Monday, February 20, 2006

A pattern emerges

San Juan Puerto Rico is such a beautiful place—the sky is this amazing shade of blue, the sea is deep turquoise, the old buildings are wonderful colors of ochre and stone and sun-faded pastels. The day we walked all over Old San Juan I was on visual overload and couldn't take pictures fast enough. Suddenly, late in the morning I began to see a pattern emerging—windows, doorways, structures all with a graceful arch. I will henceforth think of it as the "shape" of old San Juan.

Ever since then I have been thinking about archways and curved domes. Do you notice, sometimes, that a shape, a color, some element that has been all around you forever, suddenly inhabits your head in a way as if you were discovering it for the first time? Arches. I'm seeing arches everywhere.

The top photo is the entrance to the city of San Juan museum and you see that inside are a series of arched doorways. The top of this arched entrance was filled with a beautiful metal grill in a design like the rays of a rising or setting sun.

The city of San Juan is nothing if not fortified. Two huge forts built by the Spanish and a massive sea wall guarded the coastline from pirates and foreign invaders. All along the sea walls and the forts are these lovely little guard houses that you see in the second picture.

The third picture is a window inside Fort Cristobal, which shows how thick the walls are.

The next picture is a structure covering the entrance to a spiral stairway within the fort.

Next, doorway and window and arched ceiling inside Fort Cristobal.

Smallish structures along the walls atop the fort were for guns and cannons.

And, finally, my favorite of my arch pictures. That is Ray emerging from an arched passageway inside Fort Cristobol. Ahead, of course, you see another arch, but also notice the arch-shaped shadows in the walkway between.


  1. Really gorgeous photos, Terry. Lots of inspiration there!

  2. Beautiful pictures, Teri. I know we will be seeing some artwork inspired by these lovely forms. Jen

  3. Anonymous8:46 AM

    I love photos with arches. I have been wanting to do some fiber work with them. Esterita Austin does these so well.

  4. I love arches too! These are wonderfully inspiring pictures.

  5. The bottom picture especially struck me. I seem to be into arches too at the moment.