Sunday, February 28, 2021

Moss and Lichen On a Wall

 They are always around us, but rarely noticed. On a gray day towards the end of winter, a shady wall is more colorful that anything in the garden it protects. The textures are enough to make me linger---velvety moss outlining each rough brick and pale lichens doing their very best impression of peeling paint. Look closely at that almost-florescent yellow lichen. It has crept along and dusted the moss with yellow, like the aftermath of a busy honeybee spreading grains of pollen out over the petals of a flower. Such marvels of nature, right there on a brick wall.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Annunciation, Simone Martini

 What do you miss from the "Before Times?" I miss museums, especially Washington's National Gallery of Art. There are artworks that I think of as my particular friends. I like to visit them every time, just to see how they are doing. This painting is about the size of a sheet of paper. I love everything about it; the warm colors, the textures stamped into the gilded background, even the odd tone of the flesh (probably because lead has discolored it over the centuries.)  It is crackled, flaked and chipped. The Archangel Gabriel has been intent on presenting that branch to the unseen Virgin Mary for 700 years. I am looking forward to seeing my old friend again, hopefully some day soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Button Love

 All artists are drawn to certain materials, techniques and themes. This is what defines their art. The shape of a heart appears often in my work. Sometimes it is obviously a heart, a pleasingly versatile shape that holds connotations of love. Other times it's not recognizable, just a line or a shape that starts with a gentle curve then becomes more, well, curvy at one end. Mother of pearl buttons find their way into almost anything that requires embellishments. They read as neutral-white but also have flashes of iridescence. I'm in my happy place, sorting through their variations in size and carved details. Happy Valentine's Day. Spend part of this day in your own happy place.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Winter In The Park

 We had no significant snow last winter. When you are a small child, waiting almost two years to make a snowball or go sledding seems like a lifetime. Last weekend our snow drought ended with just enough to build a snowman but still have a nice snow lawn for him to stand on. The trees, frosted and lacy, are my favorite part of a snowy day. I watched the kids slide down the little hill, bright pops of color moving in the midst of a black and white world. Then I carefully crunched my way home.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Snowdrops Beyond the Fence

 Just beyond the white pickets, in a yard that had been a study in dulled-down olives and browns, a patch of fresh green and white has appeared. Snowdrops! They pushed up on a mild day. Now they stand in solidarity, stems straight, little heads drooping. Bitter winds arrived today but the snowdrops are here. Spring will follow.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Amsterdam Boat

 A momentary glimpse can stay with you, waiting. It was a drizzly day. We were floating along a canal in Amsterdam, almost at the water line inside a tour boat. It was the colors that grabbed me. Since I was already holding my camera, I snapped. Sometimes you go back later and wonder "Why did I shoot that?" Not this time. I still find the colors and textures alluring. The strong composition, which was purely happenstance. It's the start of something. I am not sure what. Just go ahead and shoot those somewhat random photos. You never know what they might become.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Snowmen In The Street

 Shortly after Christmas I noticed three circles, crudely spray-stenciled near a curb, then more snowmen, groups and individuals, in blue or white. One set made me laugh. Someone had taken a permanent pen and given the snow people eyes, buttons and hats. Since then, I've found close to two hundred in white, blue, violet, red, green and tan, all within the borders of one neighborhood. Some are carefully positioned to "stand" on street lines. Others relate to cracks in the pavement or stand inside markings left by the gas company. An elderly lady asked me " What are they?" and then "What do they mean?" They mean that each day may have tiny moments of surprise and delight. Go on out and discover them!