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.
I took a train to DC on Monday. I hadn't visited the National Gallery of Art in a VERY, long time. We got there a bit early and so walked about the building looking mostly for shade. There was a cool oasis with a fountain on the southside of the building right next to the long staircase leading to what used to be a main entrance. We spent 10-15 minutes enjoying the relatively cool air in the shade with the mist from the fountain. We then walked to the north side of the building and across the street to the Mellon Fountain which is actually still a part of the National Gallery. The image below is from that fountain looking towards the gallery. The temperature was in the mid nineties with the humidity very close to that same number. Finally our ticket time arrived and we entered the cool, quiet building.
The area across the street from us was a forest just a few weeks ago, but now the excavators have changed the landscape and the flora and fauna. A period of adjustment is underway, the small creek that is the namesake of our development is being protected by adding retaining walls and abutments and even large steel tunnels to preserve its flow. Within a couple of years the new look will be the way our side of the street looks with houses and streets. I walked the edge of the section...the actual excavation uncovered the red clay of this part of Goochland County and the clay loves to stick to my shoes. This small flower caught my attention as it waited for the next strong breeze to make it all worthwhile.
I did a quick walkabout in Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden a couple of days ago. I'm looking for a place that's peaceful, colorful, and grounding...a thinking place, a feeling place. I'd had that at Burke Lake in NOVA and I'm sure there's a place like that in RVA. I only saw a tiny bit of the entire Garden; I spent most of my time in the Asian Valley and Flagler Garden sections. Beautiful! And, calm. Many of the images I found were complex, a great deal of landscape in a tiny little sensor. Most of the "complexity" however, was impermanent, flowers or shrubs or fallen flower petals that would slowly morph into nature's nothingness. And that reminded me of Wabi-Sabi, a concept I had tried to discover and describe some years ago but was left wanting on both fronts. I don't know if you can call the gardens "imperfect" because they certainly are not. Or maybe...is this nature or man? And if man, it cannot be perfect. Wabi-Sabi.
Asian GardenAt Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Looking into FlaglerAt Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden looking into the Flagler section Lewis Ginter ConservatoryThe conservatory taken from Luck Garden The Lotus BridgeThe Lotus Bridge overlooking part of Sydnor Lake in Lewis Ginter Garden
A friend and I met in Fredericksburg for a walkabout in the heat. We spent most of our time at Chatham Manor, in the garden, not the house. The grounds are beautiful and the site is peaceful. The manor overlooks the Rappahannock River and the center of downtown Fredericksburg. The Union soldiers occupied the house during the Civil War and turned it into a hospital while the grounds were used as cannon emplacements. The death toll on both sides of the river was horrendous. Apparently the manor took a real beating, too and wasn't fully restored for decades. Enslaved people built the manor, planted and harvested the crops, and served the white owners until the Union soldiers arrived. This image of the grounds with what I think is a post Civil War statue of Pan.
We took Sunshine for a walk in Byron Park today. We saw lots of people walking dogs so the socialization experiment was successful. Sunny didn't get too excited, didn't bark, and didn't do her sled dog impression to try to reach other people and dogs. I even had a chance to find some images, albeit they were flowers. A good time. The park is trying to emphasize native plants and not foreign invaders.