There are all kinds of curves in the world, but one curve keeps coming back to me. It dwells in my body as a gesture, a wide, arcing swing of the arm that lifts the air. In yoga class I enjoy big sweeps of the arms; I never groan inwardly the way I might during challenging poses. Wikipedia says that “Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving point.”* I like this idea of implied motion and I was surprised to learn that it originated with Euclid over 2000 years ago.

So curves aren’t static. They’re traced by all sorts of things besides my arm, of course, and when I slow down enough to notice the world with care, I might find the particular curve that I like almost anywhere. A fond familiarity arises when the curve catches my eye. There must be a neuronal pathway – or more likely, many pathways – where this curve is repeatedly recognized and appreciated, a kind of mirroring of the internal and the external. When I see it my eyebrow might arch in pleasure, yet another gentle curve!

Often a camera is at hand so I make a photograph.

1. Western redcedar trees. Washington, 2012.

Curves slither through my LightRoom catalog, showing up in old images of gourds and grass or in more recent photos of buildings and Bullwhip kelp. There’s a curved wood relief I made in 1972; the photo of it reminds me that the preoccupation with curves is nothing new. I suspect it has deep roots, perhaps even mythical, or at least back to my first days on this planet when my mother’s breast was the curve of life.


2. The Jean Arp-inspired wood relief I made long ago now exists only as an old slide and a fuzzy digitized copy.

I visualize the curve moving outward and upward more than inward and downward. It feels open-ended, generous. It stands alone or is tangled up with other curves and if it’s tangled, the disorder is harmonious, not fraught or tight.

A curved line suggests an indirect way to get from point A to point B. That appeals to me, too. Give me the back road, the side path! The very act of taking a route other than the straightest or most direct implies that there’s more to life than getting from A to B. And when it comes to solving problems, a roundabout route may not be the fastest one but it could turn up discoveries that shed new light on the issue. Physics tells us that gravity causes light to travel in a curve near large bodies. Did you know that there is “a flight simulator for multi-connected universes” called Curved Spaces? It’s freeware you can download that is supposed to enable inhabitants to “see their universe’s contents repeating in a crystalline pattern.”** I haven’t tried it and perhaps I’m rationalizing but it seems to me that there are many reasons to love a curve.

Here is a series of curves I’ve seen and photographed.


3. Decorative gourd. Home, 2010. Curves everywhere!
4. Greenhouse specimen. Seattle, 2013. From wide arc to tight spiral.
5. Lighthouse stairs. Oregon, 2018. Unfolding curves.
6. Bends in the road. Washington, 2019. That delicious feeling of hugging curves on a country road.
7. Garden grasses. Seattle, 2017.
8. Shells and window blind cord. Home, 2018. Serendipitous curve echoes.
9. Wires in a garage. California, 2017. Grit and grace.
10. Musuem architecture. New York, 2017.
11. Shell. Home, 2015.
12. Hosta leaves. Washington, 2018.
13. Driftwood. Washington, 2014. And smiles are curves.
14. Museum mosaic. Belgium, 2019.
15. In a Chinese garden. New York, 2011. Built this way to deter evil spirits, since they like straight lines, or because it bears the load of the roof better, or because it allows more light in, or because it allows rainwater to drain, or…
16. Kelp and driftwood. Washington, 2021.
17. Museum staircase. Washington, 2017.
18. A botanical illustration I did many years ago. New York, 1991.
19. Architecture in lower Manhattan. New York, 2017.
20. Agave. Seattle, 2013.
21. The soft, irresistible curves of a newborn’s face. Washington, 2022.



  1. Another wonderfully curated thematic collection, Lynn.

    “A curved line suggests an indirect way to get from point A to point B.” Yes! And, given the constraints of the surface of the globe we inhabit, even the most direct route from A to B is also a curve. 🌍🌎🌏😉


    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful game of ideas in dialogue with lines and curves, and documented by wonderful images. I really enjoyed all of them!
    Faced with the last one, the sweet curvature of an embryo/fetus during pregnancy came to my mind.
    The genesis of life is a curve and a perfect curvilinear “bloom” from a center.
    I really enjoyed the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It makes sense to me that you would enjoy this, Dulce. What a good reminder, that life begins with that curve of the belly. And guess what? The last photo is of Hudson, my new grandson. He’s one of two – twin boys born August 24th. They’re my first grandchildren and I made that photo the day we finally were able to visit them. 🙂
      Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re so right, there’s something about a curve that feels satisfying to look at, to trace with the hand or to follow on a path. Is it the softness, lack of hard angles? Is it the sense of the unknown as it’s harder to predict where a curve will take us? I loved all your curves but the tiny shell and the spiral staircases spoke to me in particular, as did that enticing road in Washington 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the softness harkens back to very early memories. But I like your idea about the sense of the unknown – certainly, when it comes to following a route, the next place is always out of sight on curved roads, isn’t it? And no wonder the road image would appeal to a veteran traveler like yourself. 😉 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful album and writing, here’s another curve for your collection 🙂 I was smiling from the first to last. I can admire the clean straight lines that nature produces in mineral crystals, rock faults, a ray of light, etc. but it’s the curves and arches that more often gladden the heart. Probably why I generally like Frank Gehry’s buildings more than I. M. Pei’s. Sometimes living in cities and working for any large, hierarchical organization seems to be all about stiff, stratified and angular surroundings, and meetings where you endlessly grind through the “granular” details. And sharpsters playing the angles on the obtuse of course.
    The first time I scrolled through the photos, walking and looking at my phone, I thought that #20 agave was a baseball, maybe somebody got hold of a curveball and knocked the cover off!
    The sinuous dragon-creature swimming by in #16 is fantastic, as are the fronds in #7 with the lavender (?) in the background, the #13 driftwood grinning away as it stretches out on a comfy bed, and the curving road. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll pick Gehry over I.M. Pei any day. 🙂 I’m glad this brought a curve to your face. I love your summary of city work life. Having worked for years in NYC, I’d have to agree. I still love the buzz of the big city but I always seek out green spaces, which are by default full of curves. #16 depicts a huge seaweed (Bullwhip kelp) and a piece of driftwood floating in a wetland, courtesy of a violent winter storm that pushed them over a gravel bank and into the wetlnad. So dragon-creature isn’t so far off the mark. Could’ve been lavender in #7 but could’ve been something else. The comfy bed cradling the driftwood smile in #13 is an edible plant sometimes served in gourmet restaurants. Nice to hear from you, Robert, I hope the world is treating you well.


  5. You are right, there is something about curves. They are appealing all the time. A great set of photos. I like all and the curves, from plants to architecture, make me smile too, now I am thinking about it. You are right, the curves let you feel good 🙂 On second glance, I find that I like curves in nature a tiny bit better than those in architecture or technology. Maybe I feel closer to it. I like the way you examine the different forms you focus on in your photography. You did some interesting posts before and this is another one I can easily agree. The curves of a newborn baby are one of the cutest 🙂 Your botanical drawing by the way is impressive! I won’t ask how long you worked on that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, don’t ask how long the drawing took, although for that one I used a technique that speeds things up. You use paper with a pebbly texture and a softer pencil, like a black crayon. That way, you have the appearance of ink stippling without having to make each and every little dot. I learned the technique in the botanical illustration course I took. Anyway, as you know, drawing connects you with the subject in a very pleasant way so it’s time well spent. I’m glad you appreciate this concept of looking at different forms, or “states of being” which is kind of a clumsy way to say it. It’s rewarding to delve more deeply into what you’re doing with art, to think about connections across subject matter, etc. Thanks, Almuth!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lynn, what a joy to read your text and follow your thoughts arround any curve. It’s not disapointing at all! And that is because of the last picture in your set. There is nature, there is art and last but not least the gentle charme of a peacfull sleeping baby. Nothing beats that! Regards, Karl

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a joy it is to read your comment and guess what? The baby is my first grandson, one of two twin boys born on 24th August to my son and his girlfriend. They were premature, as many twins are, so I was very anxious for a long time. Now they’re home and doing well. Their parents took them on their first outing in a park a few days ago. 🙂 Smiles and curves for days and miles! It’s good to hear from you – Joe and I both send regards.


  7. Loved this theme… a good one to set the curved circuits in the brain a-rolling. With Joni Mitchell singing in my head!

    ​4- your eye for these delight-full details is such a treat!​

    6- makes me think of our road, but then there are so many like this that follow a river or creek in our region. The search for what lies around the next bend…

    7- the soft curves and the soft purple background. Nice.

    15- or because it’s just more fun that way?

    ​18- no wonder you’re so attentive and attracted to detail. I always love your illustrations. ​

    Awwww…. 21!!! So very sweet!! and precious! I’m so very happy for you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice link, thank you…did you catch the tribute concert for her on TV recently? Wonderful. Your theory about why Chinese roof lines bend upward is a good one, I’ll go with that. 😉 Thanks for the good wishes, too. They were taken on their first outing to a park the other day. 🙂


      • 😏 We don’t have a TV. I’m pretty limited to what I find online.
        Thank you for all the delightful curvy selections. Your post was one of many things to help lift me out of my latest funk.
        I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I am that you got to photograph those grand-twins. I think you may discover that they grow up way too fast… 💞 Hope you get to see them often.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. What a fabulous eclectic collection all tied together by one simple idea, one simple phenomenon. I would never have thought of it. My fave has to be #3 the gourd, and also the shell – such perfect beautiful simplicity.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If we try to draw a really straight line, we realize how alien that is to the living organism.  We use a ruler when accuracy matters and we also see that the result looks cold and technical, it doesn’t breathe.  Movements of the whole body without curves are not conceivable at all.
    Happiness is in the curve – as you prove to us convincingly here, dear Lynn.
    You have encountered spectacular and charming curves in the course of the artist’s and photographer’s life, and what is more, you know that it matters how they are shown: I enjoy your art of staging … within the individual picture and in the arc that the arrangement of this series suggests.

     And the sweetest of all curves: the human one, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks to a certain young man, I could end with that sweet image. It was enjoyable to scroll through photos and find the curves that might work well together and illustrate the concept. We do need straight lines in life but curves touch the soul, don’t they? Thank you for summing it all up handily, dear Ule. I hope you have a pleasant week!


  10. First, your writing: Wonderful: “a wide, arcing swing of the arm that lifts the air.” I’m also fond of “Curves slither through my LightRoom catalog.” And then there’s this: “A curved line suggests an indirect way to get from point A to point B. That appeals to me, too. Give me the back road, the side path! The very act of taking a route other than the straightest or most direct implies that there’s more to life than getting from A to B. And when it comes to solving problems, a roundabout route may not be the fastest one but it could turn up discoveries that shed new light on the issue.” Thank you, Lynn.

    Your #4 makes me think of architectural details, but of course that’s backwards. Such a beautiful curve—and photograph. I’m glad the grasses in #7 didn’t fail to attract your eye. So simple, so mundane, so graceful. There’s much going on in your photo of the California wires; I love it. The architecture shown in your New York museum photo fits right in with the Wisconsin State Capitol building and Chicago’s Union Station. Your point of view seems exactly as it should be. In #12 I love the contrast between the large and small curves. The whole image is so sensitive, so full of textural differences; I have looked at it a long time; a meditation. Yay for the kelp and driftwood in #16 (mostly the kelp, which I find so appealing). Your photo of your grandson shows the love you must feel. The softness of the focus helps that communication.


  11. I knew this was going to be another outstanding post by you as soon as I read the title. I liked, ‘When I see it my eyebrow might arch in pleasure, yet another gentle curve!’ I love number 7 for the dreamy, delicate quality of curves and color. The opening tree is fabulous too. I like the dark, foresty feel. We have a grove of curved aspens here that have been made famous and over-used thanks to social media. I do see curved aspens in other areas but not a whole grove.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice, thank you! Doing posts around a theme is very satisfying. I think I’ve seen aspens with curved trunks once or twice and I can imagine how once word got out, a grove of them would be a very popular place with photographers.
      Western redcedars often have broad curves like those in the first photo. I’m not sure why but we see it all the time, often just one or two branches. Their trunks curve out at the bottom, too, with a buttressed look that is very attractive. I think of them as feminine while the Douglas firs that are abundant here seem masculine, with their straight trunks and thick, furrowed bark. 🙂
      Sorry for the late reply!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: STATES of BEING: At Rest « bluebrightly

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