Artisan Earthworks

PO Box 2254

Lake Oswego, OR





Where in the World?

We live in a beautiful world. Whether it is the majestic mountains of the Austrian Alps, the romantic settings of Venice or the colorful gardens and waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest--unique beauty is all around us. This is the inspiration that motivated us to create these one of a kind art cards.

All of the photos on our cards were taken by photographer John H. Reiff during his many travels around the globe. We've asked him to share his thoughts on the location and the inspiration behind each photo.


Honfleur was built on the south bank of an estuary of the river Seine on the coast of Normandy, France. The earliest mention of the town appears in the year 1027. During the town's earliest years its location served France as a protector of the mouth of the Seine.

In the early part of the 19th century, a small artistic community was established and an art school, Ecole de Honfleur, was founded. An acclaimed art school still exists there today. The small harbor, or Vieux Bassin, with Honfleur's quaint and colorful slate-clad building in the background has been a favorite artists' subject for centuries. Claude Monet studied and painted here, establishing Honfleur as a witness to the birth of impressionism.

In the spring of 1998, my wife and I stayed in a small hotel on the quiet cobble-stoned street a couple of blocks from the Vieux Bassin. I arose one morning before daylight, grabbed my Nikon and headed out in search of early-morning images. As I waited for the sun to rise above the horizon, I positioned my camera in anticipation of capturing a dimly-lit image. As the sun began to illuminate the 1998 scene before me, I imagined Mssr. Monet creating an 1898 masterpiece nearby.


Centennial is snuggled among the mountains of Wyoming's Snowy Range at an elevation of over 8000 feet. The town has the rustic appearance of the old-west; of a town caught in a time warp.

In the summer of 2006, we visited Centennial while touring southeastern Wyoming in our small motorhome. Stepping outside after visiting a delightfully quirky gift shop, I glanced skyward to estimate the arrival of an approaching summer thunderstorm. As I looked about me, I spotted a weather-beaten old wagon in a field nearby. Who had owned the wagon? What was the wagon's origin? Where had it traveled in its lifetime and how did it come to abandonment in an inauspicious field in Centennial, Wyoming? As I composed the photograph, the scene of the wagon with the purplish sky of an approaching thunderstorm as a backdrop seemed a fitting suggestion of the Oregon-bound pioneers in search of a new and better life.


In the spring of 2002, while on a driving trip through the Burgundy wine region of France, I visited Chateau de Pommard, in the town of Pommard, near Burgundian capitol of Beaune.

First established as a seigniorial estate in 1098, Chateau de Pommard's Estate Pinot Noir vineyards occupy fifty acres. The Estate's mansion and out-buildings were constructed in 1726. In the late 1700's, Napoleon, a close family friend, was such a frequent visitor to the estate that he kept a private room there.

As I was introduced to the estate's 400,000 bottle cellar, most covered in a thick coating of dust and mold, I thought I caught a glimpse of Napoleon himself among the hundreds of oak wine casks. Well, perhaps it wasn't really Napoleon, but rather that I was simply overcome by a feeling that time had stood still for several centuries.

I sought out a photographic image that I felt would convey, in some small way, the rustic, yet somewhat formal appearance of the Chateau's courtyard. I hope that, on that sun-splashed afternoon in May, I was successful in my endeavor.


While traveling the Italian Riviera in the late 1980's, we made an almost-obligatory stop in Portofino, Italy. I say "obligatory" because of Portofino's early reputation as a haven for Mediterranean pirates and, more recently, a glamorous tourist destination. The brightly painted and rustic buildings along the waterfront begged to be photographed. And photograph them I did! However, with a veritable flotilla of luxury sailboats and yachts in the foreground, something seemed to be missing.

While other tourists continued to take more "obvious" photographs, I looked around for an image that could serve as a unique representation of a sense of place. The huge, rusty chain had been ravaged by countless storms and salt water immersions, but remained attached to the stones at the harbor's edge. Long ago replaced by more modern methods of mooring, its presence suggested a time before technology and efficient methodology. Of all the images I captured that day in May, it remains my favorite.


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