Sunday, November 19, 2017

"Wings Over Water," Houston

Step out of the Houston Convention Center and you can enjoy the new pedestrian-friendly Avenida Plaza. A gigantic kinetic sculpture with its feet in a fountain is instantly mesmerizing. A rainbow of colored lights plays across the winglike sections as they slowly undulate. The artist Joe O'Connell was surely thinking of birds. This part of Texas was and still is a wetland and an important migratory route. Recently, everyone has been reminded about Houston's wetland origins, but it’s nice to think that birds still see the city as a good place for a bit of respite,

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Japanese Maple, November Colors

The full glory of autumn is the briefest of seasons. A day or two of rain and wind can send all the leaves flying. When the sun is out, let's remember to stop under the trees and look up. There, right above our heads, are all the colors of a rainbow, completed by the sky. In any season, one of the most comely attributes of a Japanese maple is the delicate and complex shape of its leaves. On this day, the sun turned some of the higher leaves into shadows dancing against the colors of ones right above me. The bare branches of this tree's neighbor are a reminder that soon the maple will be reduced to the essential winter design elements of line and shape.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Red Couches In Houston

A year ago, the front part of Houston"s George R Brown Convention Center was already in the midst of an expansion. Six weeks ago, it housed thousands of people who were flooded out of their homes. Those of us who come here for the international quilt Festival every year were not quite sure what to expect when we arrived this past week. The convention center came through the floods safely and the new spaces are real wowsers. Circular shapes and the color red are design elements that link the new sections with the building. Looking down from the third floor, these curvy couches form an alluring design. The new spaces contain art and lots of light. They have been readily embraced by visitors. Kudos to the architects and designers.