Thursday, February 16, 2017

Freedom!





The 16th of February is a special day in Lithuania! The Act of Reinstating Independence of Lithuania was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles, with Vilnius as it's capital. 
And the handsome man shouting "Freedom!" is Jonas Basanavičius, who was an activist and proponent of Lithuanian National Revival among other things.
I think this could become a really nice T-shirt!

Typography by Arūnas Šileris. The drawing commissioned by publishing house "Vyturys".


And... animated...


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pigeon postcard



Have you ever searched pigeon breeds on inernet? I have a few favorites, but the most funny are pouter pigeons, German Modena pigeon and the bug eyed Budapest highflyer pigeon-the equivalent of a pug in the world of pigeons.
I won't mention the most beautiful ones-there are simply too many.
And about the postcard-it was supposed to be a wedding one, but I thought the fox wedding postcard would be more fitting.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wedding postcard with foxes



Foxes have weddings in February, as did my friends last weekend. This is a postcard I've painted for them.
I am in love with colored ink. And golden too!
The spring is coming soon! Hard to believe each year,ins't it?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Green winter forest and ice trees

The winter migration...
There has been a thick fog for two days and I missed the chance to take a photo. Well, but something even more curious happened. The fog settled down on every surface and gradually froze. The trees turned into elegant music instruments of glass. There was the shimmering sound of the branches.

It looks like a bad print, where the colors are not aligned.
And no ice in the forest. It was still very green. I could make out where the violets grow and even pick some oxalis acetosella.
And the moss seemed to still be growing...
But the most beautiful were the sponges and lichen. With no snow and lush green they were exposed to behold.


The perfect tree house.
These are roots on a path. But I like it this way more.


There are two books on lichen in Estonia. Both in Estonian and English.


Even rotting away is done in grace.
The swamp of milk.
We saw the doings of woodpeckers. But the birds couldn't be seen or heard. 
This is the second time I find a pile of feathers of a woodpecker. No bones, no blood. These birds like to get busy close to ground and probably all that head banging doesn't really help to look out for predators.



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A family portrait

Isn't it what everybody dreams about-to do something you love everyday? 
I had a request to paint a family portrait of people as dogs, that fit their character and/or looks.
 For me it is always really fun to find out what animal a person resembles the most or what character traits are similar.
 So, here are a basset hound, a labrador and their daughter as a beagle. 
No matter how I tried, I could't take a photo of the beagle without the shiny brush strokes. I can't imagine how people take photos of oil paintings!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mr. Miyazaki and Ghibli


So now you see the second reason why the last day was very special. It was like a cherry on a cake for our trip. We were on our way to visit my friends and later the Ghibli museum when we saw Hayao Miyazaki walking towards us. In case you don't know who he is, read on here.
One does not get to meet this man often in the public I was told. 
There's not much to tell, except that everybody was exited and Mr. Miyazaki was very calm, but smiling a lot and waved to us on his way back to Ghibli studio.

 What a day. After the great home made lunch we find ourselves in the Ghibli museum. No photos were allowed inside, but only for the best. People simply have to see it for themselves.
The next three photos were made on the roof of the museum.
Later we had coffee and cake in the cafe of the museum. We saw a guy drawing chocolate hats on top of the coffee all day long. I am a bit worried about his back...

And the day was still not over! On our way to hotel we made a detour and visited Kakusenen shop, specializing in succulents.
 We saw some wonderful plants. Also some amazingly high prices. I had no idea that localy bred haworthia can be that expensive. 
And the ceramic pots were a feast for the eyes and hands equally.

video
Clown fish from Sumida aquarium in Tokyo making it's bed. 

That's all from our trip to Japan. I hope you enjoyed it too :-)

Good night.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Visiting



Our last day in Japan was very special for many reasons. I will tell you about the first one in this post.
Before I even knew I am going to visit Japan I started following another fern and orchid enthusiast on Instagram. She was from Tokyo. She in return followed me.
So as soon as I knew I am going to Japan I asked if she would like to meet and give an interview about her hobby. I was very exited to be invited to her place. 
So after more than 3 months I am walking with three beautiful Japanese women and my friend Giedre in the streets in the outskirts of Tokyo. 
People grow vegetables in their yards and persimmon fruits shine like lamps everywhere.
The house is perfect. High ceilings allow to hang the gigantic staghorn ferns wherever one wishes.
The girls are busy preparing ramen for lunch and me and Masako have a chat. 
I find out she is 39 years old, married and has two sons. Currently she works at a small system development company.
She remembers she got interested in orchids one year ago. A white Cymbidium melted her heart last January. That's how it all started.
Masako has around 35 orchids and as many staghorn ferns, also some succulents. She loves orchids for their bizarre looks and vitality. Even non blooming orchids are nice to look at, because of their bulbs. Her favorite orchid right now is Dendrobium aphyllum. Masako got it from the wife of her master of staghorn ferns.
I ask how growing orchids in summer and winter differ and she tells me that the winter in Tokyo is cold and very dry. She doesn't have a green house, so the living room is full of plants. The summer of Tokyo is hot with strong sunshine. And Masako is happy to be able to grow plants freely outside. But as most orchid growers she envies the people in Thailand
I find out that Masako's family is indifferent to her hobby. They don't hate nor love it (ha, just like mine). But she smiles and says she hopes her sons will one day help her water the plants.
Because the never ending watering is the most frustrating thing in orchid cultivation, says Masako.
I am curious if she visits orchid forums and shows. She does visit orchid shows often, but tells me that for now growing orchids is the hobby of the elderly in Japan.

Here are some advises for people who might get interested in growing orchids and staghorn ferns. 
・Plants are not interior goods, so make a habit of watering.
・Growing orchids and staghorn ferns is very similar. Let's take the challenge!






The scull here is not a real one. I really liked it!
Platycerium ridleyi is one of the most difficult staghorn fern species to grow. I hope this little one becomes a big and strong plant!
Ant plant dischidia.




The lunch was amazing. We got some tips on food making. Also some very special desserts.
The growing sanseveria collection.
Look at the perfect chandelier!
I hope me and the girls will meet again and we will visit some of the Japanese orchid and staghorn nurseries.