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.

We The People

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Contemporary street artist Shepard Fairey well-known for his Obama Hope illustration in 2008, has designed a series of beautiful illustrations called ‘We The People’ in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The posters feature women of minority: Muslims, Latinas and African-Americans, the three groups in Fairey’s view that have been most criticized by Trump and may be the most marginalized and vulnerable in a Trump administration -a sentiment many of us share and fear. The posters were made available before the historic Women’s March on Washington January 21 st, 2017, and all five illustrations are still available for high-resolution download from The Amplifier Foundation -the art machine for social change here. #artinaction

Revenge Of Analog

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The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax, Published by PublcAffairs November 2016.

Like the song says “Everything Old Is New Again.” In his captivating new book, “The Revenge of Analog,” Toronto-based journalist David Sax provides an insightful account of this phenomenon, creating a powerful counternarrative to the digital revolution mythology.  As a business reporter, Sax uncovers stories of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations that have found a market selling tangible things as opposed to virtual reality, citing examples in print, film, retail and so on. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music allegedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade. Even the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on pen and paper to drive their brightest ideas. Sax reveals this under-reported cultural trend and deeper truths about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with old-fashioned reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life -and the slow magic of the real world outside it.

Sax’s thesis is that analog is here to stay, and experiencing a revival that is not just a case of nostalgia or hipster street cred, but something more complex. In an increasingly digital world where physical objects and experiences are being replaced by virtual ones, Sax argues, “analog gives us the joy of creating and possessing real, tangible things”: the hectic scratch of a fountain pen on the smooth, lined pages of a notebook; the slow magic of a Polaroid photo developing in front of our eyes; the satisfying snap of a newspaper page being turned and folded back; the moment of silence as the arm of an old turntable descends toward a shiny new vinyl disk and the music begins to play.

The choice we face isn’t between digital and analog Sax reassures us, “That simplistic duality is actually the language that digital has conditioned us to: a false binary choice between 1 and 0, black and white, Samsung and Apple. The real world isn’t black or white. It is not even gray. Reality is multicolored, infinitely textured, and emotionally layered.” And it’s often analog -perhaps less efficient, less perfect, less speedy- which best captures those human imperfections, creating a tactile interface with the world. #fortheludditeatheart

Art Of Minimalism

“Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things” directed by Matt D’Avella, 2016. Watch-worthy spot-on social commentary of the times that examines various people dedicated to rejecting the American idea that things bring happiness, exploring the virtues of ‘less is more.’ There’s a takeaway here for everybody everywhere. #meaningfullifeofless

Company Of Women

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In The Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney, Published by Artisan, October, 2016. Across the globe, women are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and starting creative businesses. In The Company Of Women profiles over 100 of these influential and creative women of all ages, races, backgrounds, and industries. Chock-full of practical, inspirational advice for those looking to forge their own paths, these interviews detail the keys to success (for example, going with your gut; maintaining meaningful and lasting relationships), highlight the importance of everyday rituals (meditating; creating a daily to-do list), and dispense advice for the next generation of women entrepreneurs and makers (stay true to what you believe in; have patience). The book is rounded out with hundreds of lush, original photographs of the women in their work spaces. #designheroines

About

Grace Bonney is the founder of Design*Sponge, a daily website dedicated to the creative community. Design*Sponge was founded in 2004 and currently reaches nearly 2 million readers per day. A native of Virginia Beach, Bonney has worked as a contributing editor at publications such as House & Garden, Domino, and Craft magazine. She is passionate about supporting all members of the creative community; she runs an annual scholarship for up-and-coming designers, writes a free business column for creatives, and is the host of a weekly radio show, After the Jump, which reaches over 500,000 listeners per episode. Her first book, Design*Sponge at Home, is a national bestseller and has over 100,000 copies in print. 

Ultimate Crayon Box

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Karl Lagerfeld amongst his massive three-story floor-to-ceiling library of design books arranged horizontally in his minimalist Paris Studio. #aweinspiringarrangement

German fashion designer, artist, and photographer based in Paris, Karl Otto Lagerfeld is also the head designer and creative director of the fashion house Chanel as well as the Italian house Fendi and his own fashion label. Furthering his love for art and design, the iconic Lagerfeld has now added another notch to his visionary belt, in collaboration with Faber-Castell he’s launched an exquisite range of drawing and painting tools.

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Karl Lagerfeld & Faber Castell Collaboration, Stacked up in pyramid-style, this designer set has been named the ‘Karlbox.’ Limited to only 2,500 pieces each boasts its own unique serial number as well as a certificate of authenticity. The Karlbox treasure chest is functionally elegant, and collectible as a sleek Black Beech Wood cabinet with sections that open to resemble a vintage Chinese wedding chest. Lagerfeld says that Faber-Castell‘s drawing tools are a reminder of his childhood, that he has relied on their products throughout his career. “Since I was a little child in Germany, Faber-Castell has been the most famous brand known for its especially good quality. That reputation remains just as true today, particularly for artist pencils. “To me, drawing is like breathing and writing. These are things that almost relax me” says Lagerfeld. #farfromcrayolafare

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Displaying 350 hand-picked by the couturier watercolours, crayons, color pencils, including all 120 shades of his favorite Albrecht Dürer water-soluble color pencils, India ink pens and accessories. With colors ranging from pastels to bold and primary to secondary tonal shades, coordinated by color, while each color family is thoughtfully etched along the side spelled out in three different languages: English, French, and German. The limited-edition set went on sale Sept. 1st at Faber-Castell stores and Karl Lagerfeld boutiques, rolling out to select department and specialty stores like Gumps in San Francisco & Harrods in London on Sept 19th. Priced at nearly $3,000 current exchange rates. #rainbowofcolors

Karlbox Trailer, Think In Motion Production, The Karlbox unites the traditional values of the family-owned company Faber-Castell with the modern, unique and innovative spirit and style of Karl Lagerfeld. A symbol for the long-term relationship of both brands and represents the symbiosis of the fashion, art and design worlds. More details here.

About

Founded in 1761 by a cabinet-maker and headquartered in Stein, Germany, Faber-Castell is one of the world’s largest and oldest global manufacturers of pens, pencils, and art supplies, as well as high-end writing instruments. A multi-generational family owned firm that generates annual revenues of about $652 million. Other famous users of its colored pencils from the past include Vincent van Gogh and Paul Klee.

To see The Artful Blog’s favorite Faber-Castell Fountain Pen works of art visit previous posts Art From The Oak & The Great Pen.

Let Love Rule

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I’m with Lenny Kravitz who performed at the Democratic National Convention. Let Love Rule. I’m with Hillary Clinton the first woman nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. Stronger Together. #americaisalreadygreat #lovetrumpshate

Aging Creatively

CameronIt’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond by Julia Cameron, 2016.

Twenty-five years ago Julia Cameron wrote the now iconic book on creativity that inspired millions called “The Artist’s Way.” It spelled out, in a step-by-step fashion, what a person could do to recover and exercise their creativity. Often referred to as the bridge because it allowed people to move from the shore of their constrictions and fears to the promised land of deeply fulfilling creativity. The Artist’s Way has been used by people of all ages, and her newest book, “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again” -the distillate of a quarter century’s teaching, is an attempt to answer, “What next?” for students who are embarking on their “second act'” Cameron suggests that retirement can, in fact, be the most rich, fulfilling, and creative time in life.

Addressing the common problems facing the newly retired: too much time, lack of structure, excitement about the future coupled with a palpable fear of the unknown, and ironically, while they have more time to be creative, they are often reluctant or intimidated by the creative process. Cameron shows readers how cultivating their creative selves can help them navigate this new terrain. Within these pages readers will discover new artistic pursuits and passions to fill their days and nurture their souls, through the practice of a simple set of tools -like Morning Pages, Artist Dates & Solo Walks, that, used in combination, will trigger a creative rebirth. In this fun, step-by-step, 12-week course you can create a more inspired and authentic life by exploring your creative dreams, wishes, and desires, because it’s never too late to begin again.