The Writing Is On The Siberian Walls
Siberian walls are smothered in messages. Subliminal and scrawly ones. Obvious, simplistic and humorous ones. Scratchy, graphic and historic ones. In Russia, English is rare, almost discouraged, and Siberian walls follow suit so you cannot rely on language to discern the communication.
The medium is the message, or, with Siberian walls, the texture frames the message. Settles and absorbs it. The message gains perspective as Siberian walls often are a brick palette weathered by history from 20th century civil battles, decades of stagnant Soviet rule and the steep road up to modernization. The canvas is as important as the palette and brush.
The writing is on the wall, as they say.
For more on Siberian walls and Siberia, see also:
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park Spring 2014
To some, the prairie spring vista can be uninspiring. To others it is just plain tiring as the rest of the world experiences daffodils that aren’t deluded by a spring snowfall, green grass that isn’t denuded by frosty temperatures and a big sky that threatens snowfall (again!). Spring is a long journey of frozen precipitation playing checkerboard with “here today-gone in an hour” sunshine, often in the same day. Hope and expectation fizzled.
As winter’s monochromatic palette lingers into the season that conjures up emergent botanicals, drab foliage and empty branches continue in their state of wanting. The world’s universal natural vitamin D source is as lacking as the corresponding intensity of heat. The clutch of winter drags on into April and May; temperatures remain low and dribbles of slushy snow dampen, yet again, the dead landscape and the spirits of winter survivors longing for the next season with all of its promise. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is approximately 3500 acres of prairie grassland preserved just west of Calgary, Alberta. A walk through the all-season park in the late spring afternoon (that is, late May) offers up the warmth of the solar strength just before it lowers below the still seemingly frozen horizon. And then, without notice, summer descends. Hope and expectation rekindled.
It was a long prairie winter but spring is here. The park is a working ranch complete with cattle and fence lines and cowpies along with trees and trails and deer. Keep your eyes open and watch your step when roaming on this unique landscape.
For more on Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, see:
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park – Green Season
Sometimes you have to get out and see what all the fuss is about when green season hits the Canadian foothills. Late evening spring light is best viewed and experienced from outside of the car window so find a park and get walking.
In the case of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park in late spring, taking a short walk west from the parking lot can make all of the difference in the world, at least in the prairie and foothills world. After a week of big rain the thirsty land dresses up green almost overnight. Combine the big prairie sky and fading warm light and you have colours sleeping together in harmony; greens and yellows and blues melting into one another. In the colour wheel world a palette of analogous colours are a good thing. So get out of your box, whatever that may be, and look for some colours cozying up at a park nearest you.
For more on Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park see:
Havana Creeping into Modernity One Stroke at a Time
When Havanans have access to colour, they apply it with a heavy brush … intense, powerful, striking dabs on an otherwise monochromatic and deteriorating landscape. Colour has always been around, lurking in Havana cultural life, most noted and obvious, the arts, music and architecture. Although suppressed over the past half century, new, bold shades are seeping out from the cracks in the canvas. While paint is desperately lacking in the crumbling architecture, and vision can be clouded by exhaust spewing Ladas, vivid colour is applied liberally to the everyday palette – the showy street costume, the impromptu sax playing in a refurbished plaza, “American cars” dressed up in pop colours cruise by, the full spectrum and style displaying in street art. Locals meander down the Paseo del Prado (a long, wide boulevard built in the late 18th Century) in sexy, current, bright attire – chatting vigorously and, generally, minding their business. Cuban art is on display under tropical vegetation waiting for the highly cherished tourist currency. Locals usually just browse.
For more on the Cuban colour palette see: