Thursday, July 23, 2015

Just a little side trip

Earlier this week I was in New York for a bit more than a day and half.
My husband was to be honored with a dinner in town to celebrate his 35th Anniversay with his company.  As artists we all have our rocks, our support systems.
And we all also know that does not mean purely financial.
I have reinvented myself for this artist life three times in my career,
commercial illustrator, teacher and now a fine artist,
and each time he was there encouraging me when I thought this work was done for me.
So it was wonderful to hear so many of his co workers stand and say so many well deserved
wonderful things about him, his work ethic, fairness and leadership.
Congratulations Larry!

The morning of the dinner I had just a few hours to spare to see the city.
Given that the heat index was 105 that day I wisely chose an indoor activity,
jumped in a cab and found myself standing in front of the MET one of the worlds great museums.

I spent the next 5 hours, armed with a headset and a good pair of walking shoes,
exploring both floors from one end to the other.

The exhibit I really wanted to see was that of painter John Singer Sargent with special focus on his portraits.  The stars were all there, Madame X, Ellen Terry as Lady MacBeth
Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi at Home and so many others each dwarfing the room in size and splendor.
Room after room until I turned a corner into a room filled only of his watercolor paintings.
JSS did so much in his time to give the art of watercolor a respectable prescense.
The watercolors of John Singer Sargent gave a majesty to this difficult medium that until then had only been considered useful for sketching and preliminary work.

I took many pictures with my trusty little iPhone, too many to show here, but if you should find yourself with time to spend at this museum, I have a few tips.

The MET opens at 10 am.  I got there at 9:15 on a Tuesday morning, placed myself in a small line (jackpot!) turned around a few minites later to a mass of humanity sprawling down 
the long stairway and onto the curb.

What I learned is that "skip the line" does not mean you walk past all those people waiting outside.
It means once you are in the building you go straight to the advanced ticket desk and go on your way.
And that does save some time.
(I've heard this also depends on who is maning the doors. So you might get lucky)

They will allow you to take pictures throughout the museum
(unless otherwise noted as in special exhibits)
just turn off your flash.

They won't let you in with backpacks or large purses.
You'll have to check them at the coat room.
Also no food or drink from the outside.

A headset will cost you $7 and so worth it.
I taught art history for many years.  
I consider myself pretty well versed in painting and sculpture.
But there's always more to learn and the headset will give you background stories,
references to other works and artists.
And just makes for a more relaxing experience to shut everything out 
except the voice focusing you on the work.

Another reason to go early. Beat the crowds!
When I first walked the gallerys it was quiet with a manageable amount of people.
This is New York after all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My favorite spot in Seattle

Larry and I always try to take the most advantage of a city we visit by seeing just everything we can.
And this Seattle trip was no exception.

We took an early morning stroll through Pike Place Market, heard the song 
of the fish mongers and made sure we didnt miss the flying fish, 
enjoyed the dazzling assorment of flowers on display,
went down Post Alley and The Gum Wall
(ok the gum wall kind of grossed me out)
and up to the top of the Space Needle
(that's 15 minutes I'll never get back)
Took a cruise around the sound on a rare bright and sunny afternoon (now that was fun!)
And watched my husband, the fisherman's, joy as he taught me all about 
The Ship Locks, and Fish Ladders.

But my absolute favorite spot was the Chihuly Museum and Garden.

If you are not familiar with this man and his art, I know you have seen 
his chandeliers in high end hotels and casinos.  

These beauties lay on a lit glass ceiling.

His paintings for glass ideas are stunning on their own. 

Outside and in the garden.

There are not many occassions when I think my trusty Nikon is just not worthy.
Pictures just do not do this place justice.  
What stunning beauty and given my recent obsession with colored glass, very inspiring.

Please visit this video for background on Dale Chihuly 
and see work in progress by himself  and his team.
And of course your own search of the man and his work will be bountiful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Show Musings

We very much enjoyed our time in Seattle over the long weekend
for the NWWS Exhibition.
Our first treat Friday night was a private tour of the Daniel Smith Factory and I have to say not at all what I expected!  I imagined a large robotic assembly line.
But instead what we found was a relatively small room with a few machines and only nine workers!
Yes that's it for the world famous Daniel Smith product.  Labels are all put on by hand.
John Smith, one of the founding owners graciously shared his time with explainations
and production demos.

As we entered we were asked to sign their "guestbook".
Can you find my name?

There was also a class explaining the mineral origins of their paints.

So interesting!
They would not allow us to take pictures in their production room 
but please visit their short video on this, you will love it and appreciate you paints all the more.

Now Saturday morning through night was a whorlwind of activity.
I will save that for the next post.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...