Sunday, February 18, 2018

Unwanted Valentine Chocolates

On February 15th, a heart-shaped box of chocolates is as desirable as a pair of wooly mittens on the Fourth of July. Tossed in a grocery cart, shoved into a corner of the store, it’s a sad sight. I look at them and try to analyze why they were not chosen. Too large? Too small? Too ugly? Who was the anticipated customer for a box upholstered in quilted fabric reminiscent of a bandanna? There they sit, bathed in cold fluorescence better suited to revealing blemishes on avocados. I hope that all the unwanted boxes find homes before Easter.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Valentine's Day Chocolates

As February 114h approaches, all sorts of Valentine-themed treats crowd the shelves of stores. Reds and pinks abound. The holiday comes during that final seemingly interminable stretch of winter, when gray days, dirty roadside slush and the occasional blizzard makes it seem as if winter will be here forever. We need cheery red heart-shaped boxes, velvet bows,  glittery pink foil and the chocolates wrapped in that foil. This year, Valentine's Day is also the first day of Lent, the season of fasting and sacrifice. What to do?? Perhaps unwrap those chocolate hearts early and enjoy some of them now.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Woodpile

A pile of neatly split and stacked wood is a necessity for those who live in a log cabin with a wood burning stove. On a day that is not cold, I can admire the patterns, the horizontal and vertical lines of the logs and siding contrasting with the jumble of split log ends that are trying to be orderly but not quite succeeding. It's a perfect collage...well, actually it's a perfect assemblage, art waiting to be noticed.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Parallax Gap at the Renwick Gallery

Climb the stairs to the Renwick's Grand Salon then look up to discover the latest transformation of the ceiling. Inspired by architectural drawings of nine historic buildings, architecture design firm FreelandBuck has created a many-layered, lacy installation that starts with traditional one and two point perspective then skews it. The "drawings" were cut from fabric, stretched on frames then suspended, one above another like a stack of airy, floating pancakes. In some spots, you can see the "normal" architectural view. The overlapping colors and forms change as you move around the room. The installation will be on view through February 11, 2018. Learn more about its creation here:     
https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/parallax

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Snowfall from Inside a Taxi

Winter has thrown its chilly blanket of ice and snow over parts of the country that rarely experience it. Today I'm sharing my favorite photo of this winter, captured from a taxi during a snowstorm. Looking out through the fogged-up window, the view seemed to capture the essence of a snowy day: muted monotones, indistinct outlines and exciting jolts of the yellows and oranges that mark this as a city street. For a moment, everything was an impressionistic painting instead of a slushy intersection. It's easy to enjoy the scene when you are safely inside looking out.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Look Up! Look Down!

Set me loose in a city and I am happy to wander the streets for days, gawking at the architectural details, looking up at the capitals of columns and down at the patterns of tile floors. A great day is one during which I've discovered an elegant wrought iron gate or a stone squirrel climbing up the stone foliage surrounding an entry. Artists and craftspeople of a bygone age took great care in creating all those details that enrich the cityscape. Open up your eyes, look up and down and all around you. Enjoy the show!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Last of the Santas

I've always felt sorry for the Leftovers, the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates still poised on shelves on February 17th, the jumbled rolls of wrapping paper whose designs were not deemed festive enough to be chosen in December, the stuffed bunny with a strange expression who did not find a place in a child's Easter basket. Now it is too late for this small platoon of chocolate Santas. What went wrong/ They look so friendly with their gold foil packs slung over their red foil shoulders. Well, except for the one who has been dealt a death blow, possibly by the eager grasp of a small child whose mother's back was turned for a moment. Goodbye Santas. We will welcome your replacements next Christmas.