Brandon Smith (Redwoodtwig)

Redwoodtwig Photography, Etc. LLC is registered in the State of Missouri.  It is owned by myself, Brandon Smith, and has a physical office at 21129 North Mount Pleasant Road, Hartsburg, Missouri  65039.  That is also the address of the art garden and studio and my home.

I was born not far from the redwood groves of the Big Sur coast in California, but didn't really experience them until college.  My formative years were spent in Indonesia and Thailand, and except for college in California, the rest of my life has been outside the redwood country in Europe, Virginia, Illinois, Southern Missouri, and since 1999, here.  

There was a period of close to a full year that I lived inside a grove of redwood trees.  The name I'm using, redwoodtwig, carries with it for me some of the peace and tranquility, the majesty, and the wildness of the coastal California redwoods.  Even if only a twig's worth. 

The places I've been and the things I've done have allowed me to develop skills in a wide range of activities and to view things from a wide range of perspectives.  My Tai Chi in the studios, my photography in the studios, my art and my gardens each draw on my life experiences.    

Redwoodtwig is how I choose to brand my three-fold path of Permaculture, Tai Chi Dao, and Art.   I could easily add some more folds to my life path, but as I would talk about in my PBP arena (word art); three is easy to work with. Too many more factors and things can rapidly get much too complicated.

The mission of the Redwoodtwig Art Garden Studios is to create and sustain a permaculture based forest garden with indoor and outdoor studio spaces in which to learn, teach, and create beauty in harmony with nature; and along the way to encourage nature to grow healthy and delicious food crops. To practice, learn and teach the use of permaculture to create an edible forest garden; to practice, learn and teach Tai Chi Chuan and similar whole body movement arts; to practice, learn and teach making sculpture, performance and visual art; to practice, learn and teach the philosophy and practical skills of systems thinking and sustainable living.

Some of my favorites

Tree by the field

Basic biography:    

I am American, by both birth and primary culture, but I spent nearly 20 years living in Asia and Europe.  Where I've lived and where I've traveled to doesn't define me, but it has been enough out of the ordinary to give me a more global perspective on life.  Growing up outside the States has also meant I have missed out on a great deal of cultural and societal education -- I missed out on TV from 1956 until 1964; got quite fascinated by TV, but somehow never acquired the TV habit.

Born in 1946, I recall very little of infancy and early childhood spent in Los Banos and San Jose, California.  

In 1956, I set out with my parents and brothers on a journey to the far east.  Arriving in Djakarta that year was a huge awakening for me that I still recall vividly and have written about in my first memoir

1956 to 1960:  Indonesia -- mostly in Djakarta, but also trips to the nearby beaches as well as to Sumatra, Bali and other parts of Java. Trips back to the states in 58 and 60

1960 to 1964: Thailand -- mostly in a house on the outskirts of Bangkok, with longish stays at the beach town of Pataya (which didn't have a paved road at that time), at a riding camp on the river Kwai near Kanchanaburi, and trips to other interesting places, like the elephant roundup. Cruise ship across the pacific in 62. Visits to Kashmir, Macao, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Tokyo, Hawaii.

1964-1965: College in Santa Barbara, California

1966-1968: Visited Vietnam on an all expenses paid excursion arranged by the United States Marine Corps. Enlisted. Combat.

1969-1974: college in Santa Barbara, California, with a summer visit to my parents in India and a three week auto tour of France, and later a year off in Big Sur.   Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.

1974-1979: All expenses paid excursion to Germany courtesy of the United States Army. Side trips to Scotland, London, Paris, Monte Carlo, the Riviera and points in between.  Logistics  and combat engineer work.

1980-1992: Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, near Washington, DC,  and Ft. Sheridan, Illinois, near Chicago, where I retired from the military.  Operations Research Systems Analysis (ORSA) , database and computer work, mostly.

1993-1998: A house in a "holler" off a rural route deep in the Ozarks near Ava, Missouri.

1999 to 2012: A house on a 10 acre patch of woods between Jefferson City and Columbia, Missouri and full time day job in Jefferson City. Mostly enterprise level database and application work on remote servers.

2013 to present:  Same house, day job is now building the art garden and studio on these ten acres.  Also practicing and teaching Tai Chi forms, working on forest therapy trails, making art and in general keeping busy earning my social security and military pensions.