Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Worship and Art: Two Houston Examples

Obelisk sculpture outside the Rothko Chapel at the de Menil Collection, above.
Inside the non-denominational chapel open to the public, there are huge color panels by artist Mark Rothko.  

Below, images from the Live Oak Quaker Meeting in Houston.
The beautiful new meetinghouse has a "Skyspace" art installation by artist James Turrell, as well as beautiful furniture and setting.

Some Examples of Landscaping with Texas Natives

 These two images are from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center near Austin.
Wonderful formal gardens, buildings, and native landscapes.

 Intermediate between wild and urban, the Hiram Butler Gallery grounds above and a San Antonio suburb below which has retained its native trees.

Images of Several Conventional Landscapes in Houston

 Although hideous and dominated by transportation uses, the sign below shows a bit of the vibrant immigrant-driven slice of the economy in Houston.
One sign in one small mall on the outskirts has advertising for Mexican, Salvadorean, Chinese, Filipino, and muslim small businesses (at least).

 Suburban lots dominate the outskirts of Houston, above, and are much more affordable than housing closer to the core.  Downtown, property values can be much higher.  Some people, rather than worrying about landscaping, simply cover the whole property!  The town homes below cover the entire lot; the property line runs in the 6 inches between the buildings.  There is no zoning and no setbacks in Houston!

Western Art, Blanton Museum of Art, in Austin

 Lafayette Maynard Dixon, Desert Ranges, oil on canvas, 1940
 James Brooks,Oil Well at Sunset, oil on canvas, 1955

 Peter McIntyre, Longhorn Ranch, oil on canvas, 1971

Lafayette Maynard Dixon, Top of the Ridge, oil on canvas, 1933

Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas

Texas Friends

January-February in Pennsylvania

Witch Hazel, above, bloomed several weeks early after an almost non-existent winter.
The full moon at night, below, shines through tree branches.

Magnificent skies, good friends and family - the art will come in another chapter!

January in Richmond, VA

Magnificent skies...

Good art, family...
 and good friends.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some of What We Have Been Reading...

History and Related Books

In the Garden of Beasts, by Eric Larson

Bloodlands:  Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder

Americans in Paris, by David McCullough

Steps of Courage, by Bettina Hoerlin

Vienna, 1814, by David King

The Radetzky March, by Joseph Roth

The Proud Tower, by Barbara Tuchman

The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman

The World Undone, the Story of the Great War 1914-1918, by GJ Meyer

A History of Western Society, by McKay, Hill, and Buckler

My Life in France, by Julia Child

French Cinema, by Charles Drazin

Howard Hawks, the Grey Fox of Hollywood

A Venetian Affair, by Andrea di Robilant


Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton

The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann

Buddenbrooks, by Thomas Mann

Letters from my Windmill, by Alphonse Daudet

Health, etc.

The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell

How Docctors Think, by Jerome Groopman, MD

Beating Lyme, by Bean and Fein

Cure Unknown, Inside the Lyme Epidemic, by Pamela Weintraub

Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabot-Zinn

Love, A History, by Simon May

The Invisible Embrace of Beauty, by John O'Donohue