Camera Lucida: It’s Not Just For Nudes Anymore.

This weekend is the opening of Oakwood Gardens in Hillsboro, Oregon. I quote from the opening invitation by owners Mike & Julie Safley:

Camera Lucida
Camera Lucida

David Chelsea is reading
“Paying For It”
by Chester Brown

“One by one, our four children flew the nest and left for college. With our home feeling empty, and wanting to see more beautiful things grow and flourish, we decided to create a small garden to surround and enclose our home at Northwest Alpacas.

To educate ourselves for the project ahead, we enrolled in the Master Gardener Program through the Oregon State University Extension Service and joined the Oregon chapters of the Hardy Plant Society and the Native Plant Society. We pored over the pages of more than one hundred gardening books and toured dozens of gardens in the United States, Canada and Europe.

We sought the guidance of garden designers Lucy Hardiman of Perennial Partners and Laura Crockett of Garden Diva Designs to help bring our vision to life and together we became a collaborative team. We started by clearing several miles of Himalayan blackberries along the creek and river. After five years of hard work and planting thousands of shrubs, bulbs and trees, we created Oakwood Gardens, named after the majestic 300-year-old oak tree on our property.

Stipple drawing for notecard
Stipple drawing for notecard

The small garden of our original dream has evolved into ten acres of delight to share with friends. Our grounds have an Old-World ambiance and feature a walled white garden with a pergola, a garden house, and a potager surrounded by a cottage garden. The formal beds around the house culminate at a three-tiered koi and water lily pool. Across the nature pond in the larger landscape you will find a picturesque waterfall. Take a walk over the bridge to the sanctuary garden and reflecting pool; then stroll down the path to the Amish wedding gazebo nestled in the woodland.

We are dedicated to the ongoing restoration of the creek and the Tualatin River frontage that runs on the edge of our property. We hope you will join us for our opening and we extend an open invitation to your friends who enjoy gardens.

Mike & Julie Safley”

Julie is a fan of my decorated envelopes and commissioned me to create twenty watercolor botanical illustrations on envelopes for the Hardy Plant Society, to be sold at auction to benefit the Oregon Chapter. Unlike the envelopes I have blogged about previously, these do not have addresses and stamps already on them; these are blank and can be addressed to whomever the lucky winner chooses, or to no one at all. Each comes with a matching note card decorated with a small stippled illustration in ink.

All of the pieces were drawn from life. I created the art using a camera lucida, a 19th Century optical device I usually employ for nude drawings (click here for my blog post about camera lucida nudes). I’ve added scans of a few of the pieces to an album of camera lucida drawings at Comics Lifestyle, starting here.

Eve and I are planning to attend the event, so if the timing is right, you could have a chance to Meet The Artist.

Oakwood Gardens Opening

June 25 & June 26, 2011
1:30 to 5:30 pm

11785 Southwest River Road,
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123