Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring In the Ripley Garden

This cast iron pedestal urn is a fine complement to the Ripley Garden's three-tiered fountain. The artfully rusted sculpture is a nod to the astrolabes found in many English gardens. This month, the urn overflows with tulips, ranunculus, pansies and fragrant alyssum. None of these flowers are rare or unusual, although there are many remarkable plants elsewhere in the garden, waiting to leaf out or bloom. Instead, in mid-spring, it's a blue and yellow color story, celebrating an ever-popular combination, beloved by impressionist painters and garden-lovers everywhere.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Liberace Neon

My trip to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas has stuck with me. Having visited in both the daytime and nighttime, I’ve been pondering the importance of ambient light and thinking about how darkness helps to create drama. Mostly, I've been reminded of how we often see only what we expect or are directed to see. We miss so much by looking at something just once. In the daytime, I did not notice Liberace's signature. But at night, the glowing pink script is one of the stars of the Neon Boneyard. It's a reminder to look longer, to look more carefully and to look at everything more than once.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Cherry Blossoms and a Blue Sky

A few years ago, our neighbors asked if they could plant a cherry tree in our yard where  both families could enjoy it. The fragile sapling is now a fine tree, larger than the Japanese cherries lining the Tidal Basin, bursting with familiar barely-pink blooms. To stand under it and look straight up is to be immersed in the essence of spring: the beauty and vigor of new growth and a blue, blue sky.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Big Letters at the Neon Museum

Where do the old lighted signs go when a casino or motel is torn down? In Las Vegas, the lucky ones end up in the Neon Museum. Sign up for a tour of the Neon Boneyard and you will see everything from a giant four-leaf clover to humble hand-painted motel signs to Liberace's signature in glowing pink neon. During the day, I was struck by the true colors of the signs, the patterns of the light bulbs and the weathered textures. Here you can see layers of less pristine signs behind letters from the old Stardust Casino. At night, masses of glowing bulbs and lines of neon take precedence. Unrestored signs and isolated letters in artistic groupings slowly change color, bathed in spotlights that add a mysterious atmosphere. Learn more about this intriguing museum here:

Sunday, April 1, 2018

March for Our Lives Signs On Display

A friend and I went to the March for Our Lives In Washington. We were two little drops in a sea of of more than 200,000 filling Pennsylvania Avenue. More of a gathering than a march, people of all ages and ethnicities listened politely and respectfully to the consumately articulate teenagers voice their concerns. Homemade signs were plentiful. That afternoon, as the crowd dispersed, people began weaving their signs into the fence surrounding the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden. The impromptu display expressed a variety of fears, frustrations and hopes. It ran for the entire block and turned the corner. Eventually, workers came to clean it up. I am grateful to have experienced this ephemeral and heartfelt art gallery.