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buffels bay, winter 2016

~~~~ down to the water’s edge ~~~~
buffels bay, cape point, june 2016

We’ve been having a late-summer mini-heatwave here in Haarlem… so I’m cooling-off by revisiting some pics from a winter’s walk on my favourite beach. Buffels Bay, at the southern edge of Africa, is a very special place and I always try to make a pilgrimage to it when I’m ‘in the neighbourhood’. It’s also always a rich source of colour and pattern inspiration. These photos were taken on a moody, wild winter’s day (a great kind of day for a beach visit, imho!) in early June this year, but you can also see the bay – in all its brilliant blue glory – on a bright spring day here >

buffels bay, winter 2016

graceful gull & cuttlefish bone

buffels bay, winter 2016

gelatinous, calcified(?), luminous

buffels bay, winter 2016

the blues

buffels bay, winter 2016

rugged rock pools  |  vibrant, variegated colonies

buffels bay, winter 2016

scanning the horizon

buffels bay, winter 2016

more than one way to get where you’re going…

buffels bay, winter 2016

sinuous kelp

buffels bay, winter 2016

life on mars

buffels bay, winter 2016

looking north towards the paulsberg, die boer and judas peaks
~~~~
looking south-southeast towards cape point, situated on the southerly edge of africa and sometime meeting place of the atlantic and indian oceans *

" "

* Africa’s southernmost point is Cape Agulhas, ±150 kilometres east-southeast of Cape Point. The Indian and Atlantic oceans meet at the point where the warm Agulhas current meets the cold Benguela current – a point that apparently fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

golden crown & bark of a quivertree

… these are a few of my favourite things.

And there was much opportunity for the gathering of these favourite things on our recent roadtrip across Namibia.

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

folded, rippled, wrinkled (fish river canyon, african elephant)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

elephant petroglyph  |  subtle mineral colours, dolerite columns

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

purples, russets

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

fine forms, more mineral hues

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

black & white, circles & stripes

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

bone dry, desaturated

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

earthy harmonies, rounded rhythms

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

bright brandberg hills… and a mystery paint spillage in the desert

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

perfectly patterned, eminently engravable  |  ancient petroglyphs

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

desert car wreck… adorned

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

a decaying structure’s textures & patterns (goageb ghost town)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

lines (looking up: hot air balloon cables,
looking down: wildlife highways & byways)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

namib desert sands: infinitely intriguing colours, forms…

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

textures…

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

… and patterns

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

pleasing points (rondavel thatch, starling silhouette)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

all these elements coalesce in the simplicity of a dead tree at dusk

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

southern border crossing (south africa –> namibia)

I’ve been away, soaking up the winter sunshine, on a ±5,500km roadtrip through Namibia’s vast, arid, ever-changing & starkly beautiful terrain. (In case you’re wondering, as anyone unfamiliar with the lay of Africa’s land might be, Namibia is situated in southwest Africa, straddling the Tropic of Capricorn and alongside the South Atlantic Ocean. It shares its borders with South Africa to the south, Angola & a sliver of Zambia to the north, and Botswana to the east.)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

the fish river canyon

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

heading north through the southern kalahari

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

balancing basalt rocks, the giant’s playground

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

fellow travellers, etosha pan

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

vingerklip (afrikaans: rock finger), a natural obelisk sculpted by the wind,
and the iconic flat-topped mountains of the ugab valley

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

tiny termites build mighty mounds

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

desolate damaraland scape and split red sandstone slabs at ǀui-ǁais (damara/nama: jumping waterhole) a.k.a. twyfelfontein (afrikaans: uncertain spring)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

the burnt mountain (black shale shimmers amidst the dominant sandstone) and the organ pipes (angular columns of dolerite formed some 120 million years ago)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

closing in on the brandberg mountain,
a ravine-split massif of granite (and namibia’s highest mountain at 2573 metres) that dominates the surrounding desert plains

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

into the desert

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

crossing the tropic

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

magical mountain colours, mighty oryx (gemsbok)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

desert camp, near sesriem canyon

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

over the namib desert and sossusvlei’s…

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

… red star dunes

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

homeward bound

autumn mists, haarlem

autumn mists
(early morning view from my studio window)

As October’s Autumn mists roll in I’ve been giving some thought on how best to ‘winter ready’ our little patch of potted paradise on the roof: four floors up and facing the North Sea it’s likely to be more than a tad exposed to the imminent icy elements. But before I burlap wrap and mulch and push pots into little huddles like so many Emperor penguins I’m taking a moment to fondly remember the verdancy, vivid colours, and bountiful harvest of our compact roof garden’s first summer…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

vegetable patch at sunset, late august

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

spring onions & crazy carrots!
they certainly wouldn’t have passed the EU’s daft
‘general marketing standards’ regime…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

… but they had plenty of character

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

and, along with the leeks, were delicious!

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

tomatoes, growing…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

… growing

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

gone

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

broccoli, not everyone’s favourite vegetable…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

… but beautiful when it bolts
(as mine did, practically overnight, during a mini heatwave in july)

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

deadheading the rhododendrons  |  baby’s breath (gypsophila)

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

japanese maple  |  lavender

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

catnip (nepeta cataria)

Nature is, without a doubt, the biggest source of inspiration for my work and it has therefore been a privilege and a great pleasure to have had the opportunity (for the first time) to plant veggies from seed, to watch them grow and flourish, to enjoy the fruits of our combined labours, and indeed to observe them go to seed or die back as summer segued into autumn.

In addition to the veggies I’ve also enjoyed getting to know other, non-edible plants. As a first time gardener the learning curve has at times been steep and my favoured (lazy?) approach seems to be one of trial and error. But the gardening bug has most certainly bitten and I’m very much hoping I can keep some of them alive through the winter. I’m looking forward to observing the seasonal metamorphoses to come…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

roof garden skyscapes
(late summer/early autumn evening skies)

i love handmade books, by charlotte rivers

“i ♥ handmade books: timeless techniques and fresh ideas
for beautiful handmade books” by charlotte rivers

This very pleasing little tome was published in September last year, and I was excited to receive a copy as a gift from friends at Christmas time. It’s full of beautiful & inspiring handmade books by book binders, artists and designers from around the world, and I am delighted to have a little accordion fold book I made featured in it.

i love handmade books, by charlotte rivers

sakurasnow, accordion fold book

"13 wonders from a cabinet of curiosities"handmade accordion fold book by sakurasnow

The projects shown in the first four chapters of the book are wonderfully eclectic and beautifully illustrate the unlimited creative possibilities of book-making. Book ‘types’ covered include folded bindings (such as accordion, flag and carousel books) and many sewn bindings (including pamphlet, long, coptic, japanese stab and french link stitching techniques). There is also a section on interesting page and cover treatments (e.g. suminagashi paper marbling, natural plant dyeing, woven covers etc.) and a chapter entitled “Experimental Packaging” which shows some innovative and fun book cover / packaging projects.

Below are just a handful of the many inspired and inspiring makers featured in the book…

i love handmade books, by charlotte rivers

leah buckareff of coldsnap bindery incorporates printing, painting and embroidery to beautiful & atmospheric effect on her books’ (linen) cloth covers
(incidentally, she also produces beautiful, darkly atmospheric music as one half of the band nadja, which you can check out here)

i love handmade books, by charlotte rivers

i love these wonderfully structural, experimental stitched (and even knitted!) bindings by luisa gomes cardoso of canteiro de alfaces

i love handmade books, by charlotte rivers

lotta helleberg‘s indigo-dyed book covers are quite exquisite!

The fifth and final chapter “Book-Making in Practice” features very practical and comprehensive step-by-step tutorials for a range of different binding / book-making techniques used in the projects featured.

i love handmade books, by charlotte rivers

These are complemented by simple, clear illustrations that are completely unintimidating and make even very complex looking methods seem perfectly achievable…

i love handmade books, by charlotte rivers

… I’m definitely inspired (and now also better equipped!) to try my hand at some more book-making.

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation

instagram

A couple of weeks ago, during a particularly stressful time, we were asked by our neighbours to kitten-sit while they were away for a few days... turns out kitten therapy was just what we needed #purrs 😺 Today I downloaded these pics off my SLR and thought I'd share 'em here... because everyone can do with a bit of kitten therapy in their lives! #kittens #kitten_therapy #grey #sansa #british_blue #black #jax (scroll right for Jax!) Summer solstice sundowner, 22h05, 21 June #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #sundowner #brouerijtij #beer #ijwit #thirst_quencher #sandy #beach #parnassia #north_sea #ocean #netherlands Last night’s summer solstice sun sinks slowly into the misty North Sea #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #soft #mist #north_sea #ocean #beach #parnassia #netherlands Jellyfish silkscreen print detail… #screenprinting #silkscreen #screen_printing #printmaking #ink #work_in_progress #drawing #handdrawn #stippling #jellyfish #cnidarian #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined -o- https://tinyurl.com/yclpowve Detail of a recently completed screenprint, entitled ‘forest fauna’, on Fabriano’s beautiful ‘Blu Notte’ (Blue Night) Tiziano pastel paper #handmade #screenprint #silkscreen_print #printmaking #fabriano #italian_paper #texture #ink #white #blue #forest_fauna #bat #bird #graphic #pattern #intertwined #organic #flora Jellyfish ascending... #work_in_progress #screenprinting #screen_mesh #film_positive #exposed_screen #printmaking #drawing #handdrawn #jellyfish #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined

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