Sunday, September 30, 2012

ARTrails Open Studio

Our studio will be participating in the 2012 ARTrails Open Studios event with our studio open for touring on two consecutive weekends, October 13-14 and 20-21.  Nearly all Obie's original drawings from the last two years will be on display.  All drawings will be available for sale as well as limited edition prints of some of his earlier work.  The work can be grouped into seven general categories as described by Obie:
Flower Sketches
Graphite with felt marker sketches of some of my favorite flowers.
Ten Architects of Consequence
Some of the architects who have made an impression on me.
Biomorphic Images
Searches into our connectedness with organic life while allowing the drawing itself to evolve in the process.
Architecture Related
Old pieces of construction and related objects that have caught my eye.
Pairs of Figures
Male and female couples in compositional relation to one another.


With or Without Memory

 Compositions related to the Biomorphic Images series, but incorporating familiar imagery including figures, architecture, text, biomorphic forms, and color.

Ten Artists of Consequence
I've just begun this series of some of the artists who have made an impression on me.





Saturday, September 1, 2012

Historic Petersen Ranch


Last week Bob Pennypacker and  I toured the 216 acres comprising the Petersen Ranch on the north edge of Dry Creek Valley. The ranch has recently come up for sale and includes a number of very special home sites ( In many ways it is very similar to my own acreage in that it is a combination of oak and Douglas fir forested ridges, deep canyons, vineyards, and a common border with the lands surrounding Lake Sonoma.
The variety of conifer and deciduous trees, high and low elevations, and steep and gradual slopes epitomizes much of what I love about the California landscape.  I have always had deeply ingrained feelings for the land and it is natural for me to be respectful of it with every architectural decision our studio makes.  It is a shame that so many of us  see the landscape as little more than a large placemat upon which to set their building – this kind of thinking falls short of the ultimate opportunity – to form an adaptive partnership with the landscape and almost certainly increase the potential for a memorable accomplishment.
The key here is the ability to read the landscape – as far as the eye can see – and to have both the insight and skill to respond accordingly.  Perhaps the worst approach is to compromise the quality of the setting by placing the building directly on the sweet spot.  Often, a better approach is to set the building to the side or only partially on the sweet spot and thereby achieve a cohesive of partnership.  This approach usually opens many opportunities for developing unique, site specific responses, and when one succeeds at this high level the resulting resonance is truly artful.