Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shadow Geometry

Late afternoon on a sunny day is the best time to look for interesting shadows. Fences, gates and railings are promising candidates. Although this photo isolates the shadows from their source, I think you can tell that this particular railing is modern in design. The steps distort the rail posts into slightly curved stripes. Those slightly wonky lines will look comfortingly familiar to any quilter who works in an improvisational manner. Quick---get out the rotary cutter but don't bother with the ruler.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Frist Center, Nashville

My friend suggested a "field trip" to see two exhibits at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Built in 1934, the Frist was Nashville's main Post Office for fifty years. Repurposed as a museum, it specializes in hosting traveling exhibits. The building's art deco details have been carefully preserved. Metal grillwork rises above the entrance, wavy chrome lines crisscrossing to frame decorative panels. Backlit motifs of spiraling ferns glow from molded glass blocks. Even the stars on the edges of the ceiling shine. This is a view from the upper level, a happy rhythm of window grids and slightly curved wall panels. I love it when the building turns out to be as interesting as the art it shelters.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


At the farmers market, the last of the zinnias stand in buckets---great masses of intense colors that symbolize the heat and sunshine of summer. According to the calendar, summer has ended. We continue to be visited by runs of sweltering weather, but plants and animals know that the days are getting shorter. Flowers bloom, determined to set seed. Birds and squirrels go about their preparations for the cold, and dark to come. I look at the zinnias and can imagine nothing but sunshine.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Flag and Bunting

A.Schwab Dry Goods has been on Beale Street since 1876. Buggy whips and calicoes no longer appeal to the often-tipsy customers who wander up and down the aisles. Voodoo candles, barbecue sauce and eccentric hats sell better these days. Faded scallops of old-fashioned bunting run across the brick facade. This complements the slightly-less-aged flag that ripples lazily in the breeze. But the worn dignity of these patriotic displays does nothing to alert people that Elvis ashtrays and statues of peeing dogs reside inside.