Sunday, August 7, 2022

Hummel Figurines


 As an artistic child promise growing up in Bavaria, could Berta Hummel ever have known that her art would become a worldwide sensation? After she joined the convent and became Sister Maria Innocentia, her paintings were reproduced as postcards. In 1935, the first Hummel figurines appeared. For many years, two of them sat on my grandmother's mirrored shelf, safely away from the hands of small grandchildren. Flea markets now do a brisk trade in Hummels. Whether you think they are charming or too kitschy, they hearken back to a happy vision of a gentler time.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Dill, Morning Glories and Bindweed


 At this lush point in the summer, tomatoes and zucchini are ripening and new flower buds open every morning. In a yard devoted to rows of sunflowers and vegetables, there is an entanglement of dill, morning glories and bindweed. Morning glories and bindweed are cousins, one with heart shaped leaves, the other with leaves like green arrows. They curl and twirl themselves around the stems of dill. One is considered a welcome garden flower, the other is labeled a weed Neither seems to care. They continue sending out fine tendrils, growing and twining.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Colorful Front Yard


 Ten years ago, the only time you saw signs in yards was shortly before an election or when a house was for sale. Signs proliferated like dandelions in untended lawns once the pandemic stopped people from going out. Most of the semi-permanent yard signs are meant as declarations of support. When spring arrives, families mark upcoming high school graduations. This family has coordinated their summer flowers with the sign for a delightfully colorful display.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Garden Angel's View


 The angel sits along the edge of the garden, arms perennially upraised. In summer, he is half-hidden by the plants. He sees it all, in every season: the first tender leaf buds, daffodils pushing up through the soil, hydrangeas hanging heavy with flowers, autumn leaves changing from green to gold. What season is his favorite? The angel will not say.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Boardwalk Graffiti

Plants that like to keep their feet wet grow tall in July. Rushes, cattails and feathery grasses form a tangle that whispers in the breeze. At the turn in the boardwalk, initials remain, carved years before in wood that has grown silvery with age. It's a magical spot, suspended just over the water.

 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Bertha, I'd Like to Know Where You Got the Notion

That's the title given by Donna Castellanos to the portrait of her grandmother. It is currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery, juried into the Outwin American Portraiture Today exhibition. Look closely and you will see a potpourri of sewing tools and notions: buttons, zippers, measuring tapes, needles, snaps, hooks and eyes. Yes, those are two well-used tomato pin cushions. It's an appropriate homage to a woman who worked in a factory, sewing in zippers. As my friends and I delighted in discovering each detail, one of the guards stepped closer, listening to our enthusiastic commentary. "It’s my favorite too." he shared. High praise from a person who has had day after day to carefully study each artwork.

 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Alley With Daylilies


 A system of alleys starts and stops, offering a quiet place to walk on a summer day. The alleys offer a quieter place to mosey along, with a peek into back yard gardens. Flowers spill over fences and birds chirp on low branches. When the sun is out and the daylilies are in bloom, I can almost trick myself into believing that I am on a country lane.