CFFC: Animal Art

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic Non-Alive Animals. Of course, any representation of an animal has a real animal in mind as the artist creates it. But the rendition may be very close in appearance to the real animal, or it may be whimsical, or abstract. It all depends on the craftsman’s talent and point of view.

It was hard to choose photos for this post – so many to choose from! Everywhere I go, locally or abroad, there is animal art. Animals have been subjects for every kind of art imaginable for thousands of years…

Such as the first known painting in the world, a painting of Egyptian geese on papyrus at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo,

and the god Horus, usually represented as a hawk, at the Temple of Horus in Edfu, Egypt.

Also at the Egyptian Museum is a throne of King Tutankhamun, whose tomb was not found until 1922, with most of its grave goods intact – it hadn’t been subjected to many tomb robberies!

This elaborate throne contains many symbols and images of gods, such as twin lions on the front. One of ancient Egypt’s sacred symbols was the scarab beetle, depicted in the cartouche on the front of the arm; the hieroglyphics within the cartouche generally are names of kings, so this may have been Tuthankhamun’s. Embracing the throne of either side are the wings of the vulture, a bird considered to be a protector of kings. In this case, he represents the king-god himself, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

The ancient Chinese civilization also had many animal representations, one of the most common being the guardian lion. This one is in front of a restaurant, House of Szechwan, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Generally depicted in pairs, guardian lions stood in front of imperial palaces, tombs, temples, government buildings, and the homes of the wealthy. The concept was to show the emotion of the animal, in this case ferocity, as a symbol of protection.

Deriving from this Chinese custom, there are people today who have a pair of lions as lawn ornaments, like this one in Des Plaines. He might look more ferocious if freshly painted!

Here are another example of a Des Plaines lawn ornament, this cute little bird sitting on an orb.

There were many whimsical animals on display for sale or as decoration in the charming small town of Poulsbo, Washington, north of Tacoma.

In Evanston, Illinois, there is a little known museum called the American Toby Jug Museum, which we discovered during Chicago’s annual Open House in October. Toby Jugs are ceramic figures, usually depicting well known persons, but also animals. The history of the toby jug, or philpot, dates back to 18th century potters in Staffordshire, England and was popularized by colonists in the United States. The top of each toby jug has a spout for pouring, but nowadays, these figurines are primarily for ornamentation or collections.

After the wedding we attended near Poulsbo, Washington, we spent a day in Tacoma before returning to Seattle for our flight home. There is a beautiful Museum of Glass there, which has many objects designed by the famous Dale Chihuly, but there is also a fine collection of glass sculptures by other artists, such as this beautiful horse.

Horses are the subject of many works of art, including statues of famous heroes mounted on horses in many European cities, but I am only including two 2-dimensional renditions, one a drawing of a palomino I drew a few days ago, and another one at a short film display at the Ij (Eye) Museum in Amsterdam.

While in Amsterdam, we visited the Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, founded circa 1213 CE. Under the seats of the choir were unique carvings – some rather bawdy! – including this one of a pig.

Most people love animals, and there are many examples of whimsical animals to delight human sensibilities. In the gardens behind Melk Abbey in Austria are some cute creatures, mostly fantastical combinations of human and animal, but there was this turtle:

In Passau, Germany, which we had visited the previous day while on our Viking European cruise, while walking around town on our own, we came across a dachshund museum! Big and little dachshund statues were in front of it.

Who could resist being delighted by several painted cows in the town across from Mont St-Michel in France? Here is one of them, my personal favorite (I love that bright blue udder!).

Our daughter loves Hello Kitty, and for her bridal shower, Hello Kitty was the theme! I bought these as party favors.

Some animal sculptures are cute,

At Mount St. Mary Park in St. Charles, Illinois

but some can be a bit intimidating!…

Giant spider at Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa

and some are reminders of favorite movies, such as this groundhog in Woodstock, Illinois, where Groundhog Day was filmed.

CFFC: International Business

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge has the theme “all about buildings.” This week’s topic is commercial buildings or store fronts.

One of the fun things about traveling is all the different types of architecture you see. So I am posting photos of a variety of architectural styles and colors from some of my recent trips.

An upscale shop in Cologne, Germany
Souvenir shop in Cologne with lovely wood carving.
Detail on the wall of a bakery in Miltenberg, Germany
A variety of things are for sale in this typically German shop, in Miltenberg

A drugstore in Wurzburg, Germany
Schlenkera Brewery, Bamberg, Germany
Colorful souvenir shop in Nuremberg, Germany
Riverside commercial area, Nuremberg
Tattoo parlor and smoke shop in Regensburg, Germany
Colorful commercial street in Budapest, Hungary
Café in the Jewish Quarter, Budapest
Bakery in Highwood, Illinois, USA
Downtown street with empty storefronts in Woodstock, Illinois (this was during the early lockdown days at the beginning of April, 2020).
Woodstock, Illinois – you can see how empty this downtown commercial street is.
Entrance to a shopping center in Tel Aviv, Israel
Arabic signs over stores in Bethlehem, Israel
Also in Bethlehem
Israeli version of Starbucks (Bethlehem)
Children’s books (and it seems like a lot of other things) are for sale in this hip neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.
Southwestern adobe style is common in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
More Pueblo style architecture in Santa Fe
Colorful hues in Tucumcari, New Mexico
You can get married and then go next door and have old time photos made! (Tucumcari)
Northwestern USA style in Poulsbo, Washington
Poulsbo, Washington – love that onion-dome style “tower” on top of this bookstore!
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Wind socks flutter in front of this kitschy gift shop, Poulsbo, WA

KOC: The Bizarrely Ordinary

From Kammie’s page: Oddball: (noun) a person or thing that is atypical, bizarre, eccentric, or nonconforming; (adjective) whimsically free-spirited; eccentric; atypical

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge is for those photos that are sort of strange, or don’t fit in with anything else. There is no specific topic, so …

I have no idea what this is, but I took the photo somewhere in Chicago. It struck me at the time as an odd object, and then there’s the random water bottle someone left there.
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This is a sad and weary water pump: overworked and underpaid in the middle of a heat wave!
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Obviously the vestige of something else that is long gone. Open? What’s open? Where?
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Apparently, someone at a nature center told us the purpose of these logs with holes in them, but I’ve forgotten.
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Don’t count on this hydrant in case of a fire!
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Build your own desert landscape! Get your camels and sand here!
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CB&WPC: Bikes

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week has the topic bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles and unicycles.

BICYCLES:
What better place to find bicycles than Amsterdam?! Here are just a few photos of bikes in Amsterdam.
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Mother and son riding home together in Regensburg, GermanyDSC01712 (2)Also in Regensburg – this was actually a very colorful corner!
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On display in Poulsbo, WA
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MOTORCYCLES:
Miniature motorcycles outside a miniature soda shop – at a miniature show in November
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Parisians seem to like motorcycles – they were everywhere!
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Motorcycle-like vehicles were common in the smaller towns of Egypt. I took this first photo from a vehicle like the one behind me – they were commonly used as taxis.
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This young man is hauling a cargo trailer behind his motorcycle.
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Somewhere in Jerusalem – there’s room for two!
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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

 

 

Lens-Artists #72 – Waiting

People wait.

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Waiting in line to get into the Louvre, Paris

 

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Waiting to enter Sacre Coeur Church, Montmartre, Paris

 

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Waiting to see the Mona Lisa up close, Louvre, Paris

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Marching band waiting their turn at a marching band competition, Vienna

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Waiting for the bride & groom to emerge from the church, Poulsbo, WA

Transportation vehicles wait.

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Parked bicycles wait for their owners to return, Amsterdam

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Cruise ship waits to board passengers to begin an ocean cruise, Amsterdam

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Bicycles wait up above, and boats wait down below – the frowning face means boats must stop and wait their turn to go under the bridge, Amsterdam

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Parked cars wait for their owners to drive them, Amsterdam

Animals and plants wait.

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Waiting to be planted in a garden, Des Plaines, IL

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Cat watches and waits for a moth on the screen, Des Plaines

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72, 11/16/19: Waiting