Thursday, February 26, 2009

moss terraria

I started some moss terraria a couple of weeks ago. It has taken a while to get the moisture level right, but I think that I may finally be on the right track. Also, I have to weed out blades of grass and the occasional mushroom, but hopefully that is just a temporary issue.

Basically I just saved some jars, filled them most of the way with marble chips, then some potting soil, then some moss I gathered from the UVA president's lawn when I was down in Charlottesville. I like the jars with the labels on, which is convenient because I think that they are here to stay. I pulled the label off the large jar on the left, and it is one big sticky mess.

I really love this extra long moss. I hope that it will spread out and get really thick, so that when I open the jar it is like looking at a tiny piece of shag carpeting.

I also have a jar of these pine cone flowers that I pick up on my way to and from the metro. I thought that they were called "woodrose", but I just googled that and it turns out I'm wrong. I also looked for "pine cone flower", and again there is no match! So maybe these are sort of precious after all, and I am not a nut for picking them up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Abdou and Adaweya

Fifi Abdou

I have been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to come up with an adequate caption for these two clips.

Ahmed Adaweya & Lublubya

Doesn't the look on the men's faces say it all?

I need to get my hands on some Egyptian movies.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I took a pretty nice picture of my friend Patrick on his porch in Charlottesville a few weeks ago. Actually, I took three nice pictures of some friends in a five minute span, and I have known that I wanted to watercolor them ever since. Tonight, I finally made myself sit down and tackle this one.

I spent over a week sketching this and psyching myself out before I finally sat down, erased almost everything, and gave myself a big pep talk about just letting this thing turn out however it turns out.

I am always struck by how differently I work when drawing or painting from a photo rather than life. When I look at something directly in front of my face, I feel zero interest in creating a life-like, realistic image. When I look at a photo, for some inexplicable reason I feel compelled to reproduce it in exacting detail. This time I tried to let go of some of that.

Since I am seriously not into portraits, it didn't take much.

Next, I'm going to paint what's at the other end of that leash he's holding...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Creative Block

Yesterday we went to the National Building Museum, and there happened to be a lot of blocks out for families with small children. Since we are architects and shameless, we decided to join in.

We all kept discussing how soothing it was to play with blocks. Then we all talked about how soothing it was to knock it all down. I am always wishing that I could find more time for "productive creativity" - stuff like crafting, watercolors, and design competitions. I'm starting to think that I should focus less on having something to show for my work and more on blocks.

color and texture

I always forget where exactly this is, but I am always happy to "rediscover" it:

And this I pass every day, but I am trying to take a little more time to "look" at it:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

bottles 1

This watercolor is headed for Tryst (2459 18th Street NW) for Architecture for Humanity.

Charlottesville Weekend

Becca, Joy and I seem to have developed an annual tradition of hanging out the weekend before Valentines Day. So this weekend I rousted myself from my bed (where I had nested for the past week with a 3L bottle of ginger ale, which I am embarassed to admit that I polished off handily) and headed for Charlottesville.
We had all kinds of fun, which is available for your viewing pleasure on Becca's Chromat Process blog.

As always, breakfast at Bluegrass Grill was a requirement. I am once again on a quest to make a biscuit as good as theirs. (You can see half of one if you look very closely at this photo.) I've made some pretty good biscuits in my day, but they manage to use at least some whole wheat flour and still come out with a light biscuit. A mystery for the ages.