Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Bunch Of Roses

Last week in the grocery store, I gave in to an impulse buy. How could anyone resist such beautiful roses? They were something in between yellow and orange, but earthier. They made me think of ochre dug up and ground into paint for houses clinging to the sides of hills in Tuscany. It is a color found in the robes of saints in church frescoes and on the fanciful designs of majolica plates. All week I enjoyed the colors and fragrance, contemplating once again the structure of roses. Petals packed together, ruffly circles within circles.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mission San Jose

In the western edge of San Antonio, Texas stands Mission San Jose, built in the early 1700s. These stone arches are part of the convento, or friary, which extends behind the church. I am intrigued by the patches of sky in this photo. If you stare at the picture for a while, eventually the secondary shapes formed by the sky take over and become almost as important as the arches. When we lived in San Antonio, we used to joke that the summer weather report was always the same: hot and sunny with a beautiful sky like this.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Caged Gnomes

Everyone comes home from Paris with photos of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. But the unexpected is what makes a trip truly memorable. Walking on the Right Bank of the Seine, we discovered the gardening and plant district of inner Paris. Out on the sidewalk, waiting to be unloaded into the shop was a container of plastic gnomes of every size and gnomic occupation.. Huddled together behind bars, their unanimously cheerful expressions made me laugh but also struck me as a little creepy. I do have photos of the Eiffel Tower but the gnomes are what take me back to that cool, drizzly day in Paris.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Palm Trunk

When a palm sheds its fronds, the trunk forms a pattern that looks almost as if it has been braided. Look closer and you see so many textures: hairy fibers, gracefully curving quill-like parts, rusty splotches, and such beautiful, subtle shading. I could work for a long time with just this one photo as my inspiration. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the big picture, whether it is the complexities of a tree or of life. Sometimes it is enough to start with the small details right in front of us.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Red Hibiscus

The hibiscus in my neighbors' yard are blooming. As large as dinner plates, the flowers are a testament to optimism here in our borderline gardening zone. Some years the hibiscus, camellias, and magnolias flourish. Other times a cold winter kills most of the tender plants. The hibiscus shown here resides in the yard of my in-laws. Satiny petals, and an elaborately embellished display that, to a fiber artist, looks fringed, feathered and beaded---what hummingbird or bee could resist?