking about how I want to work a bit harder in the coming year at more creative work. This time of year is when everyone starts to reflect on what they have achieved in the year that is almost at an end, then the setting of goals and resolutions for the next year begins to begin. I’m no different and in the next few days I’ll be working hard on my list for 2012, I hope you will be too.

365 Days of Ikebana -Day 42

Ikebana with driftwood and sunflower

Hurricane Irene is history, and I have photos that I tried without luck to post. However I will say that it was an interesting evening, one of the windows in the house we were staying in was shattered by a wind blown tree branch around 8PM last night. As were were trying to cover it( contractor trash bags and duct tape did the job nicely)the power finally went out for good. About a half hour later a huge tree crashed right by the house and took out the power line to the house, thankfully the power was out or it might have cause a fire. So the rest of the evening was spent by battery powered lantern reading a book. The wind blew all night, and it was not something that I enjoyed very much. I didn’t sleep well so I was a bit tired today. There probably won’t be power there until later this week and we decided that it was time to pack it up and leave out artist retreat a week early. I did get this ikebana arrangement done once I got home and had a nap. The driftwood is from the bay and the sunflower was one that the hurricane brought down in our garden. It’s good to be home, although I had plans to do other work at the bay. This week I’ll just have to dig a little deeper here at home and make new work here.

365 Days of Ikebana-Day 40

Using beach/bay front materials

My inspiration for today was the bay/beach, maybe it’s seeing it every day on the retreat or the impending winds/rain of hurricane Irene that influenced me. I wanted something with a very beachy feel and some lightness to it. The pampas grass (courtesy of Juanita’s yard) gives a bright and airy feeling, and the barnacle covered piece of driftwood from the bay grounds it some while also giving it some added movement. I covered the kenzan with some odd green thistle I found on the shore, and it was a great find. We’re stocked up for the storm to come tomorrow and hoping to have power. We’re not really sure what to expect since we are only here for our retreat and haven’t experienced a big storm like this close to the water.We thought we might go home, but decided that it would be much better to spend our time here instead of being cooped up in a city apartment. It’s still sunny and beautiful here today and I want to go back out and walk and collect some more materials to work with while we’re stuck indoors this weekend. I may have some photos of the storm to post later on!