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STEVENS FAMILY SUGAR WORKS

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My good friend, Adam, an industrial designer turned woodsman turned maple syrup endeavorist, asked me to create a logo for his new venture. A maple tree and a fantastic company name later… Here is the STEVENS FAMILY SUGAR WORKS logo. I hope he sells barrels and barrels of it.

MAGNOLIAS AREN’T DOGWOODS AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT.

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For my whole life, I grew up calling these trees that bloomed the most lovely floating flowers Dogwoods. Giant, dessert-plate sized blooms that would open in early spring. It wasn’t until I was having dinner one night with my talented, landscape architect friend that I was set straight.

I asked her to name the tree that carried the most delicious, salmon colored petals. Her answer was “Dogwood.” Oh, no, no. I KNOW what a Dogwood looks like and this isn’t it. And I went on to describe once again what she again called a Dogwood. A google search later and what I had been calling a Dogwood all these years was actually a Magnolia tree.  That’s where the idea for this drawing came from. A lesson in horticulture from an ignoramus in the style of a slightly off-kilter Victorian illustration.

BEGINNING WITH THE END.

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In November a brilliant and dear friend approached me about doing a project for the Smithsonian. No big deal.

She was looking to do something different and unique for their holiday card and had seen a time lapse video I had done of my poppies. And there it started- a time lapse video of a drawing to incorporate the Smithsonian castle, with all its hallmark details in a holiday setting, using a song from the Smithsonian Folkways collection.

3 Tombo markers, 2 GoPros, and a partridge later…this was what we came up with.

Smithsonian Holiday card

 

 

BETTA SPLENDENS

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Betta fish. There are certain elements of the natural world that are total headscratchers to me.

Butterflies, for example. Their beauty is unparalleled yet why are these insects given this level of craftsmanship, while others like the fly are left gray and unappealing?

Bettas fall into the same category. The Flamenco dancers of the sea. Their fins are hypnotic. I decided a series of these gorgeous creatures might be necessary.

STRAWBERRY FLOWERS AND LEAVES LIKE MAZES

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strawberry-sketch2

One of the benefits of drawing is that you become intimately involved with your subjects. I have a very close relationship with squash flowers, for example. We’ve spent many hours together. The tightly twisted petals check most of my boxes: organic lines, repetition, curves…  These are a few elements that will be built into the new EMBEE STUDIO website. Is it strange to have such strong feelings about vegetables?