Sunday, May 30, 2010

Door, Maison Weisenberger

I'm in the mood for some art nouveau. Perhaps this was brought on by spending most of the week looking at line after line of computer text. This door detail from a house in Nancy, France has everything I crave right now. It's painted one of the shades of blue that I always associate with France. I love the careful curves and the way they play off the vertical bars. The leafy embossed design reminds me that beyond my glowing laptop screen, spring is careening right into summer.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Psychedelic Rose

The roses have been spectacular this year. Three big snows and early spring rains seem to have made them very happy. All over the neighborhood, fences and trellises look as if they will collapse under the multitude of red, pink or yellow blossoms. Examining the image of a pale pink blossom with especially beautiful petals, I could not resist playing with the balance of hues and values. Suddenly my delicate beauty became an almost psychedelic flower child. The curving petals and dramatic stamens remain, but the emotional impact is completely different. What fun!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yellow Field

As I tended to my little garden, digging up the too-hard soil, my mind wandered off to England, and the heaven that is the Cotswolds in May. At this time of year, the rolling green hills are punctuated here and there with bright yellow ones. They are fields of rape seed, which is pressed and bottled as canola oil. One day, visiting the ancient Rollright Stones, we saw that one of the yellow fields grew right up to the edge of the circle of stones. We were downwind from the blossoming field and it smelled horrible! Some things are best admired from afar.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bloomed-Out Poppy

Several years ago, I planted three poppies in my front garden. Each spring, they would send up sturdy stems topped with fuzzy green buds. Great big bright-orange blossoms burst from each bud, ruffly and flamboyant, like upside-down party dresses. What a show! Then one year I dug too close around the roots of the poppies. The poppies took offense and did not return the following spring. Two years ago, two of them reappeared. I guess they forgave me. We are in the midst of their annual show. This morning, I looked closely at a poppy whose petals had just dropped. Here it is, surrounded by a tutu of delicate stamens, which will be gone within hours. Look at the oddly curving stem----no wonder the artists of the Art Nouveau era loved this flower. In a week, I'll be left with only the seed cases. They always make me think of Marines---hair on top, shaved clean on the sides. Some day I'll glue googly eyes to all of the seed cases in the garden and we’ll have a different kind of poppy show

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Headstone Angel

As we rounded a corner in a Lancaster County village, my friend and I spotted an old cemetery behind a small church. We stopped to wander among the gravestones. Only one was carved with an angel. Margaret Evans Ranch lived to be 78 years and one day old. "She stayed around for the cake." my friend said. Angels are always appealing. This angel seems more contemplative than sad. I love this headstone, pitted from 150 years of weather, adorned with lichen, all adding layers of character to the surface. I hope that Margaret was pleased with the angel that her family chose. Or perhaps she chose it herself...