Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dallas inspirations

Last week I went to Dallas, Texas on a business trip. Our conference was held ar the Hilton Anatole, and it is a beautiful and massive complex. This view is from the 10th floor, and my room was directly across from where I stood to take the picture. Looking down you can see one of the three open areas at the hotel, and this is where we ate our meals. They would begin setting up an additional 40 tables for breakfast at 4am. Looking up you can see the skylight roof that let natural light in. When it rained, the sound on the roof was thunderous!
I often felt like I was in a museum as there were statues everywhere. Many were oriental in nature, but they provided a lot of calm feelings between our busy workshop sessions. The sculptures above were 5' tall. Many sculptures similar to those below were in alcoves around the massive lobbies.
There were a variety of carved Fu dogs at the entrances and doorways. I believe Fu dogs symbolize family. They always come in pairs that should never be separated. One always symbolizes the female with child in her paw, and the other symbolizes the father with a protective weapon of some sort under his paw. Magnificent.
These green horses might have been made of jade or some other green stone. Each one was about 20" across so they were not small, and took up an entire wall.
We had to walk a lot as the complew was huge and actually 3 buildings. These huge elephants stood at the crossroads to the three buildings. We were soon giving directions by saying "Turn left at the elephants" or "I'll meet you by the elephants". You certainly couldn't miss them!
Outside there were also statues and a beautiful garden with jogging path.
The walls of the buildings had amazing art carved into the brick. During the day they were barely noticable, but at night there were lights that formed shadows and showed them beautifully. I found this one expecially striking. This photo only captures part of the image as it filled the wall and was perhaps 20' X 30". They must have used a jackhammer or something to get the design of the leaves, and a full arch of vines was carved around this tree.
It was nice seing green plants as our ground at home has been covered with snow for months. Nature can have some beautiful designs and colors!
Everywhere there were fresh flowers to enjoy. Our meals for the 600+ attendees were served buffet style, and each buffet table had a colorful arrangement.
Even my fabric shower curtain in the room provided some inspiration and I could see the design and colors in a future hooked rug.
The lobbies were bare of rugs, but the carpets on the upper floors were beautiful.
It seems that since I began rug hooking and began learning from artistic internet friends I look at thigs with a different eye. I see individual parts of patterns instead of merely looking at the whole unit. The flower pattern in the rug above would be lovely as a repeat on a table runner...perhaps a simple row of three flowers on a dark background. I like the way the petals are edged in yellow. Or part of the scroll could be used as a border on another piece. The corners inspire me to make a penny mat. Everywhere we look there are inspirations if we open our eyes to them. Stay warm everyone, and enjoy your day!

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