Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

Wordplay and Watercolor: Edward Lear in Gozo

by Joyce McGreevy on February 8, 2016

Edward Lear's watercolor painting of Gozo, Malta, a place he visited with a traveler's wanderlust and one that inspired his wordplay. (Image by Edward Lear, public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

A tireless traveler, Edward Lear expressed the magnificence of Gozo, Malta,
through delicate watercolor paintings and colorful wordplay.
Edward Lear [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wanderlust on My Lear-ical Visit to Malta

It’s winter in Malta, 1862. Edward Lear, lover of wordplay and watercolor, is writing a letter. His phrasing echoes the rhythm of Mediterranean tides against this tiny archipelago:

“I draw constantly on the Barracca point; meaning to paint a picture thereof one day; and I wander up and down the beautiful streets of Valletta and Senglea; and rejoice in the delightful heat and the blue sky; and watch the thousand little boats skimming across the harbor at sunset.”

The Art of Urban and Rural Exploration

by Eva Boynton on February 2, 2016

A winding staircase in an abandoned building shows how the art of urban exploration makes you see things differently (image © Christian Richter).

The spiraling perspective of an abandoned staircase begs the question:
Who walked up these stairs?
© Christian Richter

See Things Differently, See Beauty in Decay

While perusing the library of my travel photos, I found a surprising result. Faces and landscapes were few and far between. Crumbling brick, rusted door knobs, cracked walls, paint discoloration, and patterns of flaking exteriors took center stage. Why?

Because I see things differently. Not only do deserted buildings and decaying walls provide powerful settings for photography, but they are themselves, a form of art.

American Cultural Heritage: Public Libraries

by Meredith Mullins on January 25, 2016

One-room green library in Allensworth, CA, one of the public libraries showing America's cultural heritage. (Image © Robert Dawson.)

Library built by ex-slaves, Allensworth, California
© Robert Dawson

The Art of Getting on the Same Page

Shhh. No talking. Let the books and walls and shelves speak for themselves. If you’re quiet, you can hear the sound of knowledge. The call to adventure. The whisper of imagination.

It all happens at public libraries—a part of American cultural heritage that has opened so many doors, providing free access to information and the freedom to learn.

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