Black and white studies…

December 12, 2018

Start

Dragonfly by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Carrot

Carrot by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Dahlia

Dahlia by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Maritime Plauts

Maritime plant by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Shakespeare

Bee and Tudor Rose by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Star Flower

“Star Plants” by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Yerba Buena

Yerba Buena by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Ideas need light to grow…

December 11, 2018

Ideas need

Ideas need light to grow… design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Ideas need light to grow… a conversation

Bird: And air!

Oak leaf: parvis e glandibus quercus

Lil’ Wum: Bird-brains… Translation: Tall oaks from little acorns grow… whew!

Merry VIV: Posterity explores ancestors through printed leaves.

During the Women’s March in 2016, and image of an acorn on a poster showed that buried ideas can grow. An idea can take centuries to unfold, yet appear to turn on like a lightbulb. Parvis e glandibus quercus means that great things often have small beginnings. This is an early variant of ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s epic tragedy of two lovers Troilus and Criseyde (1374),”as an ook cometh of a litel spyr” [meaning sapling] that came from the ancient Greeks via Boccaccio.

Bug Rap

Familiar things are comforting; that’s why little children like to hear the same stories over and over again. Lil’ Wum is actually the farmer’s friend, he helps to improve the soil and nurtures organisms and increases the amount of air and water that get into the soil and leaving behind castings that provide valuable fertilizer. A plant’s roots allow it to receive the nutrients that Lil’ Wum carries. What Lil’ Wum does not realize is that the bird flying above carries a seed that could become a great plant. Drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

K-T-did: What’s up! Zit! Zit!

Lil’ Wum: Bu’d a buv

K-T-did: Yeh, Yeh… click

Dragonfly: Talk to me… Whush!

K-T-did: Lisp… lisp… zit! Click!

Dragonfly: Whush!

Bee: Buzz lisp… lisp… zit! Oh dang!

While the lil’ critters fretted, the “bud” dropped a seed that would grow tall.

Thistle

Meanwhile, the “bud” carried a maritime plant seed that grew into a giant thistle on an island where it took root and was given the space to grow. Drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

 

Trusting Porcupine

November 26, 2018

porcupine

Stylized little California porcupine greets a butterfly, drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

I used to come across porcupine quills along country paths as a child. Like the otter, the porcupine is a gentle and playful, its quills are only used when trust has been broken. Porcupine quills appear to be vectors going into all directions, neither poisonous nor ejected in battle, they are buoyant, helping the little critter to keep afloat in troubled waters.

Bull

If you are reading this, then you are not currently shopping online, offline or reading about what you should be buying in some marketplace… welcome to this place. Stylized ox design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Yesterday I had many pleasant exchanges with family and friends via electronic media that lifted my spirits as my email inbox filled with message of what I should value and part with monetary resources on to feel fulfilled. Several of these entities were non-profit organizations that I have given my time to over the years and I reacted to these messages because in my book, time is a most precious resource for once it has been given, it cannot be taken back… it is passed… past.

I have been thinking much in my recent solitude about information VECTORS. We know vectors as those graphically defined symbols represented by directed line segments that in science and mathematics are used to describe the direction and magnitude of something, but they are something more. They have origins and carry us individually and collectively in different and communal directions. The word “vector” comes from the Latin, vector, meaning carrier.

Aesop, thought to have been a slave, tells the story of the Frogs and the Ox that reminds us not to attempt the impossible by being something that we are not. Before Aesop, the Ancients were image-makers who created a Hall of Bulls in the south of France that contained visual information vectors showing relationships among different species where images of different animals were positioned with direction and magnitudes in an organized that illuminated the cultural values of a society that we only know through petroglyphs. For the Greeks, Zeus took on the form of a bull that symbolized power, strength, virility, and transformation. In the Old Testament, the bull  was a most powerful sacrifice. In today’s financial markets, the bull signifies a market where prices are rising. Today, after such a meaningful Thanksgiving, I am contemplating what direction my resource vectors are traveling and how they reflect my modest place in society.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 22, 2018

Heart

While closed in due to bad air quality, I drew a critter thanksgiving prayer in a heart: “let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and show ourselves glad of him.” Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

After being cooped up during the recent wildfires due to bad air quality in San Francisco, this morning I ventured out to my favorite lake to listen. I had ventured out yesterday as the rains subsided, and to my horror there was an eerie silence… seeing rodents in the gutters, I shuttered, and passed still areas where my beloved tweetie birds reside to sense stillness.

This morning after many pleasant exchanges, I set out to the lake after dropping off a card for an old friend in the neighborhood. The skies were clear and as I approached the lake, I felt the familiar stirrings of life re-awakening. Tiny moths came towards me, first a few, then more… then thousands. Out of the brush, like manna only not from above, but from the side, from my side, the ocean side in the breeze, many touched me on their way inland… dozens of gentle wing kisses… reassuring, like a warm/cool breeze in childhood. I passed the moths, and from beneath the shrubs the little tweetie birds came… just a few steps forward to greet me then back into the brush, then the bigger birds crows, ravens, mallards, gulls, jays… the cormorants hung back. The humans were there too, most spoke languages other than my own, but that was okay… everyone was in accord… thankful for clear skies and life.

With thanks,

Meredith

The Illuminators

November 14, 2018

Illuminators November 14

The Illuminators show up in an initial of “I” — design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

This is new exploration into the carriers of information that reflect basic humanity… the scribes and painters of illuminations were mobile artisans that transported ideas and styles throughout medieval Europe. Look for more creative folks to show up in the coming months…

Medieval art was collaborative in nature with different artisans working on different stages of projects. Students using hard-point styluses made of metal or bone, or graphite copied the work of masters. Sometimes books were created over multiple generations with flourished pinwork of later artists updated the look of a project. Artisans often mixed a quantity of color and applied it sequentially to different miniatures. Pigments were natural, organic, mineral, or manufactured. Washes were overlaid with tones of varied saturation to provide shadows or highlights. The best blue was manufactured from lapis lazuli; it was very expensive because it was imported from as far away as Afghanistan, so it was use only for luxury images.

We the people

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States scribed on November 6, 2018 by Meredith Eliassen.

Inspired by a poster by an unknown artist produced during the 1968-1969 student-led strike for educational equity at San Francisco State College that featured the Preamble in blue with the word “justice” echoed in deep red, this version employs the dynamic of empty space with diverse information vectors produced by words found in Chinese design.

Zen design dos not seek to recreate reality, but creates with artificial space relations that point beyond visible reality to the essence of reality with chi. Chi is life, force, or essence, which in design is reliant upon obtaining connection between the observer and the observed… between design and recipient through empathy or aesthetic harmony. Zen design utilizes the vital movement (information vectors) produced through the circulation of chi… to say without saying. Lao Tzu (533 BC) asserted in Tao Te Ching XI that Zen design is conceived within an emptiness where “being and not being engender each other…” taking equal advantage of was is, “just as we recognize the usefulness of what is not.”

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2018

dragonfly flower

Dragonfly in flower costume gets ready to go to the Butterfly’s Ball on Halloween. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

William Roscoe’s poem “The Butterfly’s Ball, and, The Grasshopper’s Feast” (1802) appeared in Gentlemen’s Magazine in 1807. Thomas Jefferson clipped this early nonsense rhyme about a party for insects and other small animals for his granddaughter Cornelia and soon it was considered to be the first purely entertaining verse for children.

In this image a dragonfly appears to to fly into a flower, both objects are drawn utilizing empty space, their vectors are in an apparent conversation. Eastern designers treat empty space like a positive mean and not as an entity that must be filled in or that is something spare. In Western design, this sensibility is known as Gestalt where objects and their environment are mutually defined.

The flower is grounded to the earth, whereas the iridescent dragonfly moves through the essence of change as a vector in the breeze where space is alive creating tension that gives way to the broader world of imagination.

Insect studies…

October 24, 2018

moth

Celtic moth design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

insects

Insect sketches mounted on Japanese paper, by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.