Thursday, February 23, 2012

shapes and rhythms of the city

It all started with a light house--I don't even know its name. But it had been moved to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and it was so charming and perfect. Round and circular. Charming and red, isn't it? It was a lovely day already--so warm I almost didn't need a coat. And I was as set-up as I was going to be for the Baltimore Craft Show which opens tomorrow at 10.

Time to notice the hexagonal building next to it--echoing the concept and layers. So different but so fitting. Don't you just love the little yellow accent on the top?

Aren't cities fun--especially when they are full of great buildings? So many wonderful rhythms and textures. A large building--looks like an apartment building--but so much movement in the detail. What could have been dull and boring instead captures the eye. The subtle colors of the roof and brick and the beat of the darker balconies. So much to see.

Or this high rise--again the balconies and windows counterbalanced with the simple statements. Oh I was having fun observing the city that somehow was working together. So nice to be out of the studio--but still there was something almost quilt like--sorry that is how I think--in these buildings--if you know what I mean?

The rhythms and dimensions of this vantage point into the downtown. The street lamps--even the plantings of grass--offering a beat. The detail of the different skyscrapers each making their own statement. So rich and complex. What fun it was to stop and look. So many different colors and textures.

The power of the old and the new in the smokestack. Such a statement of form and substance. So much color with the blue of the nearby roofs almost reflecting the sky. The green of the copper. I wanted to touch it and absorb its feel.

And the simple soothing longing of the brick pavement on the wharf stretching out to the harbor. The distant buildings full of more promise. The lone light post. Even the clouds reflecting on the water. I wanted to keep walking and walking. Absorb it all. There must be quilts in these concepts--even if I am not sure I will make them. So much to learn. Such a different feel from the organic rhythms of the woods and meadows of western Massachusetts.

But now it is time to come in and prepare for the show tomorrow. What is it about cities--the places that people have created--and the rhythms and shapes of the cities? Why does that affect us? Give us energy? What is it about design that creates these distinct feelings? And how do we take the time to notice and observe--to absorb these designs?

Do you ever do this? What do you think we can learn from cities? And how does it influence your art?

1 comment:

  1. i am fascinated with repetitive shapes, whatever they are it seems. It can be buildings in cities but I've even noticed being attracted to houses and roof lines, even cemeteries. It's not so much the history there either, it seems to be the shapes and colors of the tombstones, especially the old ones.
    I love the pictures and you commentary. It makes one think.