Sunday, May 25, 2008

Garden Room

I took this picture on a fine spring day while visiting Hidcote Manor Garden in the English Cotwolds. Our surprise and delight in approaching the massive green hedge, and finding a doorway into another garden "room" are something that has stayed with me. Hidcote was built as a series of "rooms". Some are entered through an arch or a doorway, while paths and enclosures of trees lead to others. Layers make our artwork more interesting. Layers can partly obscure an image, create a sense of depth or tantalize with a small, more focused glimpse of something important.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


For a short time each spring, the wisteria that climb a wall on one side of the National Gallery burst into bloom. Delicate blossoms of lavender and mauve dangle in the midst of a top-heavy boa of green leaves. It is a sight portrayed often in Japanese art, which, in turn influenced the artists and designers of the Art Nouveau period. With its curling tendrils and elongated flowers, I think of wisteria as an iconic Art nouveau plant. The 1890's are often referred to as the Mauve Decade, because mauve was the first chemically-produced aniline dye available to the public. How right it is that wisteria are dressed in this color.
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Red Roses

All over my neighborhood, the roses are blooming. I am especially fond of the older, somewhat neglected ones that have survived draped for years and years across the same fences. There is a campaign to get rid of the old chain link fences. Many of them are in a sad state of disrepair. But I do love the roundness of these roses in contrast with the grid of the fence. While the roses are in their brief, glorious bloom, the peeling paint and rust of the fence adds a nice textural contrast.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Air Force Memorial, Arlington, VA

The newest memorial in the Washington, D.C. area sits on a rise above the Pentagon; three upward swoops of metal symbolizing flight. I am fascinated by the changeability and the almost ephemeral quality of this structure. From some angles, you see only two arcs. Depending upon the sun and weather conditions, the arcs can be dark silhouettes, shining and silvery, or barely discernible against the sky. Imagine a multitude of sky-colored fabrics and some curved my future there may be quilts inspired by this memorial.