Monday, January 25, 2016

The Wonder of it All.

Thank you winter storm "Jonas" for depositing over 3 feet of snow in my yard, this past weekend!  This is my driveway and looking down the hill towards the road, this past Saturday evening...what driveway and what road???

Strands upon strands of embroidery floss, threaded and stretched from floor to ceiling play off of light to create a fabric kaleidoscope.
Susan and me on a winter's day enjoying the Renwick Gallery.

These first months of the year bring dark days of winter or bright, frigid sunshine.  A time when I turn my attention from the lavender field and gardens and get a little rest and refocus on the coming growing season. Even on days like this, with 39 inches of snow staring obliquely at me outside my window, taking the time to appreciate all of the sights and adventures that wait just beyond my own backyard can be luxuries that I don't often take advantage of.

Getting off of the Farmlet, when we are in season can be a real challenge and takes lots of preplanning.  However, January through March is a relatively quiet time here--if you ignore all of the snow that is waiting to be shoveled--as Blooming Hill is closed during the winter months.  After all, who is thinking about lavender, other than P.Lorenz and myself? So, when someone just happens to suggest a road trip, believe me when I say, "I'm all in"!  

The artists intent was to evoke an image of a tsunami.  I saw an ever changing desert sky at dusk in this darkened, peaceful room that beckoned gallery visitors to sit and stay, even lay down on the softly-patterned carpet that resembled windblown waves.  It became a place to dream, if only for a while.
Imagine having to cut out all of these little cardboard paper pieces to make giant stalagmites coming to life and taking shape as an indoor canyon--and I thought pruning lavender bushes was tedious work--geesh! 
Pods of twisted willow branches make inviting spaces to dwell in for mythical and practical everyday creatures, alike. Windows and doors are fashioned allowing people to walk in and out of them.
That is just what happened last week when my friend, Susan, invited me along to see the Wonder Exhibit  at the Renwick Gallery, a Smithsonian American Art Museum, located at Pennsylvania Ave. and 17th St, NW  in Washington, D.C.  The Renwick Gallery, founded by William Corcoran back in the middle 1800's, is renowned as America's first building dedicated specifically as an art museum and, while this gallery normally houses a permanent exhibit showcasing arts and crafts stemming from early America to the present, currently the Wonder Exhibit has taken over the place and features nine different artists who have created expansive art forms, from re-purposed materials or things taken from nature, that mimic or enhance in new and different ways, things, that already are not so ordinary in and of themselves, like giant redwood trees, the dessert sky and even life-size gnome houses buried deep in the forests of our imaginations.

Shimmering, shooting stars dangle in this rather delicate looking chandelier.  I kept thinking about the person who has the honor of dusting and polishing each strand of mirror, glass and light--I guess that is just the O.C.D. cleaner in me.
This is only a tiny portion of an entire room wallpapered in insects arranged in intricate patterns.  So, if you don't know what to do with those pesky stink bugs that Northern Virginia seems to have all over the place, especially during the autumn months, here's a rather ingenious idea...Just a thought.
Made from the plaster casting of a hemlock tree, the sculpture itself was recreated using strips of cedar.

What a wonderful cure for cabin fever--snow or no snow.  The Wonder Exhibit will be on display at the Renwick Gallery until this summer.  Of course, by then, the natural wonders of nature expand 100-fold all around my place, as I'm sure it does in your yard, too. Come to think of it, even on this snow day, wonder and beauty can spring out of the most usual of places I see everyday.
I so enjoyed the Renwick Gallery last week but I must say that I also enjoy the artistry and wonders that occur daily in my own backyard, no matter the time of the year.

1 comment:

  1. I love snow pictures and first one picture of your yard for 3 feet snow is so lovely. I never seen such storms live in my life. Recently when we visited at an event at Chicago venues, my friend shared that last year she had met with an accident while she was driving in snow storm.