Tag Archives: 2016 wall calendar

Artist Spotlight — Dietmar Voorwold: Creations In Nature

Land Art creations by Dietmar Voorwold

Images from our Land Art 2016 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

Each year we showcase a different artist in our Land Art wall calendar. The emphasis of using materials from nature and creating installations in nature is consistent among all of these talented artists. But the materials they choose and the themes they explore are as diverse as the splendor of nature itself. Sally J. Smith was our featured artist for 2015, when the calendar explored her ice sculptures, twig architecture, and leaf and flower mandalas. Sally also builds faerie houses for a living!

For 2016 we’re honored to present the work of Dietmar Voorwold, which shows harmonious palettes of light and color and seems to defy gravity. He spends much of his time along the coasts and rivers of northern Scotland, where, sometimes in the course of a single day, nature moves through the spectrum of color, light, and weather, creating a lively spectacle throughout the sky and in the interplay with the earth. “It’s a matter of finding the balance,” he says. “The perfect place, the perfect material, the perfect shape. The right moment. There’s always a chance that the sculpture will collapse, the incoming tide will come too early, the light will change too quickly, a dog will step over my mosaics.” Photography is another important aspect of his art. This is how he freezes a brief moment. The actual installation will be gone within a few days or even minutes, depending on the rhythms of nature. The never-ending coming and going, the creating and letting go, the transitoriness and changeability in nature are charming aspects of his artwork.

In response to the WordPress.com photo challenge, Dietmar’s exquisite sense of balance and observational skills are a sublime example of being Careful. Continue reading

Farm to Table: Then and Now

Image from our Farm to Table 2016 wall calendar featuring recipes and tips from Ann Lovejoy. Click image for more info.

Image from our Farm to Table 2016 wall calendar featuring recipes and tips from Ann Lovejoy. Click image for more info.

From the Farm to Table 2016 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — A hundred years ago, more Americans lived on farms than in cities. Most food was locally grown, and seasonal foods were enjoyed fresh or not at all. As food-preserving methods improved, our fascination with convenience took us to dubious depths of overprocessing. After decades of fast food and speedy dining, Americans hungered for a new relationship with food. Today we have come full circle. Inspired by Italy’s Slow Food movement, we prize the local and the sustainable, the authentic and the handcrafted. What’s more, America’s changing demographics have enormously enriched our dining choices with international flair. Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Rob Kesseler: Microscopic Photography

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge “Treat,” we’re thrilled to share more from Rob about his fascination with seeds and his process in capturing these stunning images – treats and mysterious wonders of nature. ~ Amber Lotus

Images from our Pollen Seeds Fruit 2016 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

Images from our Pollen Seeds Fruit 2016 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

From childhood, my love of flowers has always been an instinctive response to the sheer diversity of colors and shapes, and I think this is reinforced by the cyclical nature of the way they appear and are transformed throughout the seasons. There is a reassuring regenerative spirit of familiarity to see a tiny shoot emerge from the ground into full-blown blossom, and I never get tired of looking at the annual spring spectacle.

Looking is a somewhat undervalued skill rooted in our primitive needs to identify pattern, form, and shape in order to facilitate secure passage through life. The more intensely we look, the better our cognitive powers to interpret and translate our response into new physical form.

A lens, in both its physical and contextual form, gives a point of focus that enhances clarity of observation and nourishes our vision. It is both the lens of my own eyes and those of the various microscopes I use that nourish my creative drive and provide me with the stimulus to share my passion with others.

Process

The images are created using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). I prepare the specimens by coating them with a micro-fine layer of gold before bombarding them with a beam of electron particles and focusing them through powerful magnets onto a screen. The resulting images have phenomenal resolution at high magnification, anything up to X 10,000. But I often work with larger specimens at low magnification, taking up to fifty shots that are subsequently pieced together in the post-production phase. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Thich Nhat Hanh

Beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh is celebrating his 89th birthday on Sunday, October 11. We hope you will join us in wishing him a joyous birthday as well as sending him healing energy as he continues to recover.

We are honored to share his words of wisdom through our calendars. Every time someone sees the calendar hanging in their kitchen or workspace, we hope they get a rush of inspiration, a profound spiritual teaching, or a centering of calmness. A travel engagement calendar that someone carries from task to task or appointment to appointment can become a transformative tool in addition to tracking time. Thay’s words and inspiration can be a wonderful companion throughout our days.

Thich Nhat Hanh 2016 Paintings by Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin

Image from the Thich Nhat Hanh 2016 wall calendar featuring paintings by Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin.

Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Elena Ray

We asked Elena to share her inspiration behind her gorgeous images and her love of yoga. ~ Amber Lotus

Yoga Meditations 2016 wall calendar

Images from the Yoga Meditations 2016 wall calendar featuring artwork by Elena Ray. Click image for more info.

The art of yoga is a beautiful philosophy of self-care and realization. I discovered the practice at the age of 40 and, like so many people, was mesmerized by the gorgeous postures. It was a natural step for me to begin photographing yogis. My work is rewarding: you just can’t find nicer people than those in the yoga community!

Ultimately I have learned that in all instances the practice is finely tailored to meet individual goals and health considerations. This idiosyncratic objective has resulted in a wide range of yoga styles. Yoga Meditations wall calendar seeks to explore all these different approaches and to find those nuggets of wisdom that can fuel your intention to breathe a little deeper and make it through that next warrior pose.

The intention of Yoga Meditations is to be a modern-day sutra enlightening the year with practical inspiration. “Sutra” is the Sanskrit word for “thread.” In ancient times, yogic wisdom was passed from teacher to student through recitation and memorization; later, it was written as sacred texts on palm leaves.

All the teachers quoted in Yoga Meditations have contributed, each in their own unique way, to the uprising knowledge and evolution of yoga. The mixed-media illustrations are an amalgam of ancient oriental art, digital photography, and abstract painting.

To this day, yoga continues to be a teacher-centric practice. Hatha yoga techniques are voluminous and ever evolving. The physical and psycho-energetic work must be approached in a safe and holistic manner if the practice is to be of benefit to the practitioner. Teachers set a foundation for the work and provide insight. It is these insights that have been collected in Yoga Meditations.

Namaste! Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Lynn Karlin Wins Gold with Simply Raw

September 2015
Press Release Excerpt from the Garden Writers Association:
Lynn Karlin Receives 2015 Gold Award for Best Talent or Product

Simply Raw 2015 wall calendar. Click image to see the 2016 edition.

Lynn Karlin based in Belfast, Maine, received the Garden Writers Association Gold Award for Best Talent or Product in the Photography category for Simply Raw, a vegetable portraits calendar.

This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications.

“The Garden Writers Association Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers, and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication in print or electronic communications,” says Larry Hodgson, president of GWA. “The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work.” Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Sarolta Bán: Storyteller

We had the pleasure of having a Q&A with photographer Sarolta Bán. Her surreal and dreamlike images are featured in our Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar. Many of her dog portraits were created to illuminate the need for shelter animals to find forever homes as part of her Helping Dogs with Images project which was featured on Huffington Post, BoredPanda, BuzzFeed, and MyModernMet. ~ Amber Lotus

Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar

Images from the Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar. Click to see more.

Why do you do what you do?
How it started was actually a coincidence. A couple of years ago I had a small digital camera and tried to take photos, but I was never satisfied with them. Once, with a sudden idea, I changed the sky in one of the photos. I really liked it; it was fun and opened a lot of possibilities, and that’s how it started.

Originally I’m a jewelry designer. It’s funny because in Hungarian the word “jeweler” means you compound materials to create things, and that’s exactly what I do with my pictures. 🙂 But otherwise the two pursuits do not have much in common, except maybe that both have a lot of little fine details that you have to pay a lot of attention to.

How would you define your signature style?
I like using ordinary elements and, by combining them, I can give them various stories and personalities. I hope that the meanings of my pictures are never too limited, that they are open in some way, so that each viewer can transform them through their personal understanding.

How do you work?
I work on a picture for anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, and quite often I use up to 100 different layers for one image. I start with the main image and think of the main idea, and then I prepare the image.

What themes do you pursue?
Everything that comes to me or finds me. I like themes that are close to nature.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
One of the nicest came from one of my closest friends, Edén: “Your pictures are good for the soul.” Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Sally J. Smith: I build Faerie houses for a living!

We asked Sally to share her thoughts and process on being an environmental artist. Her connection to nature and the magic within is captivating.  ~ Amber Lotus

Faerie Houses 2016 wall calendar

Image from the Faerie Houses 2016 wall calendar. Click image to see more.

When meeting new people in social settings, the inevitable question arises: “And what do you do?”

When this is asked of me there is often a long pause. The question hangs in the air. The querist leans in expectantly, waiting for me to fill in the void between us. Always a quick calculation has to be made: be vague and simplistic – “I’m an artist” – or more specific – “I’m an environmental artist.” But if the moment is right for either a shock or a smile, I will say, “I build Faerie houses for a living!” and wait for that idea to settle in. Continue reading