Sunday, September 28, 2008

Boat Trip

Traveling during the summer almost guarantees nice, sunny days. We like the spring and fall, when streets are quieter, but the weather may be less cooperative. Standing on a small bridge that arches over one of the canals in Bruges, I spotted this boat drifting our way. A clutch of tourists had signed up for a ride, in spite of a gentle rain that showed no signs of stopping. Apparently, when in Bruges, one must go on a canal boat ride, even if a dozen umbrellas will make it almost impossible to see anything. I am grateful for the gift of this picture, which still makes me laugh. We all travel with a list of "must-do" activities. How many people return to describe how they "did" the Louvre or the Sistine Chapel? Let's remind ourselves to adapt to the reality of each day and enjoy what it has to offer. Up till now, this has been my favorite "Canal Photo." I am heading off to different canal-filled locales, resolved to absorb whatever is out there waiting for me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Montefalco Facade

The town of Montefalco sits on a windy Umbrian hillside. We came to see the 15th century frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli, which are in the desanctified church that is now a museum. Afterwards, walking along a quiet street, we found this building. Like so many in Italy, it has been allowed to show its age. You can see how the path of the sun hits the door, and that the whole thing tilts slightly. It has not been replaced with a newer, "better" building. Back here in the U.S. we work hard to mix that same peach-gelato shade applying faux finishes to our walls. We make artworks from new things, working to achieve an old and tattered look. Perhaps it is a reaction to living a life surrounded mainly by things that are too new, too plastic for our souls. It compels us to create our own quickie version of time and age and wear.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


The first apples appeared at the farmers market last week. Although mounds of luscious peaches still beckon, they will soon be gone. The apples are harbingers of fall. This is my favorite apple photo. Taken with the Illustration setting on my Casio EX-Z850, it reduces the apples down to their sturdy roundness and differentiating colors. I like the way the wooden crates give structure to this picture. Those crates fascinate me. Useful and plain, they have mellowed over the years into a range of subtle silvery brown shades.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Big Rolls

When the Houston Quilt Festival ends, I usually help a friend take down her booth in the vendor mall. It is always disconcerting to see how quickly the magical world of colorful quilts, artfully draped fabrics and piles of glittering beads turns back into a stark space of concrete and metal. Strong guys roll up the carpet then hoist it onto carts, the rolls teetering unsteadily. The ends of the rolls form fascinating patterns. These circles within circles have much in common with the roses in last week's photo. Their irregularity gives the carpet rolls an organic quality that one would not expect from an industrial material.