Back to Nature

The shapes and colors of natural things have always been an inspiration. Sometimes it is useful to return to that source to regain perspective on our modern world.

A Modern Fireplug in the Weeds

Next to a modern glass office building on a busy street was a small patch of weeds about the size of an executive’s desk. In the center stood a shiny brass fire hydrant. It looked almost like it had been put there on display, as though this were some sort of zoo. Urban details like this often provide visual clutter rather than interest. But…

In the Courtyard

A courtyard can be a magical place — outdoors, but enclosed and private, even in the center of the city. In many ways, the more urban the surroundings, the more magical that bit of private space and greenery seems. These images from a small courtyard here in Sarasota celebrate some of those feelings.

Floral Expressions

The Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida has a world-renowned collection of epiphytes, including many species of the orchids and bromeliads that inspired these images. There were yellows, reds and greens in abundance on this warm spring day in March, and the dramatic showy inflorescecne of the bromeliads complemented the more delicate and complicated statements by the orchids. As the days pass and…

A Fence and a Bench at the Celery Fields

Looking down the grassy slope, the wooden fence and shaded road beyond were a reminder of how fences can bring a sense of safety, but also restrict freedom of movement — and perhaps even thought. As counterpoint there was a simple bench made of new wood sitting high on the hill overlooking some ponds from a circle of white stones and shells. The bench…

Tension and Context

The little building had a single door with a turquoise frame and a narrow barred window. A few of those details provide tension and context for a reflection on this small piece of the urban landscape. In contrast, “Hooked”, below, is purely a landscape of the mind, with no detail left to link it to reality. That level of abstraction is disturbing to some,…

Cloudscapes from the Heartland

Cloudscapes from the Heartland are two more examples from a series of abstracts begun about a month ago. Originally meant to be evocative studies in color, texture and motion, some have become suggestive of landscapes and other scenes. Both of these images began as landscape photographs — one of Sarasota Bay in Florida, and the other of a wind generator in the flat lands…

Seaside Transformations

There are days, in the afternoon especially, when the sand can burn your feet and the heat rises into your face. Closer to the water the sand is damp and cooler. Looking down at the shells deposited along the waterline one can contemplate the spiral structure that is home to many creatures of the sea.

Horizon Line

Looking out over the calm gulf waters at the distant horizon, the bands of colors across sky and sea are gently meditiative. Objects in the foreground may come unglued and seem to float. It can be worth a few minutes to let them.

Two Views of One Place

The qualities of a built environment have a lot to do with how people feel about a place. The alley behind the new Palm Avenue parking garage is wide, clean, new, and bordered on each side by towering walls of concrete. Looking down this oversized tunnel one is greeted with a surprising view of the run down and graffiti-graced backside of a Main Street…