sometimes design projects come along that involve incredibly interesting subject matter. and sometimes they involve incredibly interesting people. spectacle island comes with it the pair.
bernt kuhlmann, principal of lifestyle resort solutions [<< just click that link and check it out], has created several resort concepts that are beyond one’s everyday imagination: amangiri, dunton hot springs to name a few. he masters escape & comfort while staying in-tune with exclusive features the natural surroundings might bring. he meshes luxury with design and concept.
austria-bred, austin-based bernt owns a small island in mahone bay, nova scotia, where he and his children occasionally withdraw for a bit of family time. he has decided to open up the island to travelers who are searching for a unique and somewhat primitive place to escape. i was thrilled to handle the branding of spectacle island resort.
literally … these days are numbered. i had the honor of designing the bar bc ranch calendar again this year. last year’s was a success and, according to the bossman, this year’s “is fabulous, well done! Maybe the best yet?”
this year, i was asked to not only design the calendar and handle pre-production/production, but they wanted me to paint a series of watercolors to accompany each months “hero” photograph. the series consists of 3 insects, 3 fish, 3 trees and 3 plants. again, this was one of my most favorite jobs. i love large, intense projects that i can get lost in. this satisfied both my overly-organized self as well as the creative daydreamer in me. thanks again to mj for a great experience.
i work with a great partner on the project, which makes it that much more enjoyable (mj, you know i’m talking about you). the organizing, research, working with wyoming photographers, etc, went smoothly with the hillwood team. printing went smoothly, which is always good news. capital printing here in austin does a fantastic job of being technically on-it as well as accommodating and pleasurable to do business with (high five, mickey!). the production side of it can be a headache (and backache and eyeball ache) but they run it smoothly and kink free.
which is your favorite?me, i’m partial to jackson hole in september …
photography with the accompanying watercolor: it’s easiest to click on the first one then scroll through them with the arrows once the image is open large.
last fall i turned another year older. and after ACL i wanted to get the -H- out of the city for a bit. my birthday request was to get away from crowds and traffic and people. get closer to space for thinking, running, playing. i love birthdays … and squeeze as much out of them as i can.
this last birthday was exceptional. the best. andrew and i drove down to marfa and big bend for the weekend. if you haven’t been and you are coming from east of marfa, you have a flat, barren drive ahead of you. we kept saying “can you imagine living all the way out here?”. i have always been fascinated by folks that live hundreds from the easy access of our human “needs.” it was a fun drive (honestly, it’s always a fun drive with someone who likes adventure as much as you).
thursday night, we stayed at el cosmico in marfa and friday we camped under the stars along the rio grande just outside of big bend national park. the desert is so beautiful. i was able to spend my birthday with cactus, huge mountains, a sky full of stars and one of my most favorite humans in existence. the birthday fairy was good to me this year.
[this post was originally written at the end of october. and i swear i posted it! … but i guess my adult-onset a.d.d. took over and i didn’t.]
a couple of weeks ago, i was contacted by two separate people needing commissioned pieces. one was for an award of appreciation and the other for a birthday.
the following is a not-so-high quality iphone image i took of the piece commissioned for ashley wimberley by the arkansas advertising federation. they left the subject matter pretty open, since i know ashley and have worked with her very closely in the past. i chose something liberating, natural and inspiring. she’s been a wonderful person to work with in many people’s eyes. the piece was presented in an awards ceremony that took place while i was away in peru. take a look:
the thoughtful andrew ashmore commissioned a fly illustration for his father, who’s an avid fly fisherman, on his birthday. the family has a great cabin on the little red river and andrew wanted him to have some more art on the walls. he sent an image of a beautiful fly for me to illustrate. here’s the process and the final:
the illustration looked nice with this rustic frame. i mounted the drawing on a newspaper clipping from a publication distributed in the early 1900s that i have on hand from my great aunt. framing art is just as fun as making the art itself, so i always cater to the illustration – making it art as a collective. each one is unique.
pretty sweet, if i do say so myself. what? what was that? you need me to commission an illustration? painting? email me: firstname.lastname@example.org