#9 Night flowersPortfolio

01 Craig Cramer
01 Craig Cramer

 Magic
blooming
mandalas

Like shattered kaleidoscopes, shining mosaics and intriguing mandalas are these stunning, almost alien bouquets. A single look at the monthly bloom day posts of Craig Cramer is like delicious healthy ‘mind-snack’ for your creative nature-loving soul______.

02 Craig Cramer
02 Craig Cramer

Craig Cramer

Craig Cramer is an ex- magazine editor working as the communications specialist at Cornell University New York. This ultimate plant lover runs a beautiful personal blog called Ellis Hollow. Every month he creates and shares the most incredible scans of the plants and flowers he encounters in his life and garden, which he calls Bloom Day Scans.

ellishollow.remarc.com

03 Craig Cramer
03 Craig Cramer
“RAIN OR SHINE THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING IN THE GARDEN FOR SCANNING______.”
04 Craig Cramer
04 Craig Cramer
“RAIN OR SHINE THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING IN THE GARDEN FOR SCANNING______.”
05 Craig Cramer
05 Craig Cramer
06 Craig Cramer
06 Craig Cramer
“THE CYCLAMEN ON MY KITCHEN WINDOWSILL CONTINUES TO PUMP OUT FLOWERS, AND IS THE ONLY THING OBVIOUSLY INTERESTING DURING DARK WINTERDAYS_______.”
07 Craig Cramer

Flowercast

Iris
Poppy
Astrantia Bergenia
Dicentra Geranium
Centaurea montana Erysimum
Allium
Petunia
Cyclam
Christoffer weed
Monkhood
Cimicifuga ramosa

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

Photographs
Craig Cramer

At the website of Cornell University Craig says about himself: ‘I’m the communications specialist in the School of Integrative Plant Science (Cornell University, New York) who specializes in nothing. I manage numerous websites (including this one), write articles and news releases, blog, shoot photos and video, manage our poster printer and do anything else necessary to get the word out about our research, teaching, and extension and outreach programs.’

His marvelous bloom day scans tell us something else. Craig’s a real artist. He certainly is specialized in something; scanning blooms. He started his personal blog Ellis Hollow twelve years ago, and his work is getting more and more fabulous... By now Craig has posted more than twentyseven pages with the most amazing bloom day scans. Some with additional humorous shreds of text like; ‘Oh yeah. They’re sticky.’ Or, during rain season; "Despite some recent rains that have perked things up a bit, the garden is still spotty. But there’s always something to scan..." In the summer heat of July; "Lawn is toast. Got trees shedding leaves. Spot watering is keeping transplants and the veggie garden going. Slim pickin’s on blooms. But there’s always something out there for scanning."

Floral patterns

His inspiring work variates from catchy cabbage mandalas till complicated, balanced and very fragile multifloral arrangements. Originally Craig started up publishing his scans for his students. But his four-panes, honeycombs, caleidoscopes and mandalas by now are reaching a far bigger audience. His work is a real source of inspiration ‘for all plant folks’.

Craigs work goes back to 2005. Looking at his vlog you get to see all year long seasons in his garden, marvel at the beautiful floral mandalas and read about him struggling with his scanners, fiddling with frosting dahlia’s, ‘blue eye’ alliums, pink pegunia’s, canna honeycombs and new year’s cyclamen. ‘The cyclamen on the kitchen windowsill continues to pump out flowers, and is the only thing obviously interesting in winterdays. These plants — like forced bulbs — are usually considered disposable after they flower. But I’m glad I saved this one to give some angels to dance on the kitchen window sill.”

Tossing flowers

A New York Times article in 2005 introduced Craig to the scanned flower art technique; arranging flowers on the platen of a flatbed scanner, with the resulting prints looking like old-timey pressed-flower arrangements, only with vibrant colors and 3-D effects. Craig recalls: “Before I even finished reading the article, I ran over to my office windowsill, snapped off whatever was flowering (violets, geraniums, fuschias), tossed them on the scanner, threw my jacket over the top, and hit scan. It’s one of those techniques that takes a minute to learn — and a lifetime to master.”

And he did. No daffodils or tulips yet in his New York garden. But Craig’s already looking forward to spring when he can choose excessive from an excessive load of types of flowers. “But in all honesty, the biggest barrier (beyond time) is that I really have a hard time cutting my best flowers off at the knees, even if they’ll be immortalized in art_______.”

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

Photographs
Craig Cramer