Bejeweled

 

Last Sunday, I made a first visit to Brazos Bend, a highly regarded state park known for alligators, a multitude of hiking and biking trails, and star parties at the George Observatory.

I was less interested in the alligators than in reports that alligator flag, a plant I’d seen only once, could be found there. In the end, I found the plant, but I found much more, including lotuses.

Among the day’s delights, I found this feather. Despite its watery environment — so different from Georgia O’Keeffe’s beloved Southwest — it reminded me of such paintings as White Feather 1941, one of her many studies of feathers, rocks, and leaves.

I found my feather, with its jewel-like droplet of water, interesting. As O’Keeffe herself once said, “Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”

 

Comments always are welcome.

Jeanie’s Gift

When a package arrived a week or so ago from my friend Jeanie Croope, I had no idea what she might have sent. It turned out to be a set of three watercolor paintings of my beloved Dixie Rose, who died a year ago today. 

The image above was painted from the first photo I took of Dixie, when she was four months old.

While I’ve been learning to write, Jeanie’s been learning to paint, and watching her progress has been a joy. Being able to share her portrait of Dixie Rose is a perfect way to mark this day, just as this slightly revised version of Carl Sandburg’s famous poem seems just right.

The cat came in
on little fog feet.
She curled into my life,
took her ease
in silent dreaming,
and then moved on.

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

The Art of Reflection

Had I seen this image with no explanation and no more context than its leafy background, I suspect I might have found identification difficult, even though I’ve encountered the object in the past under quite different conditions.

But seen from a longer perspective, with its shadow reflected on its well-buffed surface, it would have been unmistakable. Once you’ve seen the trunk of this magnificent tree, you don’t forget it. 

The shadow cast across the lawn near the entrance to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was produced by this Roxy Paine sculpture titled Yield. I saw it first in autumn: shadowless, stark against a gray sky, and surrounded by nearly leafless trees.

During my recent visit, it seemed warmer, and more welcoming. The greening grass reflected in its highly polished surface made it seem as though Paine’s tree had itself taken root, and soon would leaf out.

It won’t, of course, but that hardly matters. Shimmering in the early summer sunlight, it stands as a reminder that second, third, or even tenth looks at any piece of art can be as rewarding — and as surprising — as the first.

 

Comments always are welcome.