Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mona Lisa

The large trees in the arcade of the art center where my studio is located are decorated this year with photos of famous works of art. I do enjoy walking by and seeing them when I journey back and forth from the front door. I get a kick out of seeing this photo of the Mona Lisa because it reminds me of my trip to France last year and seeing how very secure the painting is at the Louvre. And then seeing it here on this tree, so free!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black & White Linocut Portrait

The inked-up linoleum can be as interesting as a print, don't you think?
I see a few areas I need to work on and then it will be ready for printing.

I know, I get a little quirky when I do people!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bird Paper Sculpture

I have this beautiful paper sculpture that I purchased at a gallery in Florida a few years ago. It's so delicate. Love it! And looks different under various lighting conditions.
Each piece in a paper sculpture is painstakingly cut and separated by hand with very sharp scissors and knives and sometimes color is applied and texture embossed or engraved using special tools. I read that paper sculpture has existed for about 2000 years, beginning with the Chinese invention of paper in the first century.
Somehow I've misplaced the artist's name, although I'm not sure I ever had  it. I can't believe I don't have it!
It makes me think of Origami, which isn't exactly the same thing but I'm impressed with anyone who can do amazing things with paper!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Unfinished gouache painting

The start of a little gouache painting with the idea from a friend's writing.
Oh the places you pass by.
I love the colors on the dark Canson drawing paper.
It can be a challenge because the paint dries so quickly, especially on the palette.
Now to think about how much detail is needed!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Willis Tower in Chicago

When you are visiting Chicago, you have to take a ride to the top of the tallest building in the US (soon to move to third place, I believe). It used to be the Sears Tower but an insurance company obtained the building's naming rights and since 2009, it has been called the Willis Tower. The company has taken full advantage of the view there and its popularity with tourists, as you can see in this video!!

Anyway, it's really a great view from the 103rd floor of this 110 story building. On a clear day, you can see 50 miles in each direction and four states! And you are welcome to climb the 2232 steps to the top. The record time for someone to climb all those stairs is 13 minutes. I decided to save that for another day!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chicago Metro Entranceway by Hector Guimard

I found a little bit of France in Chicago last weekend!  I saw this Art Nouveau style entranceway to one of the metro stations. I found out that one of Chicago's sister cities is Paris and that it was a gift from the RATP or the Parisien Transit Authority, cast in 2003 from an original 1900 mold of a work designed by French artist and architect Hector Guimard. He designed a series of Art Nouveau style entrances for Paris in 1900. It's not too far from Chicago's art museum, The Art Institute, which I didn't have the time to see. :-(


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago

You wouldn't want to go to Chicago and miss seeing this sculpture by Indian born British sculptor Anish Kapoor. When we were there last weekend, we went to Millennium Park where it's located along with some other interesting things to see. The Park was created only a few years ago and is located in the Loop community of Chicago. The artist named his sculpture "Cloud Gate" but people would rather call it "The Bean", making for a not so happy artist.  But it is famous! I'm not going to go into the controversy it created or its detailed construction, both fascinating subjects you can read about online. I will say that it's constructed of 168 stainless steel plates with no seams. I read that liquid mercury was its inspiration. Its smooth surface creates fascinating reflections of the skyline and people, as you can see.  It's an interesting blend of an object with its landscape!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

When I went to Johnson's Apple Orchard in Bedford, Virginia to pick apples, I noticed quite a variety of interesting wines in their shop. These are just a few. Blueberry Muffin and Stawberry Shortcake? Who needs dessert! Anyway, I thought they were colorful!
Hmm....I do like mangos...