I made herbal amaro concoctions for the holidays. Amaro means ‘bitter’ in Italian, and a bitter ingredient is used as a base note (Orris root, Angelica, Cinchona, Gentian). Amari are digestives, they are made throughout the world and often contain local herbs making them wonderfully varied and a lovely way to experience a place when traveling. My concoctions change out the bitter, the alcohol base and offer up a playful variety of herbs. For the label, I used typography that highlights the base-bitter name running it vertically, and the bitter plant is pictured top. Amari are tinctures that aid digestion and are a wonderful celebratory finale for a meal with family and friends. Happy Holidays!
In graphic design there are parameters that come with each project. For me the fun bit is finding a creative way to work within these parameters to create a beautiful solution for my client. I thought it would be interesting to apply this process to the playground of painting. I choose a palette, photograph it and then set to work.
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I was reminded in yoga class the other night (because that’s what a practice is all about - the reminders) that there is a sweet spot of alignment between the reach and the counter pull, a stasis of perfect alignment, a place of physical balance. That holds true for so many endeavors. Reaching and striving need a counter balance of pulling into the moment, of meditation on what is present. Thanks RD for this moment in NH. (balancing rocks courtesy of engineer and friend Reynold Dodson)
Now that it’s cooling down outside I look forward to getting back to painting, to seeing with new eyes after stepping away for a breather. It’s hard to explain but there is a visceral connection, this practice helps me to cultivate a space where I can trust my ‘embodied knowledge’. A term I first heard in this interview with Ann Hamilton on On Being.
Rituals, for me, are a way of creating space, space when it doesn’t seem possible to do it all. There’s a quieting and a focusing that takes place, and I am finding that it allows for more insight and Beauty may just stop by as well. As Cartier Bresson said…aligning the head, the eye and the heart.
Adopting beautiful rituals…
A favorite author said that rituals are about transformation…
a favorite painter, that transformation is procedural,
and a favorite musician, that the journey is an act of imagination.
Perhaps rituals teach us to go about life with grace and intention and to see the beauty in the journey.