LAPC #229: Perfect Patterns

This week Ann-Christine has chosen an intriguing theme. She asks us to share perfect patterns. I know this is subjective–everyone has his/her own idea of what’s perfect. But I’ll start with Mother Nature. There will be little debate that she creates amazing designs.

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.

Richard P. Feynman

Nature’s Perfection

This cone flower captured at sunset looks perfect to me–its shape, its design, and its colors. Do you agree?

The same is true of this spider web that caught the sunlight when I was walking to work. The beads of water and the web itself make a stunningly perfect design.

Perfect Architecture

Art is pattern informed by sensibility.

Herbert Read

Now, I’ll shift to human design. I captured this ceiling on a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Ellis Island before its renovation. A small group of us walked through the abandoned site, where a stethoscope was still on an examining table from 1954 (the year the site closed). I could imagine the cacophony of voices– the immigrants’ and the officials’, and the thrum of chaos as the newcomers, fearful of failing the entrance requirements, were questioned, examined, and processed. In the 1970’s, the place was in near ruin. Even the magnificent main hall had crumbling paint, peeling plaster. But when I looked up at the ceiling, the original beauty of the architectural design was still on display.

(Historical note: Twelve million immigrants passed through this building in New York City from January 1, 1892 to November, 1954.)

Perfect Craftsmanship

When we were visiting Lisbon, I loved the sidewalks and squares paved in intricate patterns. As you can probably imagine, you can feel a little dizzy when walking on this pavement!

For thousands of years, artisans in Portugal, Spain, Italy and other countries around the world arranged small flat pieces of stones in a pattern or image, similar to a mosaic. Today, it’s a dying art.

Perfect Interior Design

I couldn’t resist re-publishing this image of one of my favorite interior spaces in London. I love how the carpet, winding staircase, wrought-iron design and the tiled floor on the bottom floor all work so well together. To my way of thinking, it’s perfect.

Perfect Artistry

When I first saw this mosaic in Ravenna, Italy, I was stunned. The colors, the intricate design, and its beauty were remarkable. It took generations of mosaic artists to complete this work in the Basilica of San Vitale.

Perfect Food

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

– James Beard

In closing, I’ll circle back to Mother Nature, who is an amazing architect. In this simple kiwi fruit, black seeds are set in shallow grooves, arranged around a white center, and colored a vivid shade of green. It would take a great of the imagination for one of us to create something that comes close to this uniquely appealing fruit with a “sunny” disposition.

Ann-Christine’s theme this week has reminded me that patterns are everywhere once we start to look for them. You may or not agree that my choices are “perfect,” but it’s been fun sharing my version of perfection. We invite you all to share your perfect finds with us. Be sure to visit Leya to see Ann-Christine’s wonderful finds in Copenhagen and closer to home. Include a link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can easily find you in the Reader.

Many thanks for all of you who shared so many wonderful diagonals – in nature, in architecture, in wildlife, in cities, in the country and just about everywhere else! Your collections last week were fabulous.

Next week, it’s Tina’s turn to host LAPC #230, so be sure to visit her beautiful and inspiring site next Saturday at noon Eastern Standard Time. Until then, have a week filled with purpose, good health, and inspiration.

67 replies »

  1. I loved each ‘chapter’ of this post – what a good idea! But my personal favourite was Ravenna, because it brings many happy memories of exploring there when I was much younger. You did the place absolute justice with your image.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The staircase ought to be too ‘busy’, Patti, but I love it. The ceiling in Ellis Island is beautiful in its simplicity and there’s a tug at the heartstrings, Isn’t there? And no, I could never argue with you about the cone flower. Perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean, Jo. The staircase should be too busy, but it all works perfectly together! And Ellis Island…I wish I had more photos from that visit. This is the best one I took that day. But I have the memories at least. Take care and have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think they’ve had more rain in Sacramento. Right now I’m in Reno staying with grandkids. We had a big snow storm a couple of nights ago. I’ve never seen anything like it. My son had to call in for guys to snow blow his driveway and clear a path to the front door. And, yes, I took pictures.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the spiders web, that marvellous staircase, the Lisbon street…and the Ellis Island ceiling. But I’m intrigued..aside from patterns, do you have more images from the Ellis Island site??

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gorgeous choices this week Patti, especially your architectural images – stunning indeed. I’m happy the challenge brought these to mind, they’re perfection!! Of course Mother Nature is the best architect but still I truly loved your structural patterns this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tina. Thank you! You put a smile on my face the first thing this morning! I loved each of those structures. I could have included Grand Central Station too–if I had thought of it! I also wish they hadn’t torn down Penn Station. I would have loved to see the original. McKim’s designs are great–like the Boston Public Library. Oh I could have included that one, too!! Have a good week. I’ll be in touch.


    • Hi, Luanne. I know what you mean! I was dizzy too! I was afraid to walk on it at first. I didn’t know what I was stepping into! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope all’s well. Have a wonderful holiday and new year, too. ❤️😀


  5. An excellent set of patterns, Patti! …You almost make me believe in the possibility of perfect patterns…You know I love that cornflower, it is magical, but this time I must say the architecture, especially Ravenna, makes my heart beat a little bit extra. I remember Ravenna as heavenly when I was there in 1975. I was young and in complete awe – seeing your beautiful image brought me back to that feeling. Many years ago now…
    Thank you for the kiwi wonder as well – you opened my eyes there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How interesting that you visited Ellis Island before its restoration. We did too, in 1982, and I found the atmosphere so haunting – more so than when we paid a return visit some years ago. The restorations have been very well done and the site is full of interest but it’s lost its atmosphere to some extent.

    I love that staircase too (where in London??) and of course your choices from nature are wonderful, especially the spider’s web – such an ‘ordinary’ thing and yet so perfect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sarah. You went there too before the restoration! I had the same reaction. The mood there was haunting. You could almost feel the hopefulness, despair, terror, optimism….all of it. The post-restoration mood is entirely different. I’d call it “sanitized.” The hotel was near Paddington Station. Lovely, historic. The restaurant there was great, too. Have a great week. And thanks for your thoughts, too. My apologize for my slow reply this week…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Siobhan! My apologies for such a slow response this week. Life has bit a bit crazy. I’m delighted you like the spider web. That was such a surprise finding it off the parking lot at work! Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Some unique looks at patterns in your post, Patti. The kiwi was a great find and I loved the water droplets on the spider web. The most interesting photo was of the “wavy” tiled plaza. Sad to think it is a lost art. I guess the younger generation doesn’t see the value in the work it takes to create such masterpieces.

    I love that you looked down at the staircase, and up at the Basilica of San Vitale. Such brilliant colors and intricate design. Love your travels.

    Liked by 1 person

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