Sunday, November 30, 2014

Warmer, With Rain

Saturday, the sun appeared, muted and pastel, 
surrounded by wisps of clouds
in lavender and mauve, while contrails
darted across the sky, bursting 
streaks of pink and coral.
This morning, the clouds roll in,
blue-black ink spreading across wet paper,
pouring their color over the land.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Grasses, Shorn

The ornamental grasses, whose green strands
earlier had danced proudly in the breezes,
found themselves shorn, their grassy plumes
thrown away. Now the bare stalks
stand like a burr haircut,
catching stray leaves at its base.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Day Before

These images, 
the last of the sycamore leaves, 
were formed by the rain 
and mud on the drive outside 
my apartment. 
Later, another rain will wash
away this last bit of fall, 
leading the way
into winter 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Powdered Holes

After the work day is over, the people who actually keep 
the city functioning begin their shifts.
Under the glare of LED lights, utility workers
enter the netherworld of Indy's buildings
to maintain the heating, electrical and
telecommunications systems that the accountants,
attorneys, and administrative workers need
to perform their jobs.

I saw these men working near the intersection 
of Pennsylvania and Ohio Streets, where
they dug through several inches of asphalt and
concrete to lift the heavy steel covers,
giving them access to the steam ducts below.

It appears that, in addition to the near-daylight 
quality of the lighting, the men are using 
saws that somehow don't allow the concrete 
dust to blow all over. Instead, it's made
a tidy pile around the perimeter of the hole. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Colors on a Gray Day

Just over a year ago, I stood at the edge 
of the Natatorium pool, preparing for swim practice,
when I noticed the prisms of color spreading 
from the edges of the lane stripes.
They are a constant, changing with the flow of the water,
undulating and pulsing colored light.
I've taken pictures and made drawings as
I search for a way to bring their beauty to life
on canvas. This search adds movement
to the drawings of the swimmers,
although what interests me most is the
movement of the water over 
and around their bodies;
it's interesting to see the distortions
the moving water makes as an underwater 
swimmer pushes off the wall.
And so, on this gray day, as the breezes
gust through now barren trees,
I find color and comfort in the water
as I watch and swim in the "concrete box."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Overcast Color

One evening, just before the sun dipped below the skyline,
the subdued pinks and lavenders contrasted
with the gloden leaves and yellow lights in the buildings.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter Pattern

Friday night, I did a volunteer stint with
where I was privileged to hear percussionist 
Dame Evelyn Glennie perform.
The piece was the U.S. premiere of
Concerto for Aluphone by Anders Koppel.
The aluphone is an instrument invented
by marimbist Kai Stensgaard and  Michael Hansen,
an engineer who runs a design and manufacturing
business. The instrument made its debut at
the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympic
 Games with Dame Evelyn as soloist.
The picture above made me think of a musical
staff, with the ice as bright, bell-light tones,
appropriate for the coming season.

Friday, November 21, 2014

At Least It's Not Buffalo

There the snow is so deep that it broke through doors, 
pouring into people's homes. Here we got
a mere brushstroke, one that swept white across
our landscape. The snow brought new
contrast to the red and faint greens of this bush.
It is nearly gone now, melted from the bright sun,
with warmer temperatures forecast
for the weekend. There will be rain to melt
the remaining snow. Once again, good for us but
not so great for the people in Buffalo,
who will have to cope with floods caused
by the melting mass of snow.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Art in Speedway: John Dowell

These leaves had fallen from a nearby bush.
Their arrangement in the snow, along with 
the bits of colored grasses and shadows, reminded me 
of drawings and paintings by John Dowell,
a contemporary artist from Philadelphia, whose
drawings deal as much with the effect of
negative space as they do with the actual marks.
Every line, shadow, and bit of texture
is considered in relation to the others, and how
they affect the overall space.
John was one of my college profs,
whose work enchanted me from the first
time I saw a suite of his lithographs.
He seemed so wise and "together"
to me even then, despite the fact he is
only four years older.

This is one of John Dowell's watercolor drawings,
Just a Sign of Soul, done in 1975. It is in the
collection of the Indiana University Art Museum. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Unexpected Art: Just a Little Crazy

On Monday, I used the elevator at Herron School 
of Art and found it to be padded.
Just what I need, my own secure, padded room.

In September, I encountered a problem
with my apartment that needed six weeks to resolve.
It was depressing and humiliating.
Now the cold weather has hit and the furnace
will not turn on. I like to keep it fairly
cool in here, but when the thermostat went
from its usual 65 degrees to 61, then 59,
I knew for certain my own efforts to lower
heating costs were not at play.
Like last winter, I think the igniter on the pilot
light is faulty. The repairman should be here today.
We'll see. Then the hot water tap on the shower
would not turn off, needing new seats and washers.
That's the third time this year for that problem.
It's fixed now, as of a few minutes ago.

The job I usually work on this time of year has been
cancelled because the employer for the project
lost the contract. I applied for unemployment benefits,
but I've yet to receive the debit card to access
those funds. So ... things are dicey.

The only sane, positive part of my day
has been the anchor provided by swim practice.
It's the only place I want to be right now, where 
I can submerge and work out my frustrations,
where my worries float away.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Visit to Kuaba Gallery

Every so often, I pay a visit to Kuaba Gallery
located on the on the second floor of the King Cole
building on the northeast corner of Meridian and 
Washington Streets. It's great to be able to see 
contemporary fine art at an intersection
I frequently pass on my way to do other things.
I stop in to visit with a couple pieces
by El-Anatsui, draped golden wall hangings
made from the caps for liquor bottles;
the man has found rich luster, texture, and
color in the most common, innocuous
of materials. I never tire of the pieces I've
seen here and at the Indianapolis
Museum of Art.
Currently on display is ceramic work
by Netherlands-born sculptor, Annelies Heijnen ,
whose white earthenware pieces are
full of pattern and color. The piece I've shown
here would provide both visual and tactile
pleasure for just about forever, every time 
one traced its patterns and colors
with the eye and hand.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Profiles in Shopping

Though it's still two weeks until Thanksgiving, 
after which the Christmas shopping season 
begins, you'd have thought it began
on Saturday. Traffic was heavy around the most
popular shopping malls, and people
were streaming in and out and around the 
downtown stores and restaurants.
Groups of teen-agers, often consulting their phones 
for directions, as seen here, were chattering and laughing,
as they visited downtown restaurants and sights. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Washing the Sky

At the corner of Capitol and Washington Streets,
 window washers could be seen adding clarity 
to an already bright and beautiful day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ah, I Love the Scent of Chlorine in the Evening

Against the prevailing trend -  below average winter 
temps have invaded from the frozen Canadian tundra, 
these hosta have sprouted in an area nestled 
between the Natatorium and the parking garage.
There, warm air scented by the promising,
if sterile, aroma of chlorine, is vented from the pool,
is perhaps playing a joke on the hosta, 
telling it Spring in this sheltered spot, hidden
from the miserable reality of the evil,
reviled Polar Vortex.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Halloween's Day Job

They gotta go somewhere, right?
If they don't head for a crypt just before sunrise,
or go stir a cauldron at the school cafeteria,
I figure the others must have gotten jobs as models
for the anatomy classes at IUPUI.
I was startled the first time I saw these,
all sizes and variations, in a classroom just off
the main pool at the Natatorium.
Shoot, they're definitely qualified for the task;
the ones in the back have hinged lids
on their skulls, while the beauty in front
has numerical tats on her many parts.
(Musta been a pole dancer in a past life!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Light Turned On

Umm ... Books, and all of them about art.
 No silly magazines ("Sixty-Nine Things You 
Can Do to Get Your Man Really Hot"), 
no celebrity rumor rags, nothing about over-
commercialized sports franchises. 
Nothing. Just art books. 
A Herron student was in the stacks, looking for 
a book as I walked by. Lamps on the tables 
had been turned on, adding to the inviting 
atmosphere of the library.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Still Life/Still Life

Disparate items line the shelves of this closet,
hidden at the end of the second floor hall
in the Herron School of Art and Design.
Items from the shelves are used to make up
the still lifes for the drawing and painting classes.
I've used them myself for classes I've taken,
but usually found the items too picked over
to make up a coherent grouping.
As they sit here, however, the items
make an interesting tableau of
color and shape.
And here's a picture of another
work in progress,
long distance swimmers Jim B. and
Victoria R. practicing at the Natatorium.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Colorful leaves sank to the bottom 
of the water feature outside Eskenazi Health,
providing a colorful backdrop for 
the flowing water,
moving across the leaves.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Muse: Swimming the Distance Between

I look into your blue eyes,
humor and kindness dancing within
like stars, hung around the moon.
I wonder how to cross that space between --
You're so near to me, touchable yet distant.
Buoyed by love,
I will fill that chasm with water
and swim to you.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Falling Circles

I've often seen this sculpture,
 outside the IU School of Optometry, I believe,
but only during the daytime. 
It never really grabbed my attention, 
looking just like a pile of tumbling circles. 
But at night the thing came alive for me, 
especially the way it looks here, 
against the lighted grid of the staircase.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ribbed: Yellow Leaf on Grate

I just about fell over it, 
this yellow leaf 
fallen on the grating beneath it.
I saw it as I got off the bus downtown
and stopped mid-stride to take
its picture. My little camera
is usually always at hand,
either in my coat pocket or a tote,
and people had a confused look as I 
drew the little black object to record  - What?
Oh, well, it's fall, it's rainy and I liked
the way the little thing looked
against the shiny steel ribs
and the tan pebbles of the grate.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hosta Preparing for Sleep

Lying cold and wet on the rusty colored mulch, 
the hosta somehow resembles a pair 
of pointy jester shoes. Wilted and nearly
transparent, the broad leaves prepare
for winter's sleep.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cold Pansy

As I walked to the bus stop this afternoon, 
my attention was attracted by a spot of 
bright yellow among the fallen leaves. 
A pansy had chosen to bloom 
on this cold, rainy day, keeping its feeties
warm in the leaves while raising its
head to greet the chilly rainfall.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Color Wheel

On a clear fall day, a wide expanse 
of blue sky provided the backdrop 
for this big maple tree, in the process 
illustrating the color wheel 
with a tapestry's swash of hues.

And, per Stefan's request,
the whole tree!

I'd thought it over and found I liked to see it
off-center just a bit, like myself.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's Here. Damn.

As I look outside, the sun breaks through 
the cloud cover, looking like a brightly bleached 
spot on an otherwise dingy gray rag.
Oh, yeah, I know the first day of fall was nearly 
six weeks ago, but we've enjoyed fairly mild 
weather in the interim. Now, the temperatures are 
dropping - it's twenty degrees cooler than 
it was a week ago and I'm not happy.
It's only six weeks to the winter solstice,
when the days again start getting longer,
leaning towards spring and summer.
I'm counting the days.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Street Art: Blue Spots

Never mind that there's a painter out there, 
someone assigned to delineate the water lines, 
who can't quite hang on to his bucket.
This is a person with a unique skill, one who 
is able to strew sapphires across
the barren moon surface of a local sidewalk,
bringing depth and beauty to what would otherwise 
be ordinary blue paint and concrete.