A sunny afternoon was a good time for a ride since such nice days are likely to be in short supply before too long. I didn’t feel like pushing myself up nasty climbs on such a lovely day so went for miles rather than climbing feet and took the trail down the Sammammish River and on down through Marymoor Park and alongside Lake Sammammish. As I went through Marymoor park on my outbound leg, I noticed what initially appeared to be a couple of plows alongside the trail. I decided to check them out on the return leg.
When I came back, I realized that, far from being farming implements (albeit on a small scale), they were actually sculptures of dragons. A pair of them, presumably taking flight? I was glad I waited until the return journey because the sun was that bit lower and the light a bit warmer. That did make it a bit more tricky to keep my shadow out of the shots but I just about managed.
I have visited Renton Municipal Airport on plenty of occasions but I had not previously stopped to check out the sculpture at the entrance to the airport. It is sited by the main gate and there is a parking area to make it easy to visit. The formal name of the airport is Clayton Scott Field and the sculpture is of Clayton Scott himself next to a sign showing the direction and distance to multiple locations. The top of the sculpture even includes space as one destination! The locations are chosen and organized to provide a nice spiral pattern to the markers. It is a nicely executed piece of artwork.
Head up the shoreline from the center of Aldeburgh and there is a beach area with an interesting sculpture. Called the Aldeburgh Scallop, it is a stainless steel sculpture, funded by public donations. It is two scallop shells that interlock. It is nearly four metres across and dramatic, sitting as it does on the open shingle beach. Very cool.
I parked up in the South Park area south of Seattle when I was off to get some shots of the large stored 737 Max population. I walked across the bridge to see the planes but I was also rather taken with a sculpture that was sitting on the sidewalk. It was a multi layered creation with an angler fish style design with many more intricate elements built in to the structure of the fish shape. It was striking. There were lots of distracting background elements near the sculpture which I didn’t want in the shot so I decided to shoot close up to it with lots of shots and then combine them into a pano when I got home.
The hot shop at the Tacoma Glass Museum proved to be a lot of fun. We went in there as soon as we arrived because we had been watching them at work on a monitor while we were in line to buy our tickets. We also knew they would have a break later in our visit so wanted to make sure we saw the work underway. The shop is laid out to provide a lot of options for the visitors.
There is a seating gallery area built up at the back of the studio so people can sit and watch what is going on. A camera operator moves around the shop providing close up shots of the work which are shown on monitors to give a more detailed view of the work. Meanwhile, a guy was providing commentary on what was happening and answering questions from the crowd. There was also a walkway that went above and behind the work space so it was possible to look down on exactly what they were doing from quite close in.
The team were working on a candelabra in glass which appeared to be a new idea that they had. They got quite well through the work when it shattered. They went back to the beginning and edited the design the second time around. The simplified some elements and reinforced others and this time everything worked out well. We were fascinated by the whole thing and watched them all the way to completion of the work. Even if the rest of the museum hadn’t been there, this would have been worthwhile for a visit on its own.
This previous post included many shots from a visit to the Chihuly Museum in Seattle. In that post I mentioned how it closed around the time it was getting dark and that a return trip during the winter would be in order. With my mum visiting at Christmas, that’s exactly what we did. We timed our visit to be later in the day so we would be there once the sun set.
The transition from light to dark
brought a lot of options in the gardens.
Not everything was illuminated so some elements were okay while there
was some light remaining but then were gone while others were only gently
illuminated and only really showed the effects well once dark was fully upon
us. The view back to the museum was also
interesting as it changed and I did go back inside often to see how the move
from external to internal lighting affected the glass works on display in
there. Hopefully these shots give you a
sense of how things look as darkness descends.
I have been in downtown Dallas a couple of times recently for work. One of the places we have had dinner is across the road from a small park area that has a sculpture of a giant eyeball at one end. It is a bit creepy to be honest. I photographed it on my way to dinner when the sun was still going down. When we came out, it was fully dark so I figured I would get another shot.
When I was a teenager, we lived on the seafront in Cowes. The road was a short distance in from the waterfront but a side street led down to the sea itself and you could walk along from there in either direction, either along to Egypt Point or in to the town center. The railings that stopped you falling in to the sea (if standing up was not something you could manage on your own) were mounted between a series of posts and, on one of these posts, there was a sculpture of a lion. Clearly weathering had taken a toll on this lion but repairs had been carried out over the years. When I was there last year, we took a walk along this same stretch and it was great to see this familiar old fella still guarding the shoreline.
A little too much celebration of Thanksgiving meant I needed to burn off a few extra calories. I figured a bike ride would be a good option and decided to check out the Burke Gilman Trail. This runs around Lake Washington on the alignment of an old railroad. Not too many hills to deal with then! I wasn’t sure how far I would go but I headed towards Magnuson Park. This sits on the eastern shore of Lake Washington on the site of a former naval base. It was once a Naval Air Station but was progressively pared back until it was deactivated and returned to the city.
One of the things I was curious to see in the park is a sculpture installation called the Fin project. This takes a bunch of fins from decommissioned nuclear subs and arranges them in patterns that are reminiscent of the fins of pods of orcas. The Navy donated the fins and private subscriptions paid for the rest of the installation. The result is an interesting exhibit with varying sizes of fin at different positions and angles.
The meaning of the sculpture varies depending on who is checking it out. It represents the naval station and the service of those based there, it draws parallels with the wildlife in the area, it represents recycling of material and it has a swords to plowshares aspect to it too. Each fin has a plaque that notes the vessel it came from, the name of an orca from a local pod and the names of those who donated to fund the installation.
I was there on a pretty overcast day and only had my phone with me to get shots. I think that the cloudy sky was actually a pretty appropriate backdrop as the darkness of the fins and the hint of their life in the deep would be a little offset on a bright and sunny day.
Perched up on a hill overlooking the entrance to the Golden Gate sits the Legion of Honor. This is an art gallery that, while including quite a variety of art styles, is synonymous with the sculpture of Rodin. I first visited in 1990 during my first trip to the west coast. I hadn’t been back since and Nancy had never been. She is a fan of some of the impressionist painters so I thought this might be a good day out for her. What I hadn’t realized was that they had a special exhibit on of Monet’s early years. Turns out it was a bit more appropriate than I realized.
It was a lovely day to be in the city. The sun was out and the temperatures were on the low 70s. We had started out early to try and get there before it got busy. We hadn’t anticipated the exhibit though. Consequently, it was already quite busy when we got there. It only got busier so we still were getting the better side of things. We went straight to the exhibit and spent a fair bit of time in there. Afterwards, we strolled through the galleries of the collection.
The different galleries are very nicely laid out. Nothing felt too crowded and the light in the rooms was very nice. Each gallery had a different style of decoration so you felt the change as you moved from room to room. Natural light through the roof made it feel a lot less oppressive than some museums. They did have some sections set up as rooms from old houses and these were a lot more subdued.
The sculpture section was very interesting. The Spreckels family started the collection and they were avid supporters of Rodin’s work. The Thinker sits in the forecourt while there are two rooms of his work. These included bronzes, plaster and marble sculptures. Rodin liked marble apparently but I find the bronze castings to be the most impressive since they show the texture of the work in a way that is lost a little with marble for me.
When I visit art museums, I find I have a limit of how long I can last. When we were in Florence, I discovered just how many Madonna and Child pictures I can look at before I am done. This museum is actually well sized for me. I was able to check out the whole collection in about the time it takes me to be maxed out. I didn’t reach the point of either my feet hurting, my back aching or just not wanting to look at another picture. About the perfect size. The collection is not as diverse as you will find in some big cities but it works well for a day out. Check it out if you have the time.