Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2017. Around the globe, millions of people, businesses, and landmarks annually set aside this hour to host events and switch off their lights, to shine a light on environmental protection and action. This year Earth Hour is at 8:30pm March 25th 2017. There’s never been a more critical moment for the world to show solidarity for and a strong commitment to fighting climate change. Coordinated by the  World Wildlife Foundation and other volunteer organizations in an ongoing effort to achieve massive environmental impact by helping change laws, lives and our planet. There’s still so much more to do! Take Action. #lightinthedarkness

Mindful Mandala

Daring Dahlia: From The Flower Mandala Project

 If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. ~Buddha

The Artful Blog recently posted new images throughout the Art Practice Site, some of which are part of a new ‘Flower Mandala Project’ in bloom. The goal of the project, being Jungian in nature, is to resonate aesthetically and as a meditation, to be both mystical and mindful. Based on an archetypal depth psychology premise Carl Jung illuminated: exploring the mandala as psychological expression of the human psyche and totality of the self. #artfulagenda #seedcenteroftheself

Follow The Artful Blog on Facebook for future updates and insight into the project and other things of interest related to both the site and blog & more.

Be More Tree

Be More Tree: A Journey Of Wisdom, Symbols, Healing, And Renewal, by Alice Peck (Author), Melissa Launay (Illustrator), Published by CICO Books, September 2016.

Discover how all trees can mirror us, teach us, and heal us. From author Alice Peck who reflected on the Maple tree in her backyard, and began to notice and then study its intricacies and changes, which became her regular meditation and inspiration. In Be More Tree Alice sensitively and eloquently shares what she has learned from that Maple tree, and from the trees all around us. Every tree tells a complete and ongoing story -from its powerful taproots to the birds that alight on its fragile high branches. Trees reflect our lives through their perseverance and seasonal rhythms -always changing yet consistent. They evolve along a much more protracted timetable than humans. Like us, trees feel and react to their environment, and communicate with us in subtle but distinct ways.

Here readers are invited to investigate and cherish trees from four perspectives: their roots -wisdom and understanding; their branches -symbols and rituals; their leaves -healing and science; and their seeds -transformation and spirituality. All of these elements show us how, although they live outside us, trees offer a path to our inner selves. From the Bodhi Tree to the Garden of Eden, the Druids to forest monks, medicines to tire swings -people have always received physical, psychological, and spiritual sustenance from trees. Filled with insights from botany to poetry, ecology to mythology, and herbalism to sacraments, Be More Tree explores the ways these grounded yet soaring entities can steady and move us, teach and transform us, inspire and comfort us. #fortheloveoftrees

A wonderful book for readers interested in the intersections of nature, folklore, and spirituality. Beautifully written and illustrated with an inspiring ecological point of view, that includes fervent prose, meditations, mantras, and prayers to help deepen the reader’s relationship with themselves, nature, and the interconnectedness of all things. This is the book The Artful Blog wanted to write! For more tree magic mystery and lore see previous posts: Art Of The Tree & Book Of Trees.

As A Dream

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I love your silence. It is so wise. It listens. It invites warmth. I love your loneliness. It is brave. It makes the universe want to protect you. You have the loneliness that all true heroes have, a loneliness that is a deep sea, within which the fishes of mystery dwell. I love your quest. It is noble. It has greatness in it. Only one who is born under a blessed star would set sail across the billowing waves and the wild squalls, because of a dream. I love your dream. It is magical. Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the world, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are the unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.

~Ben Okri, Astonishing the Gods

Flower Lovers

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This is that magical window of quiet time that comes during the darkest month of Winter. In New England, February is a great time to cozy up by the fire, reading and sketching out big dreams and garden plans for the year ahead. It’s a welcome opportunity for a fresh start that The Artful Blog looks forward to every season. #wintertherapy

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As ideas grow and seed catalogs start pouring in it’s easy to get caught up in flower fever! Leafing through the glossy pages is an annual ritual that gets gardeners through the Winter with dreams of growing something new and wonderful for the next season. That said, it’s important to keep in mind how much room you actually have to plant and what you can afford after you consider irrigation and compost and other critical supplies. That’s why it’s important to take the time at the beginning of the year to make a master plan. The planning process will help you refine your goals, identify necessary supplies and schedule all of the important dates and tasks to have a successful flower growing season. Some ideas to get you started might be to create: Garden Specs Worksheets, Cutting Garden Wish List, Garden Supply Shopping List, Garden Design Sketch Pad, Seed Sowing Schedule, Field Notes, Sample Cutting Garden Plan, and a Botanical Materia Medica Journal. #botanicalbeginnings

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One of the places The Artful Blog draws inspiration from is the beautiful Floret Flower Farm -a small family run flower farm in Washington’s Skagit Valley that specializes in growing unique, uncommon and heirloom flowers. Known in the industry as a thriving research and education farm dedicated to giving flower lovers the tools and information they need to grow the gardens of their dreams. In addition to maintaining the farm, they also teach workshops for fellow farmers, designers, and flower lovers so students can explore their fields, and learn their tried and true farming methods, as well as how to arrange with local, seasonal material. And for those who aren’t growing their own flowers, they’ve developed a worldwide network of growers, Floret’s Farmer-Florist Collective, through which you can access locally grown blooms, wherever you live. #fortheloveofflowers

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All of this has led to the soon-to-be-released book “Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Seasonal Blooms,” which gives step-by-step details on how to cultivate your own flowers in any size space. The book shows off some of the most stunning varieties they have ever grown on the farm, many of which are primarily available to wholesale growers. But because they wanted folks to be able to grow the same flowers you see in the book, this last year they developed their latest offering: the Floret Seed Line. In the online shop, they offer more than 100 hard-to-find flower varieties sourced from the finest seed breeders in the world, plus dozens of Dahlias, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tools & supplies, and paper goods. Including a gorgeous 2017 Garden Journal & Daily Planner The Artful Blog picked up earlier this year. Brimming with loads of helpful advice and gorgeous photography. #blissfulblooms

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Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms, by Erin Benzakein (Author), Julie Chai (Author), Michele Waite (Photographer), March 7, 2017.

From Erin Benzakein, a leader in the locaflor farm-to-centerpiece movement and owner of internationally renowned Floret Flower Farm, Cut Flower Garden is equal parts instruction and inspiration -a book overflowing with lush photography of magnificent flowers and breathtaking arrangements organized by season. This beautiful guide to growing, harvesting, and arranging gorgeous blooms year-round gives readers vital tools to nurture a stunning flower garden and use their blossoms to create showstopping arrangements. With irresistible photos of Erin’s flower farm that showcase exquisite blooms, tips for growing in a variety of spaces and climates as well as step-by-step instructions for lavish garlands, airy centerpieces, and romantic floral décor for every season, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden informs and entices gardeners of all skill levels.

For more garden & flower inspiration see previous post Art Of The Seed about the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Known for artful seed collections featuring original artwork that celebrates the beauty and diversity of heirloom gardening.

Color Of The Year

greenery

Pantone Color of the Year 2017 Greenery 15-0343.

According to the Pantone Color Institute -the global authority on color, Green will be everywhere in 2017. Not just any old Green, of course: Pantone 15-0343, colloquially known as Greenery, a refreshing Yellow-Green hue with distinct character. A shade that evokes the first days of Spring when nature’s Greens revive and restore, symbolic of new beginnings. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, Greenery is nature’s neutral, described as “a combination of warmth and a certain cool.” An attempt to distill and forecast this year’s prevailing mood into a single tone. #colorforecast

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Pantone Color of the Year 2017 Greenery 15-0343.

Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize. Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose. ~Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute

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Pantone Colors of the Year 2016 Rose Quartz 13-1520 & Serenity 13-3919.

Last year, Pantone took the seemingly radical step of choosing two colors, Serenity and Rose Quartz to reflect the gender-bending move toward “equality and fluidity” taking place across society and fashion. That said, The Artful Blog’s immediate impression was more “He’s A Boy” and “It’s A Girl,” and although sweet and light, restful and Zen, too baby-hued somehow undermined credibility and likeability. Pantone recovers this year with more adult and aesthetically pleasing Greenery that resonates both literally and metaphorically, even universally. “There’s a Japanese concept called ‘forest bathing,’ which says that when you are feeling stressed, one of the best things to do is go walk in the forest,” says Eiseman. “But if you can’t do that, what can you do? Bring Green into your environment. Put in on your body, or in your house or near your desk. That symbolic message is very important.” #fortheloveofgreen

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Pantone Color of the Year 2017 Greenery 15-0343.

The color of the year is a bit of an assist to the fashion, beauty, interior design industries, and product and graphic design, all of which can use it as an organizing principle and marketing tool (see The Artful Blog’s Gravatar). Greenery makes for a lovely pop of fresh color woven into a sophisticated botanical print with other neutrals or in monochrome, and sings smartly in tandem with complementary colors, sartorially speaking, however The Artful Blog cautions a light hand. Just as Rose Quartz and Serenity conjure Pink Flamingos along the shoreline, Greenery, as a single note, veers toward Kermit The Frog if not tempered judiciously. #sesamestreet

Previous Colors of the Year:

· PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
· PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
· PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
· PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
· PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
· PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
· PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
· PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
· PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
· PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
· PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
· PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
· PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
· PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
· PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
· PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

Winter Wonder

 winter_trees

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

~William Carlos Williams

On Fall Splendour

splendour

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

~William Wordsworth