Before Martha Stewart's mag promoted Halloween into yet another commercial, overdone holiday, I used to love it. Well, I still do, but it's the seasonal aspects of harvest, descending darkness, leaf turn and drop, wind, rain, and coming indoors for the winter that I love - not the hype, the consumerism of yet another store-bought, Hallmark holiday.
Look what nature provides for decoration - pumpkins, cornstalks, variously colored leaves, bare stems, twigs and branches - all signs of a dramatic shift in the world around us as winter closes in. What satisfaction to go outside and pick from your garden, from roadsides and alleys...and create something simple, personal, true to the season....
Which leads me to the best store window I've seen this season, at Museo Gallery in Langley, a simple line of pure white vases holding Chinese lanterns ((Physalis alkekeng) an all-too-willing perennial as weedy as it is beautiful.
The textural contrast between the glossy, white porcelain vases by Whidbey ceramicist Inge Roberts and the puffy orange lanterns is stunning. The inherent nature of each is shown off to perfection in the juxtaposition of precious, fragile, and handmade with the weedy, common botanicals.
The simplicity of the display catches your eye and draws you in to look closer. And be sure and follow that instinct, for October's show at Museo is not-to-be-missed. It features the multi-media works (in stone, fiber and wood) of the endlessly creative Deloss Webber and colorful, sometimes slightly fractured or maybe better described as geometric, landscapes by retired architect Gordy Edberg.
(Photos courtesy of Sandy Logan)
You can see a pair of Del's horses in the background, Gordy's landscapes on the wall, and the metal botanicals on the top shelf are by island artist Jean Whitesavage.
Okay, I admit, there's already a red dot on at least one of those vases, because I couldn't resist the one with subtle white checks on it. How to resist the slightly organic shapes of the vases, let alone their white glossiness? Most have a subtle pattern, a tiny face, handprint, or other beguiling detail...
I also couldn't resist running back down to the gallery after I saw the window, to offer the tiniest pumpkin I've ever grown...and gallery owner Sandra Jarvis was kind enough to add it to the display.
Chinese lanterns, Inge's vases, Gordy and Del's art will be on display through the month of October...