Saturday, May 28, 2022

Parking Lot Marks

 I do like a good set of marks. And there they were, laid out before us as we crossed the empty lot. Artists learn all sorts of techniques for making marks. They are the basis of a good design. They can create texture and are useful for drawing your eye from one place to another. These marks definitely do that, with the added bonus of just enough wonkiness to be lively. Mark making is a skill, but sometimes all you need to do is recognize it when a great set appears right there in front of you.

Sunday, May 22, 2022


 Let's all get out our color wheels. What do you see, directly across from red-violet? Yellow-green, of course. Mother Nature doesn't need to consult a color wheel. She knows to choose a lively shade of almost-chartreuse to set off the petals of this particular clematis. Look closely and marvel at how each petal has three distinct members of the purple family, but not the three that most of us would put together for a painting or a quilt. Add the drama of a deeply shaded background and you’ve got yourself a real color story.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Venetian Glass

 The exhibit featured examples of the most exquisitely done Venetian glass arts. I peered into the vitrine displaying a trio of perfectly-blown wine goblets.  Enameled birds and hunting dogs chase in and out of colorful vines. They are as crisp and perfect as the day the master craftsperson painted them and set them in the glass oven to bake. The shadow of each goblet spreads across the base of the vitrine, a replica in light and shade that makes it easy to appreciate the designs. It takes great skill for museum lighting experts to illuminate an object so beautifully. They do their jobs, then leave it to us to enjoy and appreciate their addition to the art.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Stay Awhile

 The metal plaque on the gate says "Stay Awhile."  I always slow my pace, wondering who lives in the small Edwardian-era house with the white picket fence. Did  the plaque come with the house or was it installed by the current owners? We have gone through a time of isolation, when inviting people into your home could be dangerous. During the dark days before vaccines became available, the words on that gate seemed like words of hope. Now I can see them as homey and welcoming.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Expanded Present

 The Smithsonian's Arts & Industries Building is currently open for "Futures," an exhibit that shows pieces from the various museums and looks towards the future. Artist Soo Sunny Park has enveloped the entrance in a fantastical structure that twinkles and changes colors in the sunlight. Looking like a cross between a cloud and dramatically overgrown bushes, she created it from thousands of dichroic glass squares wired into a steel frame. How appropriate that this type of glass was developed by NASA. The iridescent glass changes colors depending on the sun’s angle and where you stand. It’s a magical sight, inviting visitors inside to explore what our futures might hold.