Monday, April 20, 2015

Prints around Houston

There is something special about Spring time in Houston. Houstonians flock outside to experience as many glorious days of good weather as possible - hoping to avoid the torrential downpours and trying to forget the upcoming furnace that we call summer. Today, I attended a yearly event called "Rockin' Rollin' Prints 2015" held at St. Arnold's Brewery and sponsored by PrintMatters Houston. Participating artists produced 3' x 5' or 4' x 5' carved wood blocks based on the theme "Everything's Bigger in Texas." The event functioned like a well-oiled machine.  Volunteers inked the wood blocks, carried them to the area right in front of a steam roller (umbrella included), covered the wood block with a huge sheet of paper, covered the paper with protective layers, the steamroller chugged over and back, and voila!, a large print emerged that proved that once again 'bigger is better.' 

Learn More about PrintMatters Houston here:

Volunteers, Wood Block by Artist Luisa Duarte, and steamroller about to get the job done.
See Luisa's website here:

A row of the printed wood blocks

Inking in Progress

A few hours later, I arrived at the Japan Festival held at Hermann Park. Kites, paper umbrellas, traditional Japanese performers and music, Japanese flower arrangements, and the visitor's best cosplay costumes were all on display. 

Drumline along the reflecting pool 
It had something for everyone, but of course, I was particularly drawn to the Ikebana booth showcasing arrangements by students at the Tachibana School. The arrangements were elegant and stunning in their quiet presence. From the Tachibana School website describing Ikebana (the Japanese fine art of floral arrangement) : 

The central canon of ikebana for centuries has been Ten-Chi-Jin (Heaven-Earth-Man), where heaven is symbolized by the tall central flower, man by a medium branch placed at the side, and earth by the shortest branch, placed before the heaven branch. 

I couldn't leave Hermann Park without visiting the Japanese Garden. It's one of my favorite places to sit and reflect, sketch in one of the small teahouses, stroll next to the pond, or to watch the turtles sunbathe on the rocks. Make this garden the next location on your list for an afternoon retreat.  

From inside of the teahouse

Sketch from inside the Tea House, Japanese Garden, 4/10/2015

A new sculpture caught my eye as I exited the park. The whimsical piece was by none other that Yinka Shonibare (one of my favorite artists). Since 2014, Hermann Park conservancy has been placing new artworks around the Park to everyone's delight. You can view the current art installations on their website here:

Yinka Shonibare MBE 
Wind Sculpture IV, 2013
Steel armature with hand painted fiberglass resin cast
240 x 134 x 31.5 inches

Detail of Sculpture

Sculpture and Kites
Get Outside and Enjoy the Spring! xo,  The Bayou Botanist

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