Friday, February 27, 2015

Divided Light

Every so often the sun filters through the slats 
that screen the interior of the Natatorium parking garage 
from public view, creating a warp and woof pattern 
at the entryway, where the sunlight 
is reflected onto the concrete.

Monday, February 23, 2015

S'no Relief

I know. I know. It's all relative.
I went out for a bit yesterday and mounds of snow,
scooped to the curbs by plows, had patches 
and puddles of melted water 
seeping from beneath their massed bottoms.
That water froze overnight, turning my
tiny bit of the universe into a slip'n'slide.
Today's temperatures are 32 degrees colder
than average for this time in February.
My mind and body are preparing to swim
later this afternoon, but my skin is
protesting. In spite of my diligent efforts, 
the dry air whisks the moisture from my skin.
It itches. It itches.
Please, winter, go away.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Monster Slobber

Man, talk about desperate!
I could have gone into my archives for
a photo, but I just wasn't inclined
to do it. All I've wanted to do is curl up
under my blankies and watch movies, 
the more sappy and romantic, the better;
it's cold outside and I can't get warm.
I finally made it out of the house to go to
the store. Of course, I had my little camera with
me, so could record the appearance of
the downspout ogre, its slobber frozen, with
a tiny dribble of ice hanging just so.
I didn't want to risk breaking it off to see
whether it was clinging by a slender filament - 
the ogre might have come to life.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Maître Tom, le nageur du Nat

When I watch Tom and Victoria practice, 
I don't notice anything odd about their appearance 
in the water; I take the distortion for granted.
But when I tried to draw Tom, I found the distortions 
needed explanation: No, his arms aren't really 
all weenified, his legs and body aren't that thick; it's just 
the way the light is reflected by the moving water.

While working on the drawing, I was reminded 
of Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon
the painting that inspired the artist's development
of Cubism. The debut of this painting in 1907
marked the birth of modern art. From my art history
classes, I understood that Cubism was, in part,
an effort by the artists to flatten perspective and
to keep the viewer's eye moving continually
around the composition. I didn't try to "flatten"
the perpective at all, but the distortions made by 
the water certainly force one to keep looking
around the picture, making it move.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blue Rectangles and Concentric Arcs with Scraggly Winter Stuff Between

I must be getting a bit of cabin fever:
While visiting the Marsh Gallery at 
the Herron School of Art,
I looked out the window to notice 
the ribbed sculpture at the front of the school. 
It seemed to pair with the blue rectangles
of the windows across the street,
making a nice contrast with the bare 
tree branches between.

A bit to the left, winter had scrawled
similar scribbles across the exterior 
of the IUPUI Library.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Quiet Inside

When I go to the Natatorium to swim, the pool is usually 
alive with swimmers of various ages and abilities.
Divided into two twenty-five meter pools, one end had 
a few swimmers doing laps while this one was set up
in competition mode with double lane markers,
awaiting a college team scheduled to practice for
their meet this weekend. With banners showing pictures
of past champions hanging from the ceiling,
perhaps the pool was reflecting on its history as a place 
where great swimmers have performed.
Not long from now, the pool will be closed for
renovations and repairs, all preparations
for next year, when the Olympic Trials
to choose this country's representatives for
the 2016 Diving Team will be held.
I will miss it. 
There isn't another place locally 
that I enjoy as much.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stone Cold

Looking north from the corner 
of Meridian and Ohio Streets, 
the cold light seemed 
to emphasize the patterns 
created by the windows.
The buildings line the street, 
tartan plaids built of stone, 
belonging to clans of attorneys 
and corporate moguls.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Glistening Cold

With spring just five weeks away, 
the weather has been tolerable. This has been
deceptive, though, because the notorious polar vortex
is coming to town, once again, its icy fingers
set to grasp us all in a chilling grip.
Moisture was in the air as I approached the 
Natatorium for practice and, when I left
a few hours later, the lights from on-coming cars
showed the mist on the bus stop glass.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Cure for What Ails Ya

Okay, I understand the notion that one's nerves 
are connected to various areas of the body.
I thought the chart was colorful and interesting.
However, nowhere did I see a spot where massage
would help my plantar fasciitis.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunny on a Cold Day

The little cacti, sitting on the window sill 
of a downtown office, seemed to smile at the morning sun. 
They and their colorful pots contrasted brightly
with the bare branches and moribund 
flowers, brown in their beds just outside the window. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Little Round Mound

As I walked to the Natatorium one day last week,
I saw this little round mound sitting atop 
the little round mound of a berm, chowing down on an acorn.
I think this squirrel is too chubby to be a male, 
and is, instead, a female preparing for her accouchement 
a few weeks from now inside her fur-lined nest.

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Journey

I was asked by the newsletter editor for my swimming club 
to respond to a short questionnaire about myself 
and "why I swim." In response, I told her that, in addition 
to using the sport to help me combat obesity, 
I've found that swimming has given me more confidence 
in other aspects of my life. It is also helping me 
to become more disciplined in working towards 
achieving my goals away from the pool.

For the past year, I've been working to develop,
to revitalize, really, my drawing and painting skills.
Not surprisingly, these drawings have had swimmers
as my subject matter. The drawings aren't so much 
about the swimmers as they are about the water,
the colors and patterns that element takes on as the
athletes glide, kick, and move in the beautiful,
blue stuff. I'm working to make my marks on the canvas
and paper more personal, reflecting more how
I feel about what I see. I don't want them to be 
mere illustrations; that is too easy.

I love David Hockney's swimming pool paintings, 
but I don't care for his swimmers. While they are, 
purportedly, homoerotic, I find the male
figures all to have undefined bodies with flat butts,
completely unappetizing to this womanly eye.
But never mind that - the way Hockney renders water
is interesting, and his marks are unique to him.

And so, I work towards making my own marks to
describe how I feel about this activity and the people 
with whom I share the pool. 

The top picture is a detail of a small painting 
I am currently working on. The second is a ballpoint drawing 
I made to use as reference. The third is the underdrawing
for the little painting. It was done over another 
painting I'd started and set aside. 
Hell, I liked the brush strokes set against 
their predecessors grid marks and washy blue blotches. 
I painted over it anyway.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Slowly, Daylight Returns

Slowly, daylight is returning to our portion of the planet,
bringing warmer temperatures and brighter days.
Meanwhile, we bundle against the frigid air, fortunate 
and glad that the most recent forecast of snow 
with near blizzard conditions, faltered and fell apart.
As I walked across the IUPUI campus Monday,
on my way to swim practice, I looked
to my right to see a student, leaning against
the frosted glass of a classroom building.
Even though his image blurred him into anonymity,
his brightly colored accent markers could
be easily recognized. Of course. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Theme Day: If I had to Leave ...

I live in a fantasy world. 
I just about have to. 
This city is plain, it's politics controlled by selfish, 
conservative self-interests. 
Every day, I see the growing divide among haves
and have-nots. I am certain that there are more
 beautiful cities in the world, places with better architecture
and a more progressive attitude towards their
citizens, but this is home. This is a place where I've 
managed to find a progressive, contemporary art scene,
groups interested in the welfare of other people,
to find organizations interested in improving the city
for all, not just a select few cliques. 
My camera is in my pocket wherever I go,
I look for beauty where I find it.
Here, it is where the rain has washed away 
the oxidation and grime from the side 
a utility box on Crawfordsville Road.
To me, it resembles a grove of
snowy aspen trees.
Sometimes, not often, I take pictures of other
people. Generally, people hide in their e-devices,
refusing to meet the eyes of others and 
feel threatened when they do.
So, from across the street, here are a group
of people on a cold day, patients and employees
of Eskenazi Health waiting for the bus home.

If I had to leave, this is what I would miss -
the small and mundane things I see every day,
cracks in the sidewalk, the sky reflected in the
downtown buildings, the hard-working people I see,
just trying to keep food on the table
and roofs over their kids' heads.

The first day of every month is a designated Theme Day for
the members of the City Daily Photo blog community.
To see how they have interpreted today's theme,
"What Would You Miss?" just click on the above link 
or on the CDP badge to the right of this post.