Archive for the ‘inanimate objects’ Category

Pattern of the Day 2.0

June 22, 2016

Eight years ago I decided to challenge myself to design a pattern every day. The plan was to create a body of work that I could take to Surtex, a big surface design trade show in NYC, and hopefully launch a career as a pattern designer. I posted new patterns every day for about six months, but at that point I had gone to Surtex and actually gotten some projects. I sporadically posted for about six more months, then essentially abandoned POD because I was doing too much actual work plus kids and life and so on.

I consider Pattern of the Day 1.0 a successful endeavor, even though I didn’t make it to my original goal of 365 original patterns. I built enough of a portfolio that I began doing work for CB2, Crate & Barrel’s brand aimed at a younger, more urban demographic. That was really fun work and I’ll post pics of the projects I did during that time.

Now, in 2016, I’m rebooting POD on Instagram, I’m posting patterns from this blog plus new patterns periodically. Follow me on Insta for consistent posts. I may also update this blog with my new work. In the meantime, there are some interesting blog posts in the POD archives, plus all those original patterns. Hope you enjoy them.


Ice cubes

June 22, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 6.49.50 PM

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 11.12.16 PM

Red onion

September 29, 2008


September 29, 2008

out of my gourd

September 29, 2008

What does that really mean anyway? I’ll have to look it up when I have more time to consider strange English expressions. Here are some drawings of gourds in the meantime.

Where oh where have the patterns gone?

August 22, 2008

Pattern of the Day? Ha. It’s been more like Pattern of the Month. That’s because I have been working hard on a couple of big projects that I’m not able to post yet. So I’ve been creating close to a pattern a day, but I can’t show them to you… (if a tree falls in the woods but no one hears it, did it make a sound?).

I will resume posting once I get past these deadlines, and depending on what happens with the patterns I’ve been working on, I may be posting 30-odd patterns at one time. I just put a little “subscribe” icon in the sidebar so that it would be easy for you to sign up for email updates (when I finally post some patterns again, you’ll get an email) or an RSS feed for those of you who know what that is.


June 24, 2008

Guys and Dolls rehersal. We painted the set over the weekend and yesterday, and Gus will be practicing here all week. The show’s opening night is Thursday.


June 21, 2008

Today’s pattern pics come straight from north Denver, where my son Gus is performing in a play at the Bug Theater.

The Bug is a cute old theater, built in 1912 as a nickelodeon movie house. According to the website:

The theatre now known as The Bug survived multiple incarnations and more than 25 years of dormancy before local artists Chandler Romeo and Reed Weimer renovated the building in 1994 and founded the Bug Performance & Media Art Center (BPMAC), a non-profit organization dedicated to serving Denver audiences by facilitating the development and presentation of diverse arts and cultural programming.

You can see how the various incarnations impacted the building in some strange ways. Here’s an old pic (again, from their website, thanks Bug) that shows what it looked like originally.

When you get up close to the building, you can see that the original tile extends out beyond the wall (apparently built in the 50s), and that the wall was built at an angle.

Look at this great tile. It’s exactly the same as the tile border as in the Grow store. We always speculated that the Grow store used to be a barbershop or apothecary, but apparently that same style of tile was used in theaters also. I’d never seen these tiny circular tiles before.

Here’s an up-close of the 50s wall. I love this style of wall…but why did they put it at an angle? Was the architect trying to “modernize” the building when they enclosed the lobby? And look at the interesting pattern in the piece of steel between the sections of the building.

This large metal floor panel could have been just flat, but instead it has two unusual patterns pressed into both sides.

At night, the right-hand panel glows with light, because some of those circles are filled with a thick glass. You can see where they’re broken out in the photo above. Underneath the doors is what looks like a spider-webby stairway that presumably goes under the theater, and a little clamp lamp that someone put under there, to make the panel glow.

Next door to the bug is an environmental consulting firm and a little gallery where my friends Sarah and Kelton met years ago. The consulting firm has nice decorative steel window bars, a little bullet hole, and a lovely manhole cover in the front sidewalk.

And, for the last north Denver pattern, a close-up of the building across the street, which was also apparently “modernized” in the 50s with the addition of a stone facade.

We have a book at home called “How Buildings Learn” by Stewart Brand (of Whole Earth Catalog fame, and now founder of an interesting organization called The Long Now Foundation which was founded “…to provide counterpoint to today’s “faster/cheaper” mind set and promote “slower/better” thinking, [in order to] creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years…”).

Anyway, the How Buildings Learn book discusses these kinds of issues. Brand essentially argues that buildings are almost like Darwinian mechanisms, in that they have to change and “grow” to adapt to human needs and environmental and economic conditions.


June 19, 2008

Here’s a revision of the Obama pattern. I rushed through it yesterday in order to get it posted, but it really needed to be done more carefully. I’m not sure if tonight’s pattern is final or not, but it’s an improvement over yesterday. Note the removal of the nuclear energy icon, as per Ted’s insistence. I will use that icon in a new, non-political pattern because I like it so much.


June 15, 2008


June 8, 2008

Another concrete block wall.


June 7, 2008

I’ve always liked concrete blocks, especially the ones from the 50s that were poured with the different patterns left hollow. I took a pic of a big wall of them in NYC:

And here is my interpretation of the concrete blocks. It’s interesting how changing the foreground/background colors and moving the shapes around can create such different looking patterns.


June 4, 2008



June 3, 2008

When I was worried or frightened as a kid, my (new agey, ex-hippie) parents told me to visualize a white light or bubble around myself or whomever I was worried about. I spent quite a bit of time visualizing white protective bubbles….around myself, my sister, my parents, the cat, airplanes, my friends. It gave me a measure of security, a feeling of having some power to control my destiny.

I don’t get the same secure feeling now that I’m a skeptical adult, but the protective visualization can still be a comforting exercise. I googled “protective colors” and came up with this site, which has some info about how to create various kinds of protective forces around oneself. So here’s my distillation and abstraction of the information, in the form of a protective mandala, for Kelton and Sarah.

protective mandala


May 25, 2008

I did the sketch for this one weeks ago, before I went to NY. I think it was right after I got back from seeing Uncle Jerry and trying to figure out whether his medication cocktail had the right mix.

pharma blue

pharma reversed

5.15.08 – Brooklyn

May 15, 2008

Our first day in Brooklyn it was beautiful weather. We walked from our little B & B room up Henry Street, across Atlantic Ave. and down Court. We stopped for coffee and a bagel at Margaret Palca’s Bakes, then walked over to 5th Ave. in Park Slope. Lots of fun and interesting shops, including one called something about Chocolate. We found a nice coffee shop near our place that has free wireless internet, so the Tea Lounge has become our home away from home. We went to a couple of thrift stores and had dinner at a little Middle Eastern place called the Olive Vine, which was deserted but pleasant.



May 7, 2008

Getting ready for Surtex. This one is inspired by Gus, when he was 2. He was hammering away at something with his toy hammer, and when I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I’m building a website.”


rehab white


May 5, 2008

wash your hands


March 8, 2008

I’m still stuck on modern mandelas.

carb mandala


March 7, 2008

kitchen mandala blue background

kitchen mandala