Sunday, July 23, 2017

Waiting For the Music

On a meltingly hot evening, the lawn of Wolf Trap was already filled with people waiting for the start of the sold-out Moody Blues concert. "Days of Future Passed" was released 50 years ago and the Moodies were performing the entire album. As the sky faded into darkness, their signature spacy-choir harmonies mixed with orchestral melodies and guitar riffs. Parents who were teenagers in 1967 enjoyed the music with their children's children. The die hard fans in the rows closest to the stage danced.  During the encore, the  audience, which had come from all around the Washington DC area, sang hopefully or ruefully or plaintively the lines from "Question:"
"I'm looking for someone to change my life,
 I'm looking for a miracle in my life..."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dolls In the Window

They sit on a windowsill behind a sheer curtain in someone's office, their backs to the parking lot. The dolls never change. One rests a protective hand on the smallest doll's shoulder. Another leans to the side, as if to get a better view of the goings-on in the office, or perhaps to shimmy down from the window sill and escape. No one combs the blond's hair. Why are they there? Have they been forgotten?  It's mysterious and slightly sad, imbued with a sense of waiting, but for...what?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Plastic Bags With Blue Zips

Kevin Womack makes art quilts. Some of them are created from fabrics that he has printed from photographic images. He cuts and sews them into radiating blocks. The completed patchwork invites you to look closely and carefully at the individual patches, after you have taken in the quilt as a whole. Working this way requires careful organization. Kevin sorts and stores the cut patches in plastic bags. I am intrigued by the way the pile of bags creates a new design. My eyes insist on following the blue zips as they zig and zag through the pile. Out of this asymmetry comes order--literally. See  Kevin's quilts--the ones from this series as well as the ones made from his art fabrics--on his web site: https://www.kevinwomackart.com/

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Hot Summer Colors

At the farmers market, a convergence of cherry tomatoes and cut flowers caught my eye. The mingled yellows and magentas looked Indian, or perhaps Mexican. They raised the memory of curries and chiles on my tongue. Just as with flavors and scents, we associate colors with places, even if they are places we have never visited in person. These colors speak of heat to me.  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Resilience of Dandelions

I stopped to admire a whorl of dandelions growing out of the gap in a neglected stretch of sidewalk. The seed  heads glowed in the low-angled sunlight. They looked so magical, so delicate. One touch and their perfect fluffy roundness would crumble into almost-nothingness. Then each seed would set off on a journey, carried on a breeze, sure to find a new home on a lawn or in another promising sidewalk crack. They may not be welcome in our gardens but every child recognizes a dandelion’s enchanting beauty.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

View From the New Wing, Columbus Museum of Art

The year-old Schottenstein Gallery is a spectacular space for art. "Bodies @ Work: The Art of Ruben and Isabel Toledo" was the perfect installation for this roomy, light-filled space. It was an artistic collaboration and conversation, an interplay between Isabel's fashions and Ruben's large-scale paintings. Mannequins upholstered in black fabric wearing black dresses stood in the floor to ceiling window. They were silhouettes not only from this backlit viewpoint, but, because every detail was black, silhouettes as well from the outside. Up close, with the light flooding over them, viewers could appreciate the fine details of each garment, but shape was the most important element. If only I could share a dozen images. There was so much more...I will think about this exhibit for a long time.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's Okay To Be Messy

We all try so hard to be neat. Best selling books encourage us to tidy up, to organize our closets and drawers, to pare down our possessions. But there are times when this is not possible or may even be counterproductive. This is a work table in Pat Pauly's class at QSDS. When you are in a a frenzy of cutting and sewing, striving to create an excellently composed art quilt, the last thing most of us want to do is stop and tidy up. Chaotically tossed fabrics can lead to discovering that two disparate prints really do work well together. An orange may land next to a violet and the pairing may sing. Tidiness is great but a bit of a mess can encourage creativity.