Sunday, February 25, 2024

Cracked Crosswalk

 Patterns are everywhere all around us. So often they are merely the backgrounds to whatever we are focusing upon. More than once, I have stopped in the middle of a particular  crosswalk on a heavily traveled street near the local school. Weather, traffic and temperature changes have transformed the surface into a quixotically irregular set of lines and textures. A grid remains, but my eyes and brain must work to really see it.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Rainbow Stairs

 No one was around when I came upon the rainbow-painted stairs. Although it was a chilly day, the bright blue sky and white walls made me wonder if I had been transported to some magical version of Greece, that country of brilliant skies and whitewashed villages. Iris was the goddess of the rainbow. She would travel on it to fulfill her duty of carrying messages to the gods. Now I imagine a present-day Iris, traveling up and down those rainbow stairs.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Rothko: Untitled, 1946

 If you have even a passing interest in 20th century art, the name Mark Rothko brings to mind images of large canvases with fuzzy-edged floating rectangles of color. An exhibit at the National Gallery of Art focuses on his works on paper, starting with a few early landscapes that already show signs of becoming more abstract. This painting, mostly washes of watercolor and lines of ink, owes a debt to Picasso's figures and also to the Greek art with mythological themes that Rothko studied at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Walking through the galleries, seeing Rothko's work develop and change, helped me to understand and appreciate those luscious abstracts of his final Classic period.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Cinematography On Ice

 At the end of the Skating Spectacular that capped off the US Figure Skating Championships, those who performed took a bow. All week, the audience in the arena had watched Jason Cowan, the cameraman on skates dressed like an arctic paratrooper. Unseen by the TV audience, this former ice dancer recorded impressive "you are RIGHT THERE on the ice" views of the competitors. Jason, who had done a remarkable job of staying close to, but not in the way of the performers, had a close call when Amber Glenn, the 2024 Women’s Champion, flew across the ice so fast that he could barely stay out of her way. Recording right on the ice is not for the fainthearted!