Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fleeting Thoughts

A bit melancholy, now that spring is past and the hot summer is due to begin.
Brief--I should say fleeting--thoughts of small, rich bits (like Durer's Great Piece of Turf, below) are moving around in my brain lately.

It might be because large, beautiful landscapes are escaping my notice, most likely due to the destruction of my neighborhood, and that of other places I once loved.

 A little watercolor sketch I painted on location (at a place called Onion Hill) once a long time ago.
It was much cooler and way more atmospheric than this sad little sketch shows.

Now Onion Hill looks like this. In winter. (It's not much better in the summer.)

It always amazes me that people actually choose to live in houses like these. It's an expensive development, not a slum where one might be forced to live due to economic hardship. Miles of giant black roofs that block the view of the surrounding mesas, and brown, tan, and taupe instead of a colorful old farm. Some kind of modern Gulag.

The late, great illustrator Trina Schart Hyman once wrote: 
"One spring the farm was sold, and men and machines came and tore it down. They ripped up the grand old elms and boxwoods...they smashed the old stone and stucco walls and splintered the hand-painted blue and white tiles that lined the fireplaces. They shattered the wavery-gold and violet-tinted glass of the windows. They battered it...until it finally collapsed and died: then they plowed it under with their bulldozers.  
I learned something, that day. I learned that everything changes, and nothing is safe."
The farm from the book Self-Portrait, by Trina Shart Hyman

Everything changes I guess, including (maybe) my own ideas and opinions about beauty. And nothing is ever really safe. But it wouldn't hurt my feelings to once in awhile see a new, brown suburb bulldozed to make way for an old neighborhood filled with some charm.


  1. Couldn't agree more. I've spoken with folks about this theme and the best I can gather so far is that many people are . . . indifferent. To basically everything.

    1. Ugh--That sort of freezes my blood.


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