Sunday, April 17, 2016
Hand painted fabric, layered, shapes cut out to reveal the underneath colors, embellished with beads and polymer clay discs.
This is a bead made from rolled magazine paper.
I love the bottle cap fringe with the polymer clay beads. These beads and discs were made by the daughter of a friend, long ago when she was a girl. She is all grown up now, married and has a little baby. Back then I once made her day by buying a whole bunch of her beads. Over the years I dug in that box again and again, using beads for projects. Now the box is almost empty. The round red beads are also made from polymer clay and were given to me as a bracelet by another friend. Now they are recycled here.
I always pick up from the ground things that appeal to me, stuff that tells me I can use it in some kind of creative project. Twigs and stones and branches, all kind of dry things like fruit and seeds from trees and bushes, and my favorites, rusted iron items. I store these in a basket and when some muse speaks to me, I take them out.
I made a similar piece three years ago which you can see here.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
STORK, I welcome thy return.
Thou stork, I welcome thy return.
Thy coming is the sign of spring,
And thou dost joy and gladness bring.
Stork, upon our roof descend.
Thou stork, upon our roof descend.
Upon our ash-tree build thy nest,
Our dear one, and our honoured guest.
Excerpt from an Old folk song
They are back! Resting on their way from Africa to their northern summer residencies.
This is the view from our balcony in the early evening. Every year for some weeks in spring we have this marvelous display right in front of us. At about six o.clock the excitement starts. There is movement in the sky, first high up, sliding dots, round and round...
Then touch down on the trees for the nights rest. Early in the morning they take off. At the end of the day the next batch arrives.
We are always waiting for these beautiful birds to arrive when the sun sets, greeting them happily, listening to their soft just-before-sleep chatter.
Photographs Uri Eshkar.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Israel has a wide range of beautiful wild flowers. The queens among them are certainly the Irises. This is the Nazareth Iris, and as the name suggests it grows in the area around Nazareth in the north of Israel. Its Latin name is iris bismarckiana. It can be enjoyed in some other locations too, as in the Galilee, the Upper Jordan Valley and on the Mountains Hermon and Gilboa.
I love these these marvelous spring treasures and looked at them many times with wondering eyes and a thankful heart.
Photos by Uri Eshkar.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
It was quiet for a while here on my blog. Facebook is partially to blame, or rather I am to blame for falling into the Facebook trap of easy and quick posting. I don't seem to be the only culprit of this. I have blog pals whose posts I am missing, seeing almost daily fast postings on Facebook instead. On the contrary I have a dear friend who took the consequences, closed her Facebook account, and pays attention to her blog with good posts, informative about her art work, with wonderful photographs. I think it would be best to find a middle way. Artisans' and craft people's Facebook posting keeps audience alive. Blog posts are for deeper insights and should be constructed in more detail, which does not mean they have to be endless long and boring, but more heart and soul should be felt in them.
I also had another reason to be absent. I was quite busy. About a month ago I was invited by a curator to join an exhibition in Tel Aviv-Yafo. Not with paintings, but with my painted stones, "hamsa" and "against the evil eye" stones, which she had seen - yes - posted by me on Facebook. I happily accepted and started working. Well, I know, when you see the results, it looks more like playing, and it is, but it is certainly hard work too.
Of course first the raw material has to be collected. I always have large wadi pebbles, which I bring home from outings, but I did not have enough. So off we went looking for more.
I decided to prepare two styles of stones, round pebbles, the uneven bumpy, not flat kind, which I meant to paint very colorfully, all the colors, no worries! One source to obtain them you see in the above photo.
And then flat stones, the kind which is used for garden paths and decorative walls. Some of these we found in nature, and others I got from the Arab nurseries down hill. The flat slabs I wanted to paint with more muted and earthly colors, and I did not want to cover them completely with paint, but let the texture and color of the stone show through. I finished them with a matte varnish, while the pebbles got a glossy one.
The glossy varnished pebbles are hard to photograph, the last photo was taken before varnishing, therefore there is no glare.
The symbols of the hand, the eye, the fish, the heart, the colors of blue and turquoise are all Middle Eastern good luck and protecting charms. I added touches of my surroundings, like olives, pomegranates, grapes - and naive images of the old city of Jerusalem.
Here you see a small selection of the about forty stones I painted. The exhibition with works of many wonderful artists will open in the beginning of April at the Ben Ami Gallery in Yafo.
Photographs were taken by me - these and my painted stones, like all my work, are copy righted.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Eucalyptus trees are blooming so very beautifully. Together with the flowers, also buds and fruit are present, which makes them truly special, pretty and wonderful.
Eucalyptus trees can be found all over Israel, from the Galilee and the Golan Heights in the north till the Northern Negev Desert in the south. They are not native to the land, but were brought at the end of the nineteenth century from Australia. The idea was to plant them to dry the swamps, and get rid of the dangerous malaria mosquitoes. There are hundreds of different kinds of eucalyptus trees. Here the most common species is the Eucalyptus Camaldulensis, which grows to a stunning height of about 45 meters. Eucalyptus is a very fast growing tree. The leaves contain camphor and other properties and can be steam distilled to extract oil, which has many uses in the pharmaceutic and cosmetic industry.
The eucalyptus trees are evergreen and blossom for seven or eight months of the year. They are very much appreciated by bee keepers. While it is not a good time for honeybees worldwide, local bee population is thriving. The honey the bees produce from the nectar of the flowers is amber colored, a bit spicy and less sweet than other honeys. The health benefits are enormous.
The eucalyptus trees, together with the palm trees and olive trees are a distinct part of the Israeli landscape. The wind rustling through the long spear like smooth leaves of an eucalyptus grove makes a lovely and peaceful sound, and the scent is fresh and soothing.
Photos by Uri Eshkar, taken yesterday near Omer in the Negev Desert
Saturday, November 28, 2015
My husband called me: "Come, come out quick, bring the binoculars and the camera!"
"Look under the carob trees, the middle one of the group of three..."