Sunday, December 17, 2017

Flower Power At Bergdorf's

For 2017, Bergdorf Goodman's holiday windows are a salute to various museums and sites of interest. This one, featuring the New York Botanic Gardens seems to time travel back to the Swinging Sixties.  The gardening books are created from fabric and embroidered with titles in fonts that are straight out of Fillmore East posters. Where have we seen those models? Perhaps in a 1968 fashion spread for the London fashion company Biba.  Excuse me while I go listen to my copy of "Sgt Pepper."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Light Show, Saks Fifth Avenue

The holiday windows make New York City an alluring destination in December. But the most spectacular sight is the light show that plays out every few minutes on the facade of Saks. This year's version is my favorite so far. A clock ticks down then the turrets and gates of a castle appear. Colors wash over the turrets, fountains splash up and the aurora borealis moves across the "sky."  Thousands of people can watch from Rockefeller Center right across the street. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, nearly everyone stops to turn their faces upward, oohing and aahing. It's a communal experience full of the joy and wonder that we all hope to find during this season.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dockless Bikes, Washington, DC

A man hurrying to an appointment slowed his pace and looked at the candy-colored bicycles parked on the sidewalk near 13th and G streets. The bright colors might have made him wonder if a trio of ten-year-olds had gone around the corner to pick up a package Twizzlers and a Superman comic book. Bikeshare racks are a familiar site all around town but the new dockless bicycles are still something of a novelty. Meant to be used mainly for short trips, anyone who is signed up for the service can key in a code then pedal off. They can be left in any public place. No searching for a docking rack. If all this takes off, Washington may eventually look a little more like Oxford or Amsterdam.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Wavy Window, Delft

This is my 500th Weekly Photo. From the beginning, my goal was to post just one of my photos each week. I wanted to focus on the basics of art, design and composition. My hope was to encourage people to really look at the world around us, to notice the everyday seemingly humdrum parts as well as the flamboyantly beautiful and astonishing parts. Sometimes I have misgivings. Perhaps I should switch to a format that more directly promotes my artwork and my classes. But I'm still finding this wider range of images to be more compelling. Crafting the accompanying words has been an exercise in discipline and consistency. So today I offer to you the view through ripply handmade windowpanes in an 18th century house. It reminds me that it can be good to look at the world from a different angle, to consider the familiar or expected from a different viewpoint.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"Wings Over Water," Houston

Step out of the Houston Convention Center and you can enjoy the new pedestrian-friendly Avenida Plaza. A gigantic kinetic sculpture with its feet in a fountain is instantly mesmerizing. A rainbow of colored lights plays across the winglike sections as they slowly undulate. The artist Joe O'Connell was surely thinking of birds. This part of Texas was and still is a wetland and an important migratory route. Recently, everyone has been reminded about Houston's wetland origins, but it’s nice to think that birds still see the city as a good place for a bit of respite,

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Japanese Maple, November Colors

The full glory of autumn is the briefest of seasons. A day or two of rain and wind can send all the leaves flying. When the sun is out, let's remember to stop under the trees and look up. There, right above our heads, are all the colors of a rainbow, completed by the sky. In any season, one of the most comely attributes of a Japanese maple is the delicate and complex shape of its leaves. On this day, the sun turned some of the higher leaves into shadows dancing against the colors of ones right above me. The bare branches of this tree's neighbor are a reminder that soon the maple will be reduced to the essential winter design elements of line and shape.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Red Couches In Houston

A year ago, the front part of Houston"s George R Brown Convention Center was already in the midst of an expansion. Six weeks ago, it housed thousands of people who were flooded out of their homes. Those of us who come here for the international quilt Festival every year were not quite sure what to expect when we arrived this past week. The convention center came through the floods safely and the new spaces are real wowsers. Circular shapes and the color red are design elements that link the new sections with the building. Looking down from the third floor, these curvy couches form an alluring design. The new spaces contain art and lots of light. They have been readily embraced by visitors. Kudos to the architects and designers.