L-APC: The Alphabet

The Alphabet starts with “A” and that is the subject of Lens-Artists’ photo challenge this week, starting appropriately with the amazing letter A!

I have a file of letter-shaped things. I got the idea for it when I saw this cute little ladder in our neighborhood and immediately thought of the letter A!

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Austria
Austrians

My brother-in-law sings in a barbershop chorus called The Arlingtones. It is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Arlingtones holiday show 2019

In Cairo we visited the Museum of Islamic Art. Arabic writing is an art form in itself!

Arabic writing from the Ottoman Empire

In the spring, swans mate and lay their eggs. In early April, the female has laid 2 eggs and by the end of April, she has laid all her eggs!

Art (painting by Monet)
Arches National Park, Utah
ancient architecture (Karnak, Luxor, Egypt)

CFFC: Dark Red

Cee’s fun Foto challenge continues with a color theme. This week is dark red including maroon and burgundy.

bathroom décor at a wedding venue, Chicago
ceiling in bathroom at a wedding venue, Chicago
Field of flowers, Israel
Light show at Abu Simbel, Egypt
Lightscape 2019, Chicago Botanic Gardens
Seussian field of fake flowers, Chicago Botanic Gardens
Painting by Malangatana, Art Institute of Chicago
Red leaves, park in St. Charles, IL
Mural on the side of a law firm building, Geneva (?), IL
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Painting by Edouard Manet, Musee d’Orsay, Paris

Kinda Square: Art Through the Ages

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Chicago Art Institute. There were three special exhibits I wanted to see: El Greco (16th century), Monet (19th century), and Malangatana (contemporary). There are many kinds of art and these artists illustrate how art has changed throughout history.

Doménikos Theotokópoulos, better known today by his Spanish moniker El Greco, was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. He usually signed his paintings with his name in the Greek alphabet. He moved to Toledo, Spain in 1577, where he received several commissions. He worked there until his death and it was there that he painted his best known works. His dramatic style was not well understood nor well accepted by his contemporaries, but has found appreciation in recent times. On at least one occasion, his patron was displeased with the painting El Greco had produced according to his commission, and while the painting was accepted and hung in a church, he only received half the amount he was supposed to have been paid. His most common subjects were religious themes. (Information obtained from Wikipedia.)

El Greco, Christ Driving the Money Lenders Out of the Temple

Claude Monet is one of the most famous and beloved impressionist painters; in fact, he was one of the founders of the French Impressionist movement. His interest was to capture the natural environment of the French countryside, and he would often make several versions of the same scene in order to capture the changing light and passing of the seasons. In fact, the term “impressionism” comes from the title of his painting, Impression, soleil levant which was in the first exhibition mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the traditional Salon de Paris. (Information obtained at the Chicago Art Institute and Wikipedia.)

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1904, oil on canvas

Malangatana Ngwenya (1936-2011) was an artist and national hero in his native Mozambique. His paintings depicted vivid and colorful allegorical scenes, drawing from traditional religious practices, his cultural background, and life under Portuguese colonial rule. The paintings in the Art Institute’s exhibition were completed between 1959 and 1975, coinciding with Mozambique’s liberation struggle against Portuguese colonial rule.

Malangatana Ngwenya, A arvore de amor (The Tree of Love), 1973, oil on hardboard

Posted for Becky’s October Kinda Square #27 photo challenge.

FDDA #31: September

Fandango’s last theme for his Dog Days of August is your plans for September are.” Do you have any? If so, what are they? They can be anything, from posting more (or less) frequently on your blog, taking a trip, learning a new skill, getting married, engaged, or divorced, getting more exercise? Or are you just going to play it by ear? Share a story, a poem, a photo, a drawing, some music, or whatever you wish to share about your plans for September.

I don’t have any specific plans for September except to enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. Due to Covid-19, I don’t have much of a choice. But my husband and I are going to go out more: We have a day trip planned for this Thursday to go to the western suburbs to see some kitschy things I found out about in the newspaper. (Stay tuned! I hope to post pictures!) We can’t stay overnight anywhere, unless we don’t mind being quarantined for 14 days afterward (yes, I do mind!).

Another excursion we will be doing perhaps next week is to the Chicago Art Institute. The parking is a bitch and we don’t feel comfortable taking public transportation so…we’ll just have to pay for parking. I’m a member so there’s no admission fee. Right now there are two very different exhibits I want to see: special exhibit on El Greco and another on an artist from Mozambique with really wild, colorful art.

I also will make plans for a future trip abroad. If I book a tour before the end of September, the company I’m planning to use (Overseas Adventure Travel – I strongly recommend them!) will give us a couple of discounts. So I will be spending the next couple of weeks perusing their catalogs. That will be fun!!

Other than that, it’s the same-old same-old, doing the things I’ve been doing to wile away my time for the past several months: reading, blogging, exercising, working on photo books of past trips, artwork.

As the election approaches, I hope to get involved in some get-out-the-vote initiative.

Monday Window: Chagall

One of the “must-sees” at the Chicago Art Institute is the Chagall windows. They are located at the end of a long hallway, in the same room with replicas of other famous artists’ Chicago artwork (such as the Picasso sculpture whose original is in front of the Daley Center).

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Posted for Ludwig Keck’s Monday Window challenge.

CFFC: Pastel Colors

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her color series – this week it is pastel colors.

Some flowers are bright, while others have muted colors. Most marigolds are bright, but these are soft yellow and white.
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Dahlias come in all colors – some are bright, some are light.
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Wilted orchid

Artists experiment with all kinds of color schemes. These are some pastel colors in artwork.

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“Hazel” (2019) in pastels – artist is yours truly!

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A recent exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute featured drawings by 17th century Dutch masters. This pair is “A Portrait of a Man” and “A Portrait of a Woman” by Jan de Bray (1650) – black & red chalk on ivory laid paper.

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Edouard Manet “Vase of White Lilacs and Roses” (1883) – oil on canvas

Pastels in sculptures

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Fish sculpture, Poulsbo, WA

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Chinese Reconciliation Park, Tacoma, WA

Pastel buildings – Passau, Germany
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Baroque stucco roof

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Carved block from a church

 

 

CFFC: Red

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is the color RED.  These red items are mostly from my travels. Excerpts from my color essay on red are included.

Red says, “Look at me!” And we do because red stands out.

Many flowers are red – tulips, roses, dahlias and many others can be red – maybe these beautiful flowers are why some people choose red as their favorite color.

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Zinnia in Arlington Heights, IL

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Dahlia in Tacoma, WA

Wearing red clothes makes a person stand out.

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A friend arriving at Tel Aviv airport, Israel

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My brother-in-law’s barbershop quartet doing their annual “singing Valentines” – this one was for my sister at the Moorings.

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Me sitting in a tall red chair at our hotel in Tiberias, Israel

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Whimsical glass figure made by a child, on display at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

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Red building in Poulsbo, WA

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Facade of a church in Nurmberg, Germany

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Famous cafe in the Jewish district – Budapest, Hungary

 

Some very delicious fruits are red – tart apples, succulent raspberries and yummy strawberries. Red tomatoes and red peppers are good and juicy too. But watch out! Red peppers can be HOT.

Raspberries & peppers in community garden, the Moorings, Arlington Heights
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Sign in front of a winery, Miltenberg, Germany

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Omaha Beach memorial, Normandy, France

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Cake served on our river cruise ship, Viking Sigyn, on the 4th of July

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Helio Oiticica (Brazilian artist) exhibit at the Art Institute, Chicago, IL

Speaking of hearts, we normally think of hearts as red. We give each other cards on Valentine’s Day with red or pink hearts.

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Dale’s Valentine to me on Valentine’s Day 2019. 

And by the way, Dale’s birthday is Valentine’s Day!

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Dale celebrates his Valentine birthday with a dessert of flan and a margarita, Mexico Restaurant, Des Plaines, IL

October Squares: Artistic Lines

Becky’s Month of Squares challenge is back!  Hurray!  This month the theme is Lines & Squares.

In the past month I have visited two museums: the Chicago Art Institute and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Plenty of opportunities for lines!! Squares too, probably.

Here are the rules for Month of Squares:
Create your line square post, and include a pingback to one of my daily square posts
You can also add a link to your post in the comments on my post
To make it easy for others to find you and to generate interest across the web do include this month’s tag lines&squares
Preferably post daily but you can also post all 31 in one go at the end of the month, or if it is easier join us weekly.
You can even drop in occasionally with squares if you are away or really busy, and many do.
There is though only ONE challenge rule;
your main photograph must be square in shape!

At the Chicago Art Institute, after seeing the Manet exhibit, we went to the members only preview of an unusual exhibit entitled In a Cloud, In a Wall, In a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury. The general idea of the exhibit was to show how artists in Mexico (whether they were Mexican or not) were influenced by native art and how they used native art elements in their own work.

My main photo is this one, by  Ruth Asawa, “Untitled (BMC.58, Meander – Curved Lines),” c. 1948, pen, brush and ink on paper20190905_125432 (2)
Here are a few more in the exhibit:

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Ruth Asawa, Untitled (BMC.127, Meander in Green, Orange, and Brown), 1946/49, collage of cut colored and coated papers

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Ruth Asawa (American, 1926-2003), all untitled, hanging forms, brass, galvanized steel, copper and wire

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Pitcher, c. 1950, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, hammered copper

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Cover of a book

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Female Figure with Bold, Geometric Face and Body Paint, 200-100 BC, Chupicuara, Guanajuato or Michoacan, Mexico, terra cotta and pigmented slip

 

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Cynthia Sargent, Linea Musical (Musical Line)

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Sheila Hicks (American, active France, born 1934), Taxco el Viejo (Taxco, the Old One),  1962, handspun wool. this is one of Hicks’ works whose geometry draws from Mexico’s ancient pyramids, as well as from the weave structure itself.

 

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Anni Albers (German, active United States, 1899-19940, Eclat 1976/79, silkscreen on cotton and linen

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Sheila Hicks, Falda (Skirt),  1960, wool

Personally, I did not always see the connection between Mexican native art and the pieces on display, although I did notice style and color, which are very Mexican, from my personal experience. My favorites are the yellow and orange Taxco rug and the hanging wire forms. There were several more pieces in the exhibition not included here.