Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monet In Triplicate

Artists who qualify for the Copyist Program are permitted to paint in the National Gallery. One of them had temporarily abandoned this copy of Monet's "The Japanese Footbridge."  Perhaps the intention was to avoid the afternoon crowds offering unsolicited comments. Some viewers were more intrigued by the copy than the real thing. In shooting this photo, I have captured three images of the Japanese Footbridge. This one on your screen becomes yet another version. My photo is only a copy, of sorts, as is the copyist’s version and the image on the girl's camera phone. There is a house of mirrors aspect to this, with the footbridges multiplying. The original painting always remains, hanging serenely in the National Gallery. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tulips, Amsterdam

It's always tulip time in the Netherlands. Anyone who has flown into Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on a pre-dawn flight has seen the large structures where tulips and other bulbs are nurtured under 24-hour lights. They are a spooky sight, glowing in the misty darkness. The tulips show up in Amsterdam's canal side flower market. They huddle in paper-wrapped crowds, looking like paints in a set of watercolors. What a bargain! Wouldn't it be fabulous to have fifty of them brightening up our hotel room? If I return to Amsterdam, perhaps I can squeeze a vase into my luggage.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Air Force Memorial and Branches

A prolonged spell of chilly weather has left us with trees barely starting to bud. On a sunny afternoon last week, a lacy pattern of branches veiled the Air Force Memorial. I contemplated the contrast between the smooth arcs and the tangle of branches. Simplicity and complexity. We need both. They play off each other, making any design stronger and more interesting.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cherry Blossom Kid

Cold weather delayed the blooming of the cherry blossoms, disappointing the tourists who visited Washington DC over the past two weeks. Now, finally, the Tidal Basin and the Potomac are lined with a haze of palest pink. The youngest visitors are often blase, cranky or bored. Will they remember seeing the cherry blossoms or does it all register only as a sea of knees, backpacks and fellow tots strapped into strollers?  Will the perfect-view photos taken by their parents replace their fleeting memories of the jostling, moseying crowds? The cherries are timeless and perfect but it's moments like this one here that I like the best.