Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Every space is a blank canvas

Summer is here! And with it comes the wanting to get outdoors.

I am an inner city dweller, and as such incredibly lucky as I have two great outdoors spaces to develop container gardens, a small lower level terrace and a roof top deck.

San Francisco being located between the bay and ocean creates this incredible wind tunnel with heat and fog making it quite challenging to figure out what plants will survive.

With the help of the staff at Flora Grubb we have found some great solutions to both wind and drought tolerant plants. Many of our choices are either from the European Mediterranean or African zones and they seem to be (after much experimentation) surviving. They also helped us pick planters made of lightweight composite materials.

We are so proud of our little olive tree, she is doing great (we won't be producing olio di oliva anytime soon though). We special ordered the tree, wanting a small, double trunk and slow growing variety; we waited for about 6 months for delivery. The olive tree was a perfect choice, being able to take the heat and winds of the Mediterranean climate.

For our roof we went to TAP Plastics and for under $500.00 put up a small plexiglass windbreak. The key was leaving spaces for the wind to pass-through, taking into consideration force and weight and keeping it under "legal" height. We also hired a plumber to bring water up.

Our next project is to get some decking for the roof. Again, weight, money and portability (in case of repairs) are important considerations.

What fun this is to plan. Like a painting, it is a work in progress.

After doing the drawing of the Terrace Chair I got inspired to paint the actual chairs. Everything is on the "cheap" these days. We bought the wood chairs from IKEA about 3 years ago for about $6.00 each and with the help of the bees (who chewed off the varnish for me) the sanding and prep was easy. Painting color is always rewarding. It's so fun to look out and see the bright color on our terrace.

The painting Bi-Rite Market is finally finished!

And this Friday I drop off three paintings, Trailer, Motel Pool and Beach Motel for a July show, Escape into Summer at Artist-Xchange Gallery. Opening reception is Friday evening July 9.

And more on works in progress... walked by the Zoltron stencils at 580 Valencia St. I think it is now safe to say that "our boy" won (see my posting on May 27). The stencils on plywood have been preserved and moved behind the newly installed glass storefront. Very cool!

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