Archive for the 'travel' Category

Advent Day 6

6 crows a flapping….

To see the image online, go here to the Brandywine Museum. The image itself is by Andrew Wyeth. It’s a tempera painting from 1943 called “Osborne Hill (Crows in a Landscape)”. And it’s LOVELY. Unfortunately for me, I need permission to put it up on my site. But linking to the museum’s digital copy seems to be OK.

An additional treat for Advent Day 6 because I can’t put up the crows, check out Jamie Wyeth’s beautiful, sympathetic rendition of Nureyev in “Half Smile, Nureyev (Study #20): http://collections.brandywine.org/objects/12018/half-smile-nureyev-study

And I did not know that the interactions between Nureyev and Wyeth were made into a play. But now I do, and so do you.

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.

 

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.

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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.

 

Changes

We’ve been humming David Bowie around here (a favorite) because of changes. We’ve finished some good home updating, although not the longed for new bathroom (someday). It’s all external maintenance, but a useful change. Meanwhile…

sketch of sunset over beach houses

Sketch of sunset behind beach houses, moon reflected in waves.

An unwelcome visitor (Florence) stopped near neighbors to the south, so I watched and hoped for the storm to dissipate before it made landfall. We’re both grateful not to be out on the Outer Banks on vacation.  But there were lots of friends and family inland from the projected path.

And… with the rains from Florence (and all summer), the house logically needs more maintenance prior to the longed for modernization indoors.

So, change, uncertainty… feeling uprooted… it feel odd to cheerfully chirp about updates to an older home. But it still needs to be done, if we’re not going to let buildings rot into the ground.

I’ll leave you with a few photos from southern North Carolina, pre-Florence.

 

 

 

Spending time

NCseashoreI’ve spent all my vacation this month, and now I’m looking at work schedules, as well as some training. But I am so glad I took time to spend with family and friends.

1 week “invested”, and here are my rewards:

  • Walking the shoreline, enjoying low tech days
  • Hunting for fossils (found: ancestors of the sand dollar)
  • Pausing to watch pelicans drift across the sky in lazy Vs

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  • Laughing while playing board games
  • Watching thunderstorms across the water
  • Sketching the beach from the comfort of a screened porch
  • Waking up before sunrise for a walk on the beach at low tide
  • Visiting friends and family on our way home

The shoreline of North Carolina was a beautiful place to visit. Returning home, our yard seemed newly beautiful too, with lots of monarch butterflies migrating through. Hope your summer break was grand.

 

 

Holidays where the air is clear

Kites at Harkness Memorial State ParkA while ago, I visited New England, staying with friends where the air is clear. It was hot and a bit humid during the day, but it would settle into cool temperatures by 1 AM, which is clearly a huge benefit of living up north, in the hills. It was one of those long weekend holidays, with somwhat stressy driving on either side of solid days of beautiful weather and really good seafood.

There was time for sketching, late night reading (my friends have an enviable library of mysteries of the “cosy” sort), and drowsy attempts to identify which frogs I heard through the open windows. There were trips to parks, where I sketched in the shade.

I goggled at the giant frogs of Willimantic (on the bridge… very large, with shiny gold eyes). Go to this article to read more about it: Bridge Ornaments. A friend and I visited a museum up there, that was housed in a section of the old American Thread Company (ATCO). I’ll possibly post pictures from that part of the trip in my Flickr (in the sidebar).

I regret nothing… not even coasting home at 2 AM to cats who had lost all hope that even the house sitter would return. [They were thrilled by their people arriving at a weird hour, and then they gave me the stink eye for the next 2 days.] I do regret leaving the cool weather and coming back, but I did have work to do and cats to feed.

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Enjoying summer while we may

IMG_4538 beachThe weather has been oddly monsoon-like. Someone told me there’s a layer of wet air (like a river) being pulled up the coast. So, while the UK discovers forgotten landmarks due to the heat crisping all the verdant green, we have rain everywhere, as well as mosquitoes and air too humid for jam to set. If we have your weather, Columbia, we’re sorry, and we’d send it back to you if we knew how.

Before this week+ of wet weather, there was a brief jaunt out to the shore, and a bit of sitting on the beach. We saw a Fowler’s Toad (I think) unbury itself from the sand near the dunes, and then bury himself again. Guess he didn’t want to sit near us.


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