Art Inspired by Nature: Presenting the Celebratory Work and World of Artist Roger Sandes…

March 24th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Water Garden: Sky © Roger Sandes – Acrylic on panel, (36″ x 72″)

Springtime at last! With the snow finally receding and bright sunlight warming earth, to me it feels as if the entire world is awakening at once. In celebration of the first week of spring, and as part of our ongoing “Art Inspired by Nature” series, The Gardener’s Eden presents the vibrant and beautiful work of artist Roger Sandes. Working from his home-studio, surrounded by glorious gardens in Williamsville, Vermont, Sandes creates luminous paintings on wood panel and collage works on paper. Roger and his wife, artist Mary Welsh, both belong to a professional organization know as The Rock River Artists. Regular followers of this online journal will recall the popular article featuring the raku work of Richard Foye, another member of this extraordinarily talented group…

Stream of Consciousness © Roger Sandes – Acrylic on panel, (72″ x 36″)

Last month prior to a meeting with the Rock River Artists, I was treated to an exquisite dinner at the home of artists Roger Sandes and Mary Welsh. Artist’s residences are invariably fascinating places, and the Sandes-Welsh home is no exception. Spectacular works of art hanging from brightly colored walls, beautiful moth orchids and potted primrose greeted me as I stepped inside the kitchen door, where the warm scent of Mary’s homemade curry filled the air. What a lovely evening we shared. I have been a fan of both artists’ work for years. Roger’s large-scale paintings featuring abstracted, natural imagery and brilliant color work are both beautiful and complex. Although his paintings may be enjoyed simply and immediately, his work is best savored over a long period of time; allowing for the rich detail of his multilayered stories to unfold and fully blossom. It’s easy for a nature lover to fall in love with a piece like, “Counting Crows”, (second painting, below). With it’s striking vertical composition, layers, movement -and of course it’s fascinating subject, one of my most beloved creatures, the crow- this piece is my undeniable favorite.

An artist for more than thirty years, Sandes continues to exhibit his work throughout the US and abroad. His pieces are included in fine private, as well as major corporate collections world-wide. I wish I could include all of Roger’s beautiful works here on this site, however, you may see many more original works of art, as well as a wide selection of beautiful, limited-edition prints, online at the artist’s website. Roger’s paintings and prints may be acquired directly from the artist’s studio, or in galleries linked on his webpage. And if you are lucky enough to find yourself in New England this summer during the annual Rock River Artists Studio Tour, (July 17th and 18th, 2010), be sure to stop in and visit Roger and Mary for the open-studio event. Their beautiful home and garden along the river, filled with brilliant artwork, is a feast for the heart, mind and soul…

Counting Crows © Roger Sandes – Latex, gesso and cut paper, (24″ x 20″)

Counting Crows © Roger Sandes – Acrylic on panel, (78″ x 36″)

Counting Crows IV © Roger Sandes – Latex, gesso and cut paper, (24″ x 20″)

Water Garden: Sky © Roger Sandes – Acrylic on panel, (36″ x 36″)

Natural History © Roger Sandes – Acrylic and cut paper on paper, (16″ x 20″)

Waterborne II © Roger Sandes – Acrylic on panel (36″ x 78″)

Rising Water © Roger Sandes – Acrylic on panel (30″ x 88″)

Waterborne I © Roger Sandes – Acrylic on panel (36″ x 78″)


For further information about the artwork, please visit the artist’s website:

Florilegium II © Roger Sandes

– A sample of the artist’s beautiful botanical prints, available here online

And how could this feature possibly be complete with out a quick tour of the Welsh-Sandes home and gardens, (click to enlarge images below)? The artists are both flower lovers and avid gardeners, and their home is clearly a paradise for the inspirational, living creatures inhabiting Roger’s work. Thank you Roger and Mary, for opening your home and studio to readers of The Gardener’s Eden online journal. What a lovely celebration of life, and prelude to spring…

The Sandes-Welsh kitchen, filled with Roger’s botanical paintings and prints…

Roger’s paintings fill the home with the stories of the natural world, and life’s beautiful celebration…

All photos are courtesy of, and copyright, Roger Sandes and Mary Welsh


Article copyright 2010, Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden

All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used or reproduced without prior written consent. Inspired by something you see here? Please give credit where credit is due. It’s a small world and link-love makes for fond friendships. Stealing makes for bad dreams…

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Art Inspired by Nature: The Luminous Allure of Bill Dwight’s Flowers…

February 9th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

The delicate silk of a white tulip, luminous petals unfolding in morning light; freesia caught in a glowing rouge blush; the timeless, feminine allure of flowers, all beautifully captured here by artist Bill Dwight. Intoxicatingly fragrant and sensual to the touch, flowers can change a mood, stir a memory, calm the senses. The undeniable, transformative power of the blossom is revealed on a cold midwinter’s day. Thank you Bill Dwight, for a glorious prelude to spring…


Photographs © 2010 Bill Dwight – All Rights Reserved

For further information about Bill’s photography, please visit the artist’s Facebook page: Bill Dwight


All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used or reproduced without written consent. Thank you.

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Art Inspired by Nature: The Luminous Glasswork of Artist Randi Solin

December 2nd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

solinglass-shard-series-autumn-bowl 6.5 x 10 x 10 (shards and cane)

Autumn Bowl, Shard Series, 6.5 x 10 x 10 inches

I am always excited when visiting studios as part of the ongoing series, ‘Art Inspired by Nature’, for The Gardener’s Eden. I love seeing other artists’ work environments and, even better, watching as they work. It’s a rare treat for an outsider to actually see a piece of art created from start to finish and to become, if only for a minute, part of that experience. Glass blowing is an art with a dramatic visual process, and the creation of a glass vase is a spectacular event to behold…

When I visited Solinglass two weeks ago, Randi Solin and her team of glassblowers welcomed me and made me feel completely at home while I peppered them with questions and photographed them working. A glass artist since 1986, Randi was a photography student at Alfred University in upstate New York, when she discovered her passion for glass. After completing her arts education, Randi moved west and continued to study glass blowing while working as a studio assistant, artist and teacher. In 1995, Randi began her own glass studio, Solinglass, while living in California. Today Randi’s studio is located in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she and her studio team of three, (George, Marie and Michael), work forming exquisite, award-winning glass vessels. Solinglass is available in galleries throughout the United States, (see list of location at the Solinglass website ), and is shown in many national exhibitions each year. Randi’s work is widely collected both by individuals and corporations, including Air France, Lufthansa and UPS, among others. In addition, Solinglass may be found in major national and international public collections including those of the White House, the Petersburg Museum, and United States Embassies in Guinea and Algeria. And I must also mention that the entire studio was excited to tell me that Randi’s Solinglass  work was recently chosen for inclusion in the prestigious Smithsonian Museum Show this coming April 2010. Congratulations Solinglass …

solinglass-shard-series-summer-bowlSummer Bowl, 6.5 x 10 x 10 inches



Because Randi’s blown glass artwork is so painterly and organic in style, I immediately felt drawn to her vessels, even before I had the opportunity to actually meet and talk with her. Each series begins with natural inspiration; the seasons, landscape, herbs and spices, botanical elements, abstracted shapes and forms. The artist then moves to a conceptual stage; translating her visions into glass designs through experimentation, planning and continuously evolving, signature techniques. The layers of sheer and massed color in Randi’s work give her pieces an extraordinary, three dimensional quality and a glowing, luminous presence. Watching her work is not unlike watching a painter, only this artist draws with ‘paint’ that is hot as molten lava, and blends with blue-tipped, blow-torch ‘brushes’. Her old-world tools include wooden paddles, long metal pipes and blow-cones, medieval-looking glass scissors and chisels, among other fascinating implements, all unfamiliar to my curious eyes…

While visiting the studio I watched Randi and her hot-glass assistants create a ‘Shard Bowl’ from the series – start to finish. Below are some photographs I took during various stages of the glass blowing process. Randi’s technique combines elements from both the American glass movement and Venetian, (from the island of Murano), methods. To understand more about Randi’s work, and to watch her blowing glass, I suggest visiting her website where you may view a short film on her process


Solin Glass R Solin

Randi Solin adding glass, glowing like lava, to the blow pipe. Glass is heated to 2,300, with a working temperature of 2,120 degrees fahrenheit. All of this heat and physical activity make for steamy work environment…

Solin Glass cooling pipe

Cooling the blow pipe for handling…

Solin Glass Team Working on Vessel

George and Marie begin to form the vessel, blowing and turning…

Solin Glass adding pigment

Randi adds color to the clear vessel with fine glass particles, hand sifted onto the hot surface. This first layer is similar to a painter’s first ‘wash’. The vessel is then reheated to liquify this powdery glass…

Solin Glass, Adding glass

Randi adds organic shapes, forms and patterns with glass cane and shards. The cane are long strings of colored glass, pulled into spaghetti-like strands while hot. When these strings liquify in the glory-hole, they move like drips of paint across a canvas…

Solin Glass Process

In the shard series, chunky, broken pieces of glass  form the large colored masses in Randi’s work. These multicolored pieces are a challenge to work with, as they all heat and cool at differing rates. Randi and her team begin to speed up their process; heating, cooling, molding and shaping the vessel as they work it. Air is continually blown into the vessel to maintain the interior bubble…

Solin Glass torch

In Randi’s glass studio, blowtorches and metal tools become paint-brushes…

Solin Glass Torch

Randi, her two assistants and the glass are all in continuous motion…

Solin Glass Team

Randi designs and works every piece individually, with the continuous support of her hot-glass team…

Solin Glass R. Solin

Solin Glass final visit to glory hole

The vessel, nearly finished, emerging from the glory hole…

Solin Glass, Randi pulling neck

Randi pulls the neck with tools…

Solin Glass, Ranid cutting neck

Cutting the loose edge…

Solin Glass working final neck shape

And blowing a graceful mouth…

Solin Glass turning

The turning process involves many tools and methods, from the complex to the simple, as demonstrated by this photo of Randi working with bare hands and wet paper on hot glass…

Solin Glass cutting vessel

Once removed from the pipe, the beautiful vase will cool in the annealer, a kiln-like, heat controlled oven. This will allow the glass to cool slowly and evenly, to avoid internal stress and cracking. Once removed, the vessel will move to Michael in the cold room for grinding, polishing and signing…


solinglass-shard-series-bowl 8 x 10 x 10 inches shards

A finished piece from the series, Shard Bowl, 8 x 10 x 10 inches

Solinglass studio will be open to the public for the annual Cotton Mill Open Studio Weekend and Holiday Sale event, December 4th – 6th. This is a rare opportunity for collectors in New England to acquire discontinued pieces and unsigned studio-seconds, (all gorgeous). Prices at this event start at just $25. Directions and details on this event, including information about other fine artisans, are available at the Cotton Mill Studios website. Randi’s assistants, George and Marie, are also glass artists. Marie Formichelli Gaffers also shows her own glass creations, for information please visit Vermont Artisan Designs.

Thank you so much Randi, Marie, George and Michael, for inviting me in and generously sharing your time, expertise, process and beautiful glass vases with The Gardener’s Eden

solinglass-flat-vessel-saharaSahara, Flat Vessel Series, 13 x 10 x 4 inches. This series emphasizes the artist’s painterly approach to glass; the vessel serving as a three dimensional canvas for multiple layers ‘drawn’ and ‘brushed’ onto the luminous surface…


Window, 13 x 10 x 4 inches, (part of the Window Series)…


Catalonia, Emperor Bowl Series, 7 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches. This series is inspired by a form of ancient pottery designed to hold a single flower…


Gold Ruby, Emperor Bowl Series, 7 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches, Hand blown, free form glass, colored with gold ruby frit and a multi-layering of sterling silver leaf  – cut and polished


To watch a video of Randi and her team, blowing glass in the studio, click below:

Solinglass Video

For further information about Randi Solin and for gallery links, please visit :  Solinglass


Article and studio process photographs copyright 2009, Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden, all photographs of completed vessels are courtesy of Solinglass.

Artists featured on The Gardener’s Eden appear in an editorial context. No payment of any kind is received by The Gardener’s Eden for editorial article features.

All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden, and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission. Inspired by something you see here? Please give credit where credit is due. It’s a small world and link-love makes for fond friendships. Stealing makes for bad dreams…

Art Inspired by Nature: Butterflies, Birds, Bees & Moths – Exploring the Exquisite Work of Cara Enteles…

October 7th, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

Peril detail

Peril in the Branches, (detail), oil on aluminum, 48″ x 72″, © 2009 Cara Enteles

Stop. Behold the fleeting, delicate beauty of a butterfly lighting on flower petals, or the whir and buzz of hummingbirds and bees as they dart about, competing for late season pollen. What an amazing and diverse world we live in. As gardeners we tend to be keenly aware and respectful of the living miracles all around us. Time spent in the garden provides many opportunities for close encounters with spiders, bugs and birds as they instinctively go about their daily tasks. These amazing creatures and their relationships with one another, as well as with humankind, are the subject matter of this week’s  Art Inspired by Nature: The Work of Cara Enteles.

I first encountered Cara’s paintings last summer through the Emily Amy Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia where we are both represented and exhibit. Cara’s work is truly beautiful to behold. Metallic aluminum and transparent acrylic supports enhance the saturated hues, surface, depth and detail of her paintings. Immediately mesmerized by the luminous quality of her work, I found myself further drawn in and captivated by the complexity of her natural themes. After looking closely at Cara’s paintings over the course of time, I was not surprised when she told me that she is an avid gardener. Her work communicates both a rich understanding and respect for the natural world, and a joyous, uninhibited sense of wonder.

Many of us have become deeply and legitimately concerned about shrinking habitat, changing climate, and other ecological imbalances both natural and manmade. Cara’s work speaks to these concerns by exploring the complex relationships between the species in both her ‘Alternative Pollinator’ and ‘Predator and Prey’ series’.  I hope you will make the time to look closely at Cara’s work and to share it with others. Artists of all kinds play an important social role by raising awareness and inspiring action. Cara’s work gives voice to the concerns of the honeybee, the hummingbird, the butterfly and the plants they pollinate; the natural world and web of life, upon which we all depend.

Cara Enteles‘ paintings can be seen in galleries and collections though out the United States, and this month she is participating in Art London with Four Square Arts in the United Kingdom, October 8-12th. The artist divides her time between New York City and her home in Abramsville, Pennsylvania, where she works in her beautiful vegetable garden, pictured below…

~ Click to enlarge any photo ~

Cara Enteles, working bees oil on acrylic sheet 2' x 2' cara enteles

Working Bees, oil on acrylic sheet, 2′ x 2′, © Cara Enteles

Peril in the Branches Oil on Aluminum 48x72 inches

Peril in the Branches, oil on aluminum, 48″ x 72″, © Cara Enteles

Cara Enteles, Alternative Polinators 5, oil on acrylic sheet, 2' x 2', cara enteles

Alternative Pollinators 5, oil on acrylic sheet, 2′ x 2′, © Cara Enteles

Hummingbird Pollinators 2 Oil on Aluminum 26x36 inches lr

Hummingbird Pollinators 2, oil on aluminum, 26″ x 36″, © Cara Enteles

Cara Enteles, The Last Days of Summer, oil on acrylic sheet 36" x 36"

The Last Days of Summer, oil on acrylic sheet, 36″ x 36″, © Cara Enteles

Cara Enteles, Mostly Moths # 3, enamel and oil on aluminum, 48" x 32", Cara Enteles

Mostly Moths #3, enamel and oil on aluminum, 48″ x 32″, © Cara Enteles

Butterfly Installation, oil on aluminum 9' x 3'

Butterfly Installation, oil on aluminum, 9′ x 3′,  ©  Cara Enteles, (detail below)…

Butterfly Installation, detail, oil on aluminum, 9' x 3'

For more information on where to see/acquire Cara’s work, please visit her website:

Thank you so much Cara, for sharing your work !

All artwork displayed on this post is the copyrighted property of Cara Enteles, and may not be reproduced or used in any way without her express written consent.

Cara's garden

~ Cara’s Pennsylvania Vegetable Garden ~

Learn more about protecting the honeybee, birds and nature at these sites:

The Honeybee Conservancy

The National Audubon Society

The Nature Conservancy


Article copyright 2009, Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden

Art Inspired by Nature – Tim Geiss “Looking at You, Looking at Me”

September 16th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

BWfrog Geiss 2009.

Frog, 2009, Tim Geiss

Welcome to the first installation of what I hope will become a weekly series, “Art Inspired by Nature”, on The Gardener’s Eden. As a gardener and nature-lover, I constantly find myself face to face with the beautiful, strange, and awe inspiring world around me. Sometimes I am moved by the beating wings of a butterfly, other times I am drawn in to the color of stone and then stunned to find a perfectly preserved, paper-white snake skin. I never know what I will find in the garden, and this unpredictable aspect of my work thrills me. I am also a visual artist, and recently I visited The Clark museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts to see ‘Through the Seasons, Japanese Art in Nature‘ and ‘Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence‘, (more on this show later). What I saw at the museum that day inspired me to connect with other artists, (photographers, sculptors, painters, potters, and more), in an effort to share their amazing work with you here on The Gardener’s Eden.

Looking. Looking very closely at the world around me has taught me a great deal. What better way to begin this series than with a collection of photographs focused on eyes? I present to you, “Looking at You, Looking at Me”. Meet photographer Tim Geiss. Tim is a natural observer. What I love most about his work is the instinctive way he approaches photography. There is a spontaneous, child-like quality to Tim’s images. To me, this is art in its purest form. Curiosity. Observation. Appreciation. Repulsion. Fascination. Expression.

Enjoy Tim’s work. May it inspire you and move you, as nature has inspired and moved human beings for all of time…


Eye, 2009, Tim Geiss

dragon fly eyes

Dragon Fly, 2009, Tim Geiss


Cicada, 2008, Tim Geiss


All photographs copyright 2008-2009, Tim Geiss. These photos are the property of Tim Geiss and may not be used under any circumstances without the artist’s consent. To contact Tim Geiss, please visit……

Like this series? Please leave your comments here on the forum by clicking on the title bar and then scrolling down to the bottom of the page. I am sure Tim would love to hear from you!

Stay tuned. Every Wednesday, The Gardener’s Eden will feature the work of a talented artist inspired by nature !

Are you an artist inspired by nature, or do you know one? Would you like to be featured here? Send your information/links to The Gardener’s Eden – See “Contact” at left…

*All content on this site, (exclusive of guest photography), is the property of  The Gardener’s Eden*

Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved


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