Dymaxion Christmas

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I saw this unusual display on old 66 between Sapulpa and Tulsa the other night. The photo doesn’t begin to do it justice.  The best way I can describe it is “Dymaxion Christmas light display” — in real life, it looks like the result of some DNA-splicing experiment involving Bucky Fuller, Clark Griswold, and Peter Parker.

The concept is simple enough: It’s just strings of white lights stretched from random branches to random spots on the ground, like so many guy wires. The effect is amazing, though — as you approach, you get the impression that you’re coming up on some exotic street fair, with tents and pavilions everywhere, or perhaps some sort of geodesic structure outlined in lights.

As you get closer, you realize the lights aren’t outlining anything — they’re just an art installation unto themselves, and the way they shine through the branches makes them look like a giant spiderweb. It’s a really cool display, and one I’ve never seen before. I hope they leave it up for a little while after Christmas. It’s worth driving out there to see.

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Downtown Sapulpa has a nice Christmas light display, too. The first photo is the view down Dewey (66) the other night. The second photo is from Martha’s Corner, a little park on an otherwise vacant lot on Dewey. Sand Springs has a little park kind of like that, right next door to the newspaper office, and it’s really nice. Tiny greenspaces seem to be popular in this area. I’m glad. I like little parks like that — they’re sort of like hidden treasures in the middle of a busy downtown.

Speaking of busy, I’ve been hard at work the last couple of days, putting together a little present for my little nephew. I am creating a book for him called The Hippy-Dippy ABCs. He’s too young for it just now, but I hope to have it done by the time he’s old enough to look at it. Here are a few illustrations from it:

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That Fillmoresque lettering is hard to read, but I’m going to use inDesign to put the book together, and I’ll have the text printed below the images in a standard font. That way it will look cool on the page but will still be easy to read.

So far,  I’ve gotten up to J for Janis. I’m kind of stuck on K (“kynd bud” works, but I don’t think we need to encourage the baby to smoke weed, and “Kerouac” is too hard to illustrate), and I haven’t come up with anything for X. If anybody has any brilliant ideas, please toss them my way.

That’s about all for now. I had to buy India ink today because my ink had gotten old and started to congeal on the bottom, making it impossible to work with. While I was at the store, I found a great pen-and-ink set that had two pens and eight nibs for less than $8. It was too nice a set to pass up. I like using pen and ink to add details and outline things when I’m working with watercolors or colored pencils. I think that deep black ink really makes things pop out, and my style is cartoonish enough that I can get away with it. I use the same technique on murals, except I do them with acrylics and then use paintmarkers to outline things and add detail.

Someday I’d like to get into superrealism, but I don’t have time at the moment. I’m sure Jamie will enjoy colorful little hippie cartoons more anyway.

I’ve got a really cool art project coming up next month: My friend Terriann is loaning me her kids (ages 3 and 6, I think) for a decorating project in my home office. My aunt gave me a Barnes and Noble gift certificate for Christmas, which I am going to use to get a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. When the book comes in, I think Jaiden and Corbin and I will read it together, and then we’ll paint Max and the Wild Things on my wall. Jaiden is kind of a wild thing herself, so she should enjoy that. Let the wild rumpus start! :)

Emily

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6 Responses to Dymaxion Christmas

  1. M.T. Nester says:

    Your dad suggested “karma” for K. Don’t know offhand how you might illustrate that, though.

  2. Given the hippie’s natural affinity for Volkswagen products, I could go with “Karmann Ghia” for K … “Microbus” would be more appropriate, but the Red Fork Hippie would give her left Birkenstock for a Ghia, so maybe I’ll stretch a point here….

  3. Please publish this book so we all can have one!

    Laura
    @}–>–

  4. bettehall says:

    Swee Baby James is going to love his first book written and illustrated by his very own “Hippie Chick Aunt.”

    I agree with Laura, you should publish it. I would be your first buyer.

  5. M.T. Nester says:

    Going along with your compost entry, how about xeriscape for “X”?

  6. To quote Paul Newman’s character in Cars: “Hot snot! We are back in business!”

    I knew I’d thought up something for X one afternoon while I was flipping through the dictionary and waiting for our editorial assistant to finish proofing pages, but I couldn’t remember what it was. “Xeriscaping” was the word. I remember now, because it led to a long and protracted discussion about whether eco-friendly terminology such as “compost” and “xeriscape” are really hippie words. I had to explain to a colleague that back-to-the-landers are simply a specific breed of hippie, in the same sense that greyhounds are simply a specific breed of dog.

    Leave it to Jamie’s back-to-the-land-hippie-garden-club-president grandma to come up with that. ;)

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