Archive for the ‘Guest Contributor’ Category

painting by donald langosy

Now on view at the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, MA, an exhibit of works by artist Donald Langosy. Learn more on the center’s website: https://www.multiculturalartscenter.org/. If you’re unable to make it into town, the website also presents a virtual gallery.

painting by donald langosy

FYI, it was my pleasure years ago to take a peek inside his studio. Enjoy.


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When I saw Donna’s photos from Lovell, Maine I knew I wanted to share them and so I asked her for some words to accompany them. She shared a poem written by her partner’s daughter, Kristin Roberts, and suggested Kristin’s words might work instead. A perfect pairing. The poem, written by Kristin in the 7th grade, attests to her sensitivity and great observational skills about nature, about the people who engage with the Lovell landscape, and about the passage of time. Please enjoy this lovely pairing of words and images that capture the season.

Photo by Donna Stenwall


Crimson, buttercup, marigold leaves swirl rustling around in rhythm of Autumn. The icy winds swipe.

Bee charmers with nets on their crowns, collect the pure golden honey from dripping cones. Farmers collect apples just before the tart crispy fruit turns to ripe.

The bitter winds nip at my face, redden my cheeks, numb my fingers, while icy blue Jack frost freezes Queen Anne’s lace.

Warm golden summer’s gone.

Photo by Donna Stenwall

Oaks and birches are stripped bare. Rifle shots ring out in echo as sharp eyed hunters bring down swift graceful deer.

Sweet singing birds long ago flew south, replaced with huge black crows with their loud mocking mouths.

Soft fluffy snow will soon replace corpsed grass. And the awful sight soon will pass.

Photo by Donna Stenwall

My lawn is littered with bright leaves, each unique in its own way. Dark misty evening is extended. Gray dawns are gloomy, bright mornings have ended.

Brilliant gay summers will be here at last, when the silver season after golden Autumn soon comes to pass.

by Kristin Roberts (1981-2011)

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Editorial note: Do you miss traveling? I do too! I thought my friend Andrea’s images of Iceland, taken before the pandemic, were beautiful but now … they are truly majestic, capturing a dynamic landscape rich in color and full of light. Thanks for sharing, Andrea!


 Ice Cave


Diamond Beach




Black Sand


Blue Lagoon

Photos courtesy of Andrea Ranger

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Photograph by Rodrigo Larios

I’d previously shared in “when you look up” how a photograph of the painted ceilings of Trinity Church had inspired designer Donna McNett to produce a vibrantly hued men’s tie, bow tie and pocket square collection. She did an amazing job working with a single photograph to produce something truly unique that celebrates the beauty orchestrated by painter John La Farge and presents it with a modern twist.


Photograph by Rodrigo Larios

For 2019 we hope to collaborate once more in the production of a matching shawl and perhaps silk square. Stay tuned for further updates about that! Meanwhile there are still a few ties and pocket squares on the shelves of the shop. Drop by to see for yourself.


Photograph by Rodrigo Larios

Not in the Boston area? Shipping is available. Send inquiries to artandarchitecture@trinitychurchboston.org


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… a little boy with big bottles of bubbles. Photos of one of my littlest cousins taken by his older cousin. Hope that smile and those bubbles brighten your day.  🙂



Thanks, L!

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photo by DL

According to Kiya’s owner, DL, she selected the rug before the kitten selected her. Clearly this relationship was meant to be. 🙂

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The versatility of white: Postcards, t-shirt and ornament with details from David’s Charge to Solomon, a stained glass window by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris paired with a silk chiffon scarf featuring swaying tree branches

It has been my pleasure over the past few years to work with Donna Stenwall, Manager of Visitor Services at Trinity Church in Boston. While I think I have a pretty good grasp of color, one of the things I continually learn from Donna is how to put those colors together to create “visual eye candy” on the shelves of the shop at Trinity. Having previously worked for Laura Ashley for 35 years, she has a command not only of color but of style. The vignettes that she puts together whether based on motif or, in these examples, on color, truly captivate the eye. As she says, “There is nothing worse than having a display that is so jarring to the eye that people don’t really know where to look!”


Warm reds, pinks and gold: Boxed note cards featuring 19th century reproduction of a 15th century painting of the Madonna and Child paired with a ceramic ornament with dove motif from The Ascension stained glass window, with just a peek at the flowers from the window The Five Wise Virgins

Visit the shop at Trinity Church and you can see these colorful vignettes for yourself.


Cool blues: A framed watercolor print of Trinity Church at night paired with an oval glass ornament of Jesus from the window The Resurrection by John La Farge and a blue-tinted card featuring an etching of Trinity Church by Henry Blaney


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Calligraphy by Daniel Cronin

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photo by DL

In this picture, Ash sits in the window alone, a photo shared by guest contributor DL who has presented several beautiful and often poignant pictures on this blog over the years. Her cat Ash is just learning to sit in windows alone for the first time. His big brother Pepi passed away recently. As DL said to me the picture might be a little sad but for me it is also a beautifully lit capture of perseverance and adaptation to change.

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Burial places they certainly are, but across time, cemeteries have also served other functions within our communities — as gathering places for celebration, as gardens of serenity for reflection, as time capsules that help us remember and document the past. In the first of two posts, friend and guest contributor Donna Stenwall shares memories of her visits to cemeteries around the world, respecting their universal solemnity while experiencing the unique attributes of each place.

Detail from Oscar Wilde Tomb, Pere Lachaise Cemetery

It seems strange to say this, but cemeteries have always played a role in my life. The small New England town I grew up in is where it all began. One of my earliest memories is walking by the old cemetery on my way to the library. It was locked every day with the exception of July 4th. That’s when we were able to enter and roam the aisles of the chipped and weathered headstones of the residents that founded the town in the 1600’s. With the names and dates barely visible to the naked eye, this is where we were taught the art of stone rubbing.

The “new cemetery” as we called it was the spot to learn how to ride your bike for the first time without training wheels. We would fly up and down the streets of the cemetery enjoying the freedom of 2 wheels, and all the while passing the graves of neighbors that left us too soon.

Since Massachusetts still had Blue Laws at the time (meaning no shopping on Sunday), the place to take your first spin behind the wheel was the parking lot of the newly built mall on Sunday afternoons. There we got accustomed to the feel of the car, practicing forward and reverse and left and right hand turns. But, to practice that three-point turn on a hill that we would be tested on? It was back to the cemetery!

Gates of Pere Lachaise

Gates of Pere Lachaise

When I began to travel, trips to cemeteries were on the itinerary. During my first trip to New Orleans I mentioned to our host that I would like to visit one of the old cemeteries I had heard so much about. The next day we set out to St. Louis Cemetery #3. It was there that I decided I wanted to be buried in a Mausoleum! Breathtakingly beautiful, I thanked our host for such an experience. It wasn’t until later I discovered that his mother was buried in St. Louis Cemetery and that our visit that day had been his first trip back since she had passed many years before.

My first trip to Paris, with its famous cemetery Pere Lachaise, was long overdue and bittersweet. My husband and I had planned a trip to Paris several times but circumstances prevented us from ever getting there.  With a smile and twinkle in his eye he promised that he would take me to Paris on my 50th birthday. Ah, I thought, the City of Lights I will see you soon!

Heartbreakingly, my husband passed away on July 25, 2005 after a brief illness. Two months later, I celebrated my 48th birthday. When my 50th was approaching my dear friend suggested I think about Paris for my birthday. I wasn’t sure I could do it or even wanted to but with the urging of family and friends I made the trip. Paris was worth the wait and every step I took I knew my husband was with me cheering me on!


As a huge fan of Oscar Wilde, I knew I had to venture out to Pere Lachaise, the oldest cemetery in the city of Paris, to pay my respects. Not the easiest spot to get to, we hopped on the Metro, then a bus, and finally by foot. As we made our way to the other side of the cemetery we stopped to visit with Edith Piaf, Proust, Chopin, Colette, Sarah Bernhardt and Moliere. I noticed several people taking photos of the graves. I was a bit uncomfortable believing that these legendary souls were gawked at their entire lives and that now they should be allowed the peace they deserved.


On our way to the exit it dawned on me that Jim Morrison of the Doors was buried here and we should find his grave. My friend humored me but after ½ hour of roaming (we were notoriously bad map readers), she was ready to give up. I told her to stay put and I would take 10 more minutes. If I didn’t find his grave we would head back to the apartment.  As I was rounding the corner, there, right in front of me was Jim Morrison, surrounded by metal barriers and his own security guard. His grave was strewn with gifts of cigarette butts and empty bottles of Jack Daniels left by the pilgrims that made the trek.

Several years have passed since my trip but I was reminded of my trip to Pere Lachaise when I caught a documentary on the cemetery and its residents. One scene shows 2 elderly ladies sitting on a bench, taking a moment after visiting their husband’s graves. One was buried next to Jim Morrison. When the interviewer asks her how she feels about all the activity near her husband’s grave, she just smiles and states “at least I know he never gets lonely.”

Photography by Donna Stenwall.

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