More walking about Marywood University in Scranton, PA, that is! I find something new every time I set foot on the campus. There are these things, for example (figures 1-3). I stared at web pages for a long time: cedar or cypress? I can’t figure it out. Agh!

Less perplexing is a nearby set of slate steps (figure 4). I love the dark, slatey color and texture in the shade, with lichen and moss to boot. If Gandalf hasn’t been up these steps en route to the mines of Moria I’ll eat my hat. And as a bonus there’s an art above them that’s like a door extended into a slinky. Speak “friend” and enter!

Figure 4. Slate steps. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

I do not find granite to be a very expressive medium, at least for portraiture. But I was impressed by the cutter’s treatment of the beard and mustache in an image of Christ not far from the IHM Sisters’ cemetery. I tried hard (though not too successfully) to find an angle, the light, and the right combination of post-capture processing to make the beard stand out. It’s hard with such a low-contrast stone.

Figure 5. Statue of Christ, detail of head. Marywood University. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

The image of a button (figure 6) on the rich, black soil was another low-contrast challenge. It was precisely outside the door of my wife’s building, and she laughed to see me bending over and stooping down to capture this wee button.

The leaf on the right is really just that color, even though it looks burned out and overexposed. And there’s a (to me) charming brown fallen cypress (or cedar) twig, too. Score!

Figure 6. Button with leaves. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

But I have saved the piece to resist to the end: a tree full of ripening crab apples (figures 7, 8). I don’t think one can eat crab apples, but they sure look rich and tasty! I like the clusters of fruit, and warm palette of red-yellow-green, and the contrasty texture of waxy spheres against polished leaves.

Figure 9, if you want it, is a full-resolution version of figure 7: enjoy!

Figure 9. Crab apples (= figure 7 at full resolution). Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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