Sunday, August 30, 2009

Orange Pants

I am happy to spend days or even weeks wandering around a city, looking at the buildings. Others shop for Prada or line up for tickets to the latest show. I venture down side streets admiring cast-iron facades, elaborate cornices and fanciful terra cotta medallions. In the West Village, I stopped to imagine how this building would look in all its French Vanilla glory once the plywood, temporary walls and concrete barriers disappeared. Down the street came a girl wearing orange pants. Orange stripes, orange pants. How could I resist?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Heart Swings

These days, little girls are coaxed into loving the color pink. From babyhood, they are snuggled into pink blankets then pink boots, pink mittens, pink backpacks. The "girl's section" at the toy store is a sea of pink. At the county fair, there is a ride consisting of bright pink hearts that swing around and around. No little brother would be caught dead on this ride. I had no idea whether the picture would turn out when I snapped it. At night, I need to make a long slow exposure. But the waiting girl was transfixed by the whirling hearts. Stillness and movement, all in pink.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Red Siding

Waterford, Virginia is rich in history, with many perfectly restored homes that evoke both the Federal and Antebellum eras. I was taken by this somewhat disheveled building with its arresting play of white against red. The simple squares and rectangles could have been stark and jarring, but for the subtle variations. Vertical lines of siding change here and there, with patches of red shifting in intensity. Streaks of silvery wood emerge from the worn white paint, blending into the gray stone and concrete. My finicky designer's eye wants to paint one of those upper windows white to balance out the composition. I can ignore that urge and love this building for its beautifully weathered surface, years in the making.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This photo could be seen as a companion to the previous week's image. While the other picture was anchored by a grid of squares, this one is all about circles and ovals. The stripes of the watermelons lead my eye this way and that. The smooth bright flesh of the cut melon is the focal point, drawing me out of the striped chaos. I love the yellow and orange baskets, perfect circles contrasting with the oval melons. The open weave of the baskets' plastic sides form a rhythmic pattern of tiny squares. This is a modern day still life, to me as luscious and captivating as a Dutch painting. It's all there every weekend, waiting at the farmers market.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


The tables at the farmers market are laden with ripe peaches and nectarines. I wait all year for this. The trick is figuring out the correct number of them to get me through the week. Some farmers pile them up in dangerously high mounds. This scares me. Pick the wrong peach and you might start an avalanche. I am drawn to the colors of this display and the way the roundness of the nectarines contrasts with the orderly grid of the boxes. Reds, yellows, soft blues. A gentle rainbow.