Metro Bus In MotionMetro Bus In Motion

Greetings! This is my place for art and thinking. The images I find out in the world and close to home are sometimes put here. I like to smile and hence like to find images that are smileworthy. I'm also a bit melancholy sometimes and hence you might find images of solitude and loneliness. 


Peeking Into The Past

April 14, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Several months ago I did a quick walkabout of President John Tyler's home called Sherwood Forest, not too far away from Richmond. He bought the plantation in 1842 and lived there until the Civil War started. The Tyler family still owns the place and kindly make the grounds available for walkabouts. If you call ahead you might be able to tour the inside of the house. I stayed on the outside but was able to look through the old fashioned windows into the very narrow house. The house was occupied by Union troops during the war which makes me believe that few of Tyler's original furnishings are there. Signs are available about features on the property but none mentions the enslaved people that worked on the plantation. One of the small structures was labeled "building for laborers" which I assume really meant a house for the enslaved. President Tyler left the plantation and moved to Richmond when the Union troops arrived. He died a short time later and was buried in Richmond. It's very peaceful but I think the summers would be miserably hot and humid, this is right next to the Great Swamp.

Peeking InPeeking InHome of President Tyler from 1842 until 1861 or so.

On the Water

April 07, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

I was in Alexandria, VA, earlier this week. I had the chance to do a quick walkabout with a friend. Seems like "quick" is a metaphor for not creative. The day was relatively nice, very cool temps but no rain which gradually changed to gentle showers. I enjoy the waterfront, the docks, and the other people just strolling. The sad part is that things are getting more expensive which reduces the variety and diversity of the walkers. I guess that's progress. The first image is the latest in Alexandria's waterfront art, the "I Love You" sign. The second is the water of the Potomac. Sort of oily.

I Love YouI Love YouArt on the waterfront in Alexandria, VA RoilingRoilingPotomac River viewed through railing


April 01, 2022  •  1 Comment

Six more from Belmead. These have been post processed and modified (except where noted). The first is a triple exposure of the chapel at St Francis de Sales. The crumbling walls are offset by the beautiful stained glass. Until you get close. 

Chapel at St Francis de SalesChapel at St Francis de SalesTriple Exposure

The next image is the main altar at St Francis de Sales. Slowly, time and vandals are robbing the place of its former glory.

Altar at St Francis de SalesAltar at St Francis de SalesRemains of the altar, slowly crumbling

The image below is taken from the granary to the barns. Only sharpening and some exposure correction on this image.

Granary at St EmmaGranary at St EmmaView from granary to the barns at St Emma This image of the fields taken from the granary uses infrared effects to sharpen and emphasize the colors in the IR spectrum.

Granary and Barn at St EmmaGranary and Barn at St EmmaInfrared effects image through the granary entrance looking towards the barns This image is taken from the bottom of the hill looking up towards the mansion, what the St Emma students called "The Big House."

Looking Up "The Hill"Looking Up "The Hill"Looking along the fenceline up the hill towards the Big House at St Emma, once the mansion of Belmead Plantation This last image is where the plantation owner, Cocke, killed himself on December 26, 1861.
Suicide Steps at BelmeadSuicide Steps at BelmeadSteps where Belmead Plantation slave owner Cocke killed himself the day after Christmas 1861.

St Francis de Sales School

March 28, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

The St Francis de Sales school for African American girls was a Catholic Church institution. The girls were taught in the classrooms and on the campus, lived and ate in the dormitories, and went to church in the sanctuary which was part of the main building. Today it's all abandoned and for the most part inaccessible because of the dangerous crumbling structure. I stood in the chapel, looked down this hallway and tried to imagine the voices, laughter, and discipline that must have been ever present in this place. Except, of course, during services. Turning left from the hallway view but staying in the same place on the floor, are these wall pews or benches. I heard a couple of the St Francis alums on John Plashal's YT channel talk about this room. Not only were church services held here but also other major school events, like graduations. It must have been an awesome room. It still is.

St Francis de Sales HallwaySt Francis de Sales HallwayLooking down a hallway from the abandoned nave in the African American school for girls, St Francis de Sales Side PewsSide PewsPews or chairs at the side of the nave in St Francis de Sales school for African American girls

Entryway at Belmead

March 20, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Arriving at Belmead is a little jarring...suddenly from the rolling hills and rushing streams rises this impressive structure that seems larger than life. When the mansion was built the front side faced the James River so that all could see the grandeur of the structure. If folks visited by land, they'd come up the hill and drive or ride into this covered entryway. The porch is inlaid tiles, the steps are hewn granite, the inner tiles are stone. Standing in the doorway I tried to imagine visitors arriving and was left empty despite the wonder of its construction.

Entry at Belmead on the JamesEntry at Belmead on the JamesEntryway where guests arriving by land would be greeted