Archive for the 'before coffee' Category

Gearing up for spring

There’s snow on the ground, more forecast for later tonight. But… we have cut pussy willow branches in water, sitting on the kitchen counter (lovely fuzzy pussy “paws”)… and the Gardener says the forced bulbs should come up soonish. I’m looking at recipes for fastnachts and Jeck cookies. And there has been a little bit of prep for Valentine’s Day.

Once the sleet melts, maybe I’ll have a look outside again. But I’m uninterested in searching for anconites under the snow while sleet is still pelting down.

snow drops for hint of spring
The snowdrops aren’t here yet, but the yellow aconite is underneath sleet right now.

How about you? Are you in the mood for spring, or are you enjoying every second of winter sports and freezing ice in interesting shapes?

Advent Calendar Day 21

Day 21 is a visit to the Strathmore Sculpture gardens. It’s a lovely place to visit, especially before a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert at the Strathmore Arts Centre right outside of Washington, DC. I hope to go back and enjoy the inside of the museum associated with the garden, since they have juried art shows, and other art exhibits indoors. If you’re visiting DC without a car, both gardens, mansion and the music venue are easily reached by a Metro stop.

Bird bath by unknown artist. Strathmore Sculpture Gardens, Bethesda, Maryland.

We’re getting close to the final days of Advent. Yes, I didn’t provide art every day like planned, mostly because work got in the way. We’ll see how much I get scheduled before I have to focus on further house staightening to hide evidence of Christmas prep. Here is bonus footage from a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performance. (It shows tour footage from when they got to perform in the UK.)

Advent Calendar Day 20

Jade display from the Crow Museum of Asian Art

More information, and better pictures of the ewer that is on the right in the photo, here: Crow Museum of Asian Art. The ewer is a Qing Dynasty piece, made of Nephrite. Probably dates to the 19th century. The Crow Museum of Asian Art is an unexpected jewel in Dallas: perfect place to cool down on a blazing hot day. [Edited to fix advent day….]

Art Advent Calendar – 2

Modern Stained Glass Window, Kölner Dom

Modern stained glass, Koln DomPhoto of Southern Transept window in Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). The Cathdral also has an Advent Calendar. You can access it here. The original window that was in the South Transept was destroyed during WWII. The modern window (reglazed in 2007) was based on a design by Gerhard Richter. If you want to learn more about it and see better photos of other windows from the cathedral, visit the Kölner Dom website.

 

Planning for Advent

We’re in the process of gearing up for our Christmas/Fall concert (this weekend), and hoping it will sound as good as last night’s dress rehearsal.

For the blog, I’ve decided to do a visual sweet treat for Advent. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make a genuine Advent calendar of art I’ve seen, but I can at least post a few photos of great or surprising art… or poetry quotes to brighten up December.

So I guess… watch this space. Hopefully I can get some things scheduled in advance. In particular, really great art that not everyone sees, because it’s on special exhibit.

Painting seasonal emotions

Several people I know, who live in the far north, talk about darkness, and how gloomy things are. I’m currently enjoying early evenings, taking time to play with paint.

IMG_5771IMG_E5810

Much of the time, that’s with electronic help (photos I took while on a walk, earlier in the day), because a location is either too crowded with people or the weather is uncooperative [rainy, or very cold] for perching on a park bench and sketching. I’m exploring new media (water-soluble wax crayons), and not worrying too much about how loose the images are. I’m going for the mood.

Washington, DC can be beautiful, with blue skies that make up for the crowds. I was in a shopping street filled with Louis Vuitton and other products I can’t afford, gawping at the windows displays….  watching college students pose in front of a backdrop of whimsical umbrellas. How tempting to snap a photo, then play with my tools.

So, how do you save yourself from the bad mood monsters? Is it art, or crafts? Making music, or going to a concert? Coding a new website or reading a great, cozy book? If you’re in Australia or somewhere in a heat wave, do you find yourself struggling with seasonal moods? For me, right now, I’m letting watercolors break up the gloom, playing with shadows, collecting leaves for practice painting, and trying not to dip my brush in the mint tea.

 

Pausing

IMG_superwoman

Superwoman, by Kiki Kogelnik, 1973

It’s the eve of another election in the USA, and so my house is collectively pausing (to check the candidates or our polling place), and also hoping. The world is complicated, and our small corner is no less complicated than a larger portion of the country. I’m personally uncertain about the justices on the ballot, and there are a couple of poorly worlded addenda to City ordinances that have me reaching for the dictionary.

So, if you have the ability (legal or physical) to vote in this cycle, please make your opinion heard.

Meanwhile, I’m keeping my head out of the news coverage until Wednesday, and practicing my chorus music. Nothing like the sounds of carols and festivities to get the cobwebs of politics out from between my ears. I’ve also been spending a good bit of time enjoying art supplies, as a cathartic release from dealing with the canvassers calling the house.  And after a conference, I had the pleasure of visiting the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC. I’ll probably have a little report on what the museum is really like. Incredibly powerful to see art from a woman’s perspective.

 


Flickr Photos

Archives