Lord Whimsy on PAINTING WITH MOSS (2009)


Above: Lush, ground-covering Irish moss.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Lord Whimsy’s (Arthur-sponsored) Terrarium Workshop in Philly. Among many other pieces of invaluable botanical information, he shared one of the most inventive graffiti-making methods that I’ve ever encountered; using cheap ingredients (found moss, water and buttermilk or beer), it is possible to blend up a moss-spreading concoction that can be painted with a brush onto any stone surface (such as a garden wall, walkway or even the exterior of your home) to create the living design of your wildest imagination. If it has always been your dream to have living walls, this could be the start of something beautiful…

Lord Whimsy’s Guide to GROWING YOUR OWN MOSS:

Try spreading your carpet of moss with this method: find and clean a clump of moss. Add equal parts water and buttermilk (beer apparently also works well). Add a couple tablespoons of sugar. Mix in a blender: the consistency should be soupy, but not too watery or thick. Pour wherever you’d like moss to grow. Moist, shady spots are best. You can also apply the moss slurry onto surfaces of stones or walls with a paintbrush.


Above: Japanese moss-covered home.

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

4 thoughts on “Lord Whimsy on PAINTING WITH MOSS (2009)

  1. whoa…when I lived in iceland, land of moss-covered rocks, I vowed someday to have a moss-floor in my dream-home living room. maybe the outside walls would be better–great idea!

  2. As it happens, Lord Whimsey will be speaking at a Modern Craft & Design class at Moore College of Art & Design in Center City, Philly tomorrow evening (6:30 – 9:20).

    Contact me if anyone is interested in attending as it will be open to guests of students.
    moebe79@hotmail.com

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