Category Archives: Art

Sunday Quote, 2013, Week 12, Thich Nhat Hanh

We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.
                                                                 – Thich Nhat Hanh

Understanding The Nebula

Understanding The Nebula: The Cloud of Unknowing

Cityscape #1

Cityscape 1

Cityscape 1

I posted this as part of Brenda’s Third Thursday Challenge.  What is the 3rd Thursday Challenge?   To do something different.    This is a bit of a departure for me, although just a small one in terms of process.   I started with a macro image and played with several filters to amend and distort the original image.   It reminded me of a skyline, but of some non-existent, crumbling city.    The original image?   A badly damaged book taped together with Scotch tape.


Book review as artwork for 02-14

The Half Life Of Love

The Half Life Of Love

“The half-life of love is forever” ~ Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her  

The above sentence has been floating around in my head for a few weeks, ever since I read the final page of Junot Díaz’s book.  I think the inspiration is the only book review I need to do.  At least for today.


Museum Pictures

We stopped for a visit at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday.  I don’t usually take photos of artwork in museums; I don’t usually see the point of a photograph of a painting.   But, the museum building is a work of art, so there were plenty of opportunities for interesting shots.  In particular, I liked the staircase which is shaped like a double-helix and the multiple windows that comprise a dome that can withstand a hurricane.

The Dalí Museum is the kind of museum I like:  focused and small.  There is a variety of work to see, but not so much as to overwhelm either your time or your brain. Well, at least not by fatigue; a single Dalí, with its typical multiple dream-like allegories, can overwhelm one’s senses.

The size of this museum, which houses the largest collection of Dalí works in North America, allows the visitor to focus on just a few works, providing a good introduction to this prolific artist’s work.   We had a well-informed tour guide — although he talked a bit too fast — who provided us with a solid overview of the progression of Dalí’s life and work.  Dalí was a prolific artist who was recognized for his artistic abilities when he was a child. You can’t possibly cover all of his work in an hour, nor could you get an understanding of the complexities of his work and philosophy by looking at only a few dozen paintings, but why would you want that extensive amount of information crammed into a short tour?

The Dalí Museum is a great way to spend an hour or two if you are in the Tampa/St Pete area.   After you visit the galleries, there is a lovely small garden with a labyrinth.  It, too, is just the right size for a short stroll, or a quiet place to watch the birds flying over the water just across the street.

And, because I’m a geek, I had to take a picture of this, located outside in the garden.   I learned from the docent that Dalí included many examples of naturally occurring perfect circles in his work. Dalí was obsessed with the golden rectangle. I want to learn more about how this relates to the design of  the building.  The tour guide mentioned something about it, but I was at the back of the pack, doing what else?  Taking photos.

I like pi

I like pi

The Dalí Museum is located at 1  Dalí Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL.

{This week’s WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge was to embed a map in a travel post. I had intended to post about my visit to the Dalí Museum, so this fit the challenge easily!]

Happy New Year.

May 2013 be a great year for you.

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


Autumnal Abstract


I’ve been experimenting with Photoshop Elements, using the “artistic” filters.

Using the rough pastel and color pencil filters:

Original Photograph:

Pensacola Lighthouse on board NAS Pensacola, established 1859. I took this photo from the beach below the lighthouse which sits on a high bluff, somewhat safe (so far) from tropical storm and hurricane surges. Although you can make reservations to climb to the top of the lighthouse to see the Blue Angels practice, I think the beach would be a great alternative place to watch the jets flying out over Pensacola Bay.



Dancing Towards the Light

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

This week’s Photo Challenge is MERGE.   Guest-hosted this week by architect and photographer Gary Ng, this week’s challenge is to photograph two things that are normally in opposition, merging them into one work of art.

I thought all day about this challenge and the myriad possibilities, but there was no time to go out on a shoot today.  I thought that I’d look through my archives and find two photos that I could merge together to create a new work.  I tried overlaying images.  I tried a collage of photos.  I looked for two different photos that together could be juxtaposition of meaning or form.   All my attempts landed in the virtual dust heap.

But, as I continued to search through my very unorganized photos from the last year, I stumbled upon some photographs that I took last September on a brief spur-of-the-moment visit to the Morgan Library on a very dreary day.   I don’t remember what I had originally intended to do, but as I headed towards Midtown, I decided that I would go to the Morgan.   As I exited the subway, several blocks away, the sky looked ominous.  I almost headed right back into the subway station because there is nothing more miserable than being caught in the rain in New York, especially when I’ve packed like the tourist I am, wearing clothing that will not dry quickly. Instead, I ran the six or seven blocks to the Morgan, dashing up the steps of the museum just as the thunder started rumbling, lighting flashing, and the downpour began.

Although my intent was to see the Dickens exhibit, I was sidetracked by the marvelous sculpture, The Living Word, by Xu Bing in the Renzo Piano designed Gilbert Court.  The sculpture starts off as a very rooted piece, with the modern Chinese word for ‘Bird’ on the museum floor.  Then, the sculpture lifts away from the floor as if taking flight.  As the pieces rise towards the ceiling, the shapes transform from the modern written word into pictographs of birds.   It is a stunning and fascinating work and I spent a long time taking photographs.

The picture below is one that I marked for deletion.  Since I was traveling, I can only assume that I ran out of time, never finishing the editing.   I think I must have rejected this photo because the focus isn’t right and it doesn’t show off the work of art.   Yet, it seemed the perfect picture for this challenge.  It was the only photo in the series where there is the stark contrast of the vertical lines of the courtyard windows and the diagonal flight pattern of the sculpture’s birds.   In this photo, Piano’s Courtyard becomes a cage imprisoning the sculpture.  The rain-streaked windows blend with the guide wires anchoring the sculpture, and the bit of skyline through the windows makes it look like a box canyon.  These elements merge together, working together to form a sort of harmony between the energy of the liberated, free-form birds and the steel and glass that contain them.

Xu Bing, The Living Word 3

I see this sculpture in a different way now that I have revisited this photograph.  Although the artist has said that the sculpture shows the birds and the words they represent “escaping the confines of human written definition”, in this photograph you sense that there is still a limitation or, at least, an obstacle from which to break free.

You can read more about the work on The Morgan Library website.  Unfortunately, the exhibit closed last October, but there are several photographs of the installation on the site.   I particularly  liked this quote by Xu Bing, taken from the description of The Living Word:  “Buddhists believe …that if you look for harmony in the living word, then you will be able to reach Buddha; if you look for harmony in lifeless sentences, you will be unable to save yourself.’ . . . My work and my method of thinking have been my search for the living word.”

Be sure to check out others’ contributions to this week’s Photo Challenge to see how they interpreted the theme of MERGE.