Saturday, December 8, 2012

Painting and Sculpting a Garden

Viewing a landscape as a painter or sculptor would gives us the ability to avoid confusion. Think of it this way. Any landscape painter looks at the subject (a big, big world) and must choose which of what he or she sees will get into the painting. It can fairly be said that a landscape painter doesn’t paint every tree leaf or blade of grass in view. The portion of the landscape captured must also be a deliberate choice.
Landscape design begins with choices. Out of all the elements in the existing plot of land prior to design, some must be kept and some removed. Very rare is the blank canvas of landscapes. Even rectangular flat plots of land are set in a neighborhood. In landscape design, the backdrop counts. We cannot ignore a distant mountain or a neighboring colossal oak.  Or the buildings.

What is your existing canvass? What will you add, paint over, or enhance?
A similar need to choose elements arises when designing indoor spaces or added an element (such as a brick oven) to an existing building, room, or outdoor space.

my house and pond  (self-designed and built)
In this case, the brick oven's dominance as a social magnet and large piece of masonry can be considered against the surroundings.  Unlike a table or chair, brick ovens aren't 'moveable'.  
I often propose a number of location and design solutions, recognizing that for each place and each person, the 'right' place may be slightly different, especially based on the intended purpose for the oven.

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