In the Making: Oasis

Where I grew up, in a California suburb of nondescript beige ranch homes, backyard pools were as normal as two-car garages and manicured front lawns. That single object has molded my idea of home so much so that each house I’ve had the pleasure of owning has featured either a pool or a hot tub. And to this day our backyard pool is the backdrop for our daily ritual of unwinding: cocktail hour. Friends and family know where we’ll be at that time and have a standing invitation to join us.

aerial view of suburb

I no longer call California my home, but every time we visit friends in Palm Springs, I’m reminded of the importance of pool culture in California. I think it’s because of the contrast - the desert landscape juxtaposed with these backyard oases epitomizes the leisure culture that Palm Springs is known for. I’m sure your vacation poolside ritual isn’t much different than mine. Stream your poolside playlist, find refuge under the striped umbrella and when the heat gets too much, trade the towel-covered lounger for a neon inflatable one floating in the water. “Nourish” your body with a variety of flowing cocktails (margies for me) and mentally check out with a good gossip magazine.


o·a·sis | /ōˈāsis/ (noun) 1: a fertile or green area in an arid region (such as a desert); 2: something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast


So when I started designing the Desert Springs collection, I knew I wanted to incorporate that idea in some way. Not surprising, inspiration struck during pool cocktail hour – as I stepped in the pool, I noticed that the tile pattern changed with every ripple. It immediately reminded me of David Hockney’s pool motifs and how he explored different ways of rendering light and water. Back in the studio I experimented with some India ink and a stencil to create a rippled water effect. Once I landed on the right texture, I collaged a herringbone pattern and scanned everything into the computer. After some digital manipulation, Oasis was born.

art suppliespool inspiration

It is the anchor pattern for the Desert Springs collection. Among the more bold, graphic prints, Oasis offers an organic, pleasant contrast, just as its inspiration does in the backyards desert homes.

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P.S. To read more about David Hockney’s pools visit the artist’s website, BBC.com, Artsy, or MutualArt.

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