Monday, May 16, 2016

studioQ-May Meeting

     My fav art group met at Cabbage Rose today. All but two of us where there. We had a great time sharing and, of course, ended our meeting with lunch, our other favorite thing to do! This month, hamburgers at Goat Rodeo.
      In continuing with our masterpiece challenge, this month we had a Matisse for our inspiration.
Here are a few pictures from our "show n tell", inspired by "Seated Riffian".






And here are all our challenges for May. The Inspiration picture is at the bottom of this picture.
As you can see we are all sizes and styles in our finished products!  Next month we are doing a painting by Gauguin.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Amish Country, Pittsburgh and Falling Water

    I got a little behind on my trip blogs so will try to get all caught up now!    

      Thursday morning and breakfast at DJs, still rockin' to the 60s! Then off to explore Amish Country...two towns nearby were Bird in Hand and Intercourse, both very ethnic in shops and homes.  We saw many horse and buggies...I tried to take a picture as we passed one, clicking away. Here is what I captured on camera!
....and Buggy!  
     We had a great time investigating many of the little shops in the towns of Bird in Hand and Intercourse...both Amish communities.  We ate lunch at a fabulous deli with all kinds of authentic German/Amish food.  I wish we weren't flying home or I would have loaded the car with all kinds of delicasies!
Outside a fabric/gift shop
Half of my Reuben sandwich! Yum!
Just a small section of the deli!
     Then we drove on to Pittsburgh.  I didn't realize that Pittsburgh was so mountainous.  We drove through several tunnels as we were going through the Alleghenies in the Appalachian Mountain Range.
One of several pretty long tunnels.
    We didn't see too much of Pittsburgh itself. Our main reason for even going there was to see Falling Water, the fabulous home designed for the wealthy Kaufman family out of Pittsburgh in 1936-39. We opt for the two hour tour so we would have a smaller group, better information, and could take pictures!  It was well worth it!
On the road to Mill Run, the home of Falling Water
We got up at 5:00 Friday morning to snow!  Because our tour started at 8:45 and it was an hour and a half drive there. Since we didn't know for sure where we were going and didn't want to be late, we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time.  But we got there in plenty of time and were in the first group to leave the Visitor's Center to head up to the house.
An interior pic from the living room.  It was FLW goal to bring the outside in.  He used many natural materials and built the house into the side of the mountain, over a waterfall.
They had a fire going for us which really felt good!  The red vessel to the left was a container for mulled wine which they could swing over the fire to heat up.  The Kaufmann's entertained quite a bit.
Here is it swung over the fire.  Your can see the depression in the stone wall to accommodate the vessel.
The whole place is an art museum!  Tiffany lamps everywhere and original art works by Rivera, Picasso, Hokusai, and more. Also many ancient,  priceless  artifacts and statuary.

A pic taken from the guest house which was above the main house. The main house had three bedrooms; everything built in...beds, wardrobes, desks...and each room had its own bath and an outdoor balcony.
Wonderful use of natural wood in many furnishings!
One of FLW's free standing chairs.  You could buy a replica in the gift shop....for a price! 
A pic of the house as you approach it.
Falling Water from the grounds away from the house
After our wonderful tour, we were able to roam the grounds.  It is like living in a park!
Then we drove back to Pittsburgh, took the car to the airport to turn it in and had the hotel shuttle pick us up.
         Friday morning, we packed and had the shuttle run us out to the airport...once again the temperature was at 31-32 degrees and snowing!  We did get aboard the plane but had to sit for a bit so they could deice it!!  A first for me!  Eventually we did get off and were back in Texas by mid afternoon!  It was cooler than normal the 60s...but definitely not freezing in April!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Leaving Philadelphia....More to Come


       Wednesday of our Pennsylvania Adventure...This was our morning view as we got up early, checked out and drove to Chadd's Ford, the home of  N.C. Wyeth and son Andrew Wyeth, both artists I love!  Tours are given of their homes and studios.  I had been through N.C.'s studio many years ago with Dick, but Andrew was still living at the time so his home/studio was still occupied. For those who might not know...NC was an illustrator...well-known for his wonderful paintings of many classics..."Treasure Island", "Black Arrow", etc. And Andrew Wyeth is well-known for his fabulous watercolors using egg tempera technique. One of his best known paintings is "Christina's World".
The Brandywine Museum where the Wyeth paintings are on display.
The view from the Museum...the Brandywine river
Andrew Wyeth's home and studio-Originally an abandoned schoolhouse on the property NC purchased and lived in when the family was young. NC then developed it into a studio after he had the family home built.  In later years, it was added onto for a home for Andrew and his family.
Andrew Wyeth's Studio in the home         
Andrew Wyeth's studio-his paints, etc. 
The NC Wyeth home which he designed and had built for his family of five children.
NC Wyeth Studio which was up the hill from the home.
NC Wyeth Studio...left as it was the day he died.  Any pictures seen are copies..the originals are more secured.
NC Wyeth's mural studio...he painted these huge murals which would be transferred into pictures for the illustrations in books.  He had the stairs built on wheels so he could get to the highest parts of the canvas.
    After our tours, we ate lunch at the cafe there and drove on to the Amish country about an hour away. I had gotten reservations at a B&B on line...not knowing anything about the area, I had to go by what the lady told me...I had asked her if she was located in the heart of Amish Country; if there were shops and restaurants nearby; I read all the five star references, looked at the pictures on line of her place...all sounded good!  But as we were following our GPS directions, we seemed to be getting deep into a rather not very Amish looking neighbor hood  in Lancaster...I did not know that Lancaster is a pretty  big place...we got to the address and I told Andrea to just keep driving!  Pretty seedy looking neighborhood...we saw her house and it looked just like the picture, which didn't show the houses that are very close on either side!  And we were pretty sure this was not a neighborhood we would want to walk around in nor did we see any places we would have wanted to walk to! So we drove out to the hiway and stopped at the Visitors Center where a nice gentleman steered us to a Boutique Motel on the edge of town, near Bird in Hand and Intercourse...two Amish communities.
     And there we ate dinner at a spot right next door...DJ's...and had a great meal topped off with....Yum!!
And they were playing music from the '50s all night long...we went there for breakfast the next day...and were jamming' along with Elvis all the time!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

...And Even More

          Tuesday morning, we took the shuttle to catch the "Hop on, hop off" tour bus to continue our tour of Philadelphia.
Our Hop on/off Tour Bus
The gate to Chinatown..according to our tour guide, the third largest in America
A bust of Benjamin Franklin whose name is attached to many endeavors and sites in Philadelphia
     While in the vicinity of the bus stop, we toured the National Jewish History Museum which was an extensive and beautifully arrayed history of Jewish Peoples from their first coming to this country in the 1600s to current times...very worthwhile visit for history buffs.

      Then on the Philadelphia Museum of Art, after eating lunch in a cute little cafe, Luna. What a magnificent display of art!  Our museums in Fort Worth are wonderful, but the PMA is just compares to the Museum of Art in Chicago which I thought was vast. We saw many of our favorites...again too many to post I'll just give you a sample.
Statue of Rocky....of course!
Andrea at the top of the just MUST do the stairs then the Rocky stance!  I did it, too, but I will have to confess neither of us ran up the stairs...and to walk, they are really not that bad....they are not steep, just a lot of them, but about every ten steps there is an wide spot where you can stop to see the view (and catch your breath).
Another Robert Indiana sculpture at the PMA
Degas "Little Dancer" of my bookclubs had just read "The Painted Girls" about Degas' models, their stories, and how he picked them so I was excited to see the real thing. As described, the skirt is not bronze but it real tulle.
"Blue Eyes" by Modigliani...One of my favorite artists 
Picasso "Self Portrait"...although I do not care for much of his latest work, I am a Picasso fan and again, thrilled to see this in person, having seen it in print so many times!
Salvador Dali's "Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) 1936..not a pretty painting but neither was the Spanish  Civil War!
"The Dinner Date" by Marisol...and another Pop artist that has fascinated me since I saw her rendition of "The Last Supper" many years ago...a definite '60s artist!!
More exterior sculptures at PMA...our view while waiting for our Uber driver.
     We were at the PMA at least three hours so we missed the bus back to the motel, therefore, we called Uber again.  When our driver came, we asked him if he could take us to the airport to pick up our car that we were renting to go on to points South and West the next day.  Very obliging guy...we have discovered a real respect to the Uber drivers...not only were the ones we dealt with very polite and knowledgeable, their prices were much better than the cabs.
      After getting our car, we drove back to the motel, then went to one of the nearby restaurants to get some dinner.  We ate in a little sports bar, the Race Street Cafe (it was on Race Street!) and had a really good hamburger and imported beer.

Friday, April 15, 2016

.....And More

      Last blog I told about the SAQA Conference I Philadelphia and mentioned that Andrea and I stayed on for more! That afternoon, we went with Heather, who was staying one more day, we took an Uber to the area where the Edgar Allan Poe house was located. We decided to have lunch first and found this very local cafe where Andrea and I experienced our first Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich!  I highly recommend the cafe!

     After lunch, we walked the few blocks to the Poe House. It was actually his aunt/ mother-in- law's house where he and his young wife/cousin lived while he wrote. "The Raven" and "The Black Cat" were  two works he penned while here.
          The house is not furnished inside and, although large looking from the outside, it is rather narrow with steep stairways inside, four stories including a basement.
                                         Andrea and I with the Raven at the Poe House
            Andrea and I then collected our luggage and checked into our new digs, the Holiday Inn Express....a better location for our touristy plans! HIE was located at Penn Landing just off the bridge to New Jersey and within walking distance to the Independence Hall area as well as the beginning of the Tour Bus stops.
         Monday, we began our sightseeing.  Our motel was right on the Delaware River, just below the bridge to New Jersey and a very convenient location...close to restaurants and close enough for the shuttle to pick us up for tours.
      We got a two day "hop on/hop off" tour bus, not far from the Historical District. The buses had people on them talking on them and giving information and history of where we were. The first place we stopped was the Rodin Museum, which happened to be right across the street from the Barnes.
                                                     The Rodin Museum
                                                       The Three Shades
                                                       The Burghers of Calais
                                                                          The Kiss
I took about a jillion pictures there, but won't show them all as I have other things to write about without making this too long! We had planned to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art that same day but it was closed on Mondays. So, as we had a two day pass, we just reversed our plans. We hopped back on the bus and went back to the Historical District. 
     There we saw the Liberty Bell. Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, Christ Church, etc..
                                                 The Liberty Bell
                                                     Independence Hall
    The pulpit in Christ Church- we sat in George Washington's family pew! People had to pay rent for their pews. The larger they were and the closer to the front, the more expensive they were..a status symbol!
                                                        Betsy Ross House
By then we were getting weary so we decided to hike back to the motel. We stopped to eat dinner on the way back at a Mexican place. Even though it was 'way North of the Red River, it was pretty good. 
          It rained on us all the way back....that was the only time we walked all the way! And I'll stop now so I can write tomorrow about more adventures!