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College of Design

Monday, October 1, 2012

Do you Design for the Season?

So yesterday I had a site visit to Lilly Plaza. As some people know its across the street from Rapson Hall on the West side. It is bordered by Morrill, Pillsbury, Rapson, and Northrup Halls. During our visit each group had to decide the success of the vegetation used on site. My group and I had our serious problems with the failing grasses, random assortments of flowering perennials and weeds, barren gravel/sand areas and use of Kentucky Bluegrass on 1/4 of the plot. However I do give credit when credit is due. this plaza is planted for the Fall season, and why not! That is when the majority of students utilize and move through it. The Amber Maples are all shades of red. The Honey Locus trees are bright yellow and look insanely pretty in the light of a setting sun.

Other scenes I have observed lately are the changing colors by the Mississippi River. This is very close to me and is part of my entire life. I remember since I was very young that I have gone to the river bluffs to see the leaves change. Every year the West Side changes first (as represented in the picture) with lots of orange, red, purple, and dark greens, and the East side stays more yellow, yellow/orange and green. It is a great area to look for color inspiration especially since I have a Advance Representations in Landscapes: LA2301, and we just happen to be starting to use color in our assignments! Great timing.
blog photo river and barge.JPG
I am really bad with colors in my landscapes. I tend to make things look too literal, and not representational, where they crowd a drawing instead of help make it readable! This is my family's garden and I tried to do it justice with pencil as a gesture drawing. Practice helps a lot and maybe I will have the time to go back and try it with color pencil before the season ends.
garden gesture.pngjanes garden for blog.JPG

If I do not practice I will not learn, and learning is key. I used to be afraid to try something new, as if I should be good at it already before I tried. It really held me back, so i encourage you to do something you are unsure of. Trying until you are no longer fearful of failing is something I am working at right now in my own artistic practice. I try to do new things first and see where it leads me. Recently: doing design work on Auto-CAD and using the laser printer. It completely paid off and saved me hours of cutting time and lots of sore muscles in my hands. What are you trying now? Do not be afraid to ask some one with experience for help. Have fun with it and let your proff know what you tried, in case its not 100% perfect, at least they know you went out of your way to try and expand your skills.