Lens-Artists: Maximalism vs Minimalism

Lens-Artists’ challenge this week is maximalism/minimalism. As explained in the post, this can mean different things, but reading it made me think of all the ostentatious, Baroque-style churches I have seen in Europe vs the much fewer simple (usually modern) ones.

Note the difference in these two photos that I took of altars at the Jasna Gora Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland (above-maximalist) and the new church of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial in Berlin, Germany (below-minimalist).

Each has its own kind of beauty. The first was built in Baroque style, which featured many intricate details and elements, while the second was built in the 1950s and in which the focus is on the many small panes of blue stained glass. Each has a fascinating history. Click on the links above to read about each of them.

Maximalist can mean a view of an entire scene with flowers while its counterpart, minimalist, focuses on one flower.

SYW: Shopping, Drawing, Questionable Music, & Awful Jobs

I really like the questions Melanie has presented in Share Your World this week! So here goes!

QUESTIONS

In your opinion, what do you buy way more of than most people? I asked my husband what he thinks I buy too much of, and he said “nothing.” And in truth, he has to convince me that it is OK to buy something I really want but I am reluctant because it’s expensive. I often want to buy some new clothes but I don’t really need them and I think it’s wasteful of resources to buy excessive amounts of anything. I should shop at resale shops!

Which workers have the worst jobs?
The jobs most Americans won’t do, but are much in demand, are often done by the lowest paid workers. They do the drudge jobs, including working in fields of large agricultural farms, bending over in the hot sun for long hours; cleaning toilets; factory work where there is dangerous machinery or an assembly line processing meat products (separating the organs and guts from the ‘good’ meat). These jobs are stressful, have long hours, and no job security. Here is an interesting article about the worst jobs in America: What are the worst jobs in America?

Opinion.  John Cage is a composer who composed a piece named 4’33” for any instrument. The performers are instructed not to play their instrument for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Is this music or is this art?  A combination of the two?   Neither, it’s stupid.  Your opinion?
I have seen this “performed.” I thought it was weird. In college I had some music nerd friends who really got into this avant-garde type of music. John Cage was a preferred composer among these people! But not for me!

How good are you at drawing? I am pretty good. I have been drawing all my life. I’ve only recently started learning how to paint. But drawing is still my forte. Here are some of my personal favorites, ranging from 1973 to 2022!

Which one do you think is the oldest? (Some of them are dated.)


GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)

Feel free to share one amazing thing you’ve experienced (any time frame).

Travel – each trip more amazing than the one before. I was amazed on my first safari, seeing wild animals roaming free, and no further than a few yards from us! They amazed me with their natural behavior and their antics – a mother cheetah playing with her cub, elephants playing in the water, lions and giraffes mating. There’s nothing that can compare with being among these creatures who share the earth with us.

Cheetah mom & cub, Ndutu-Serengeti, Tanzania

On the other hand, I was also amazed – gobsmacked! – by visiting the ancient Egyptian monuments and realizing that they have endured thousands of years! The famous pyramids and sphinx were created over 4,000 years ago and yet they still stand! And visiting tombs and monuments where I got to see beautiful artwork – carved on pillars and walls of monuments, sometimes with the paint still visible, and the beautiful, colorful artwork in the ancient tombs. I just find it so amazing that these things have endured for more than 3000 years and we can still visit them. The Ancient Egyptians did create these tombs and monuments to last for “millions and millions” of years, but thousands is already very impressive!

From the tomb of King Ramses VI, Valley of the Kings, Egypt. Photo credit: Mohammed Fathy.

CFFC: Metal: From Chicago to Europe

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge currently is about Earth elements and this week it is metal.

Decor at the Moorings
Artwork in a St. Charles park
Grate at the Chicago Art Institute
My son-in-law’s cymbals
This was taken in Chicago but I have no idea what it is! The abandoned water bottle adds a nice touch, though.
Gate, Schoenbrun Palace, Vienna
Fence, Vienna
Wine brewing tanks, Austria
Old engine? Regensberg, Germany, along the riverfront
Door lock, Marksburg Castle, Germany
Hanging pot, Marksburg Castle
Display at Overlord Museum, Omaha Beach, France
Beautiful window grate, near Musee d’Orsay, Paris
The iconic Eiffel Tower, Paris!

CFFC: Bridges to…Adventures

It’s been awhile since I have participated in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, but I am back in time to contribute to this week’s bridges!

Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA
Budapest, Hungary (over the Danube River)
Looking down from the top of the Melk Abbey, Austria
Regensberg, Germany
Cologne, Germany with its famous cathedral spires in the distance. On this bridge, many lovers had put…
thousands of love locks!
One of many canal bridges, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pegasus Bridge, Normandy, France

Bridge over the moat at Caen Castle, Normandy, France
Maisons-Alfort, suburb of Paris
Covered bridge in Madison County, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa

SYW: Strange Growths & Music, Horrible History & Food…and Thoughts of Travel

Here are Melanie’s questions for her Share Your World this week.

Questions

What’s the strangest thing in your refrigerator?
Cottage cheese that’s been in there since last summer. I imagine some strange things are growing on it by now! When I clean the ‘frig (and that should be soon!), I’ll throw it out without releasing the strange beasties!

Would you rather hear the music of Johann Sebastian Bach played by a barbershop quartet, or a heavy metal band? Barbershop, no question. First of all, I don’t like heavy metal – it gives me a headache. Second, I’m used to barbershop because my brother-in-law sings in a barbershop chorus and quartets, so I’ve gotten to like it. And it’s much easier on the ears that heavy metal! But – just symantics – barbershops don’t “play” music, they only sing; their music is by its nature a cappella. I imagine their version of Toccata and Fugue in D minor would start something like this:

Leads: Ba da da! Ba da diddle da da!
Baritones: Da da da! Dee dum dum da!
Basses: Doo doo doo! Doo doo doodle doo doo…

You get the idea…don’t you?

The Arlingtones performed at North School Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois last summer.

If you could erase one event from history, which one would you erase? The Holocaust
(although there are many other ‘good’ candidates, the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades among them).

If your food is bad at a restaurant, do you say something? I send it back, hoping to get a better replacement before everyone else has finished eating and are ready to leave.


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GRATITUDE SECTION (as always, optional):

On one side of the earth we’re facing upcoming spring, and on the other autumn.   What positive or uplifting thought do these changes bring to you? Thoughts of renewed travel: to Europe this spring, and to Australia & New Zealand in the fall (when it’s spring down under)!

(OK, I could have said something like the beauty of the cycle of life or anticipation of flowers, but after 2 years stuck at home, travel is the most positive and uplifting thought I can think right now!)

Trivial Thought for the day: The word “queue” is just the letter Q followed by four silent letters.

SquareOdds: Odd Faces

I haven’t been on my blog much lately, so I’ve missed many days of Becky’s Square Odds this month, even though I love to participate! So, instead of just one oddity, here are several odd faces (including some faux faces)!

This carving is on the back of a chair at Oude Kerk (Old Church) in Amsterdam.
I found this guy looking around on Northwestern University campus, next to Lake Michigan.
How often do you see a dog with sunglasses, hanging out a car window?
A goat’s face on top of Little Goat restaurant in Chicago
Not a real face, but this orchid sure looks like it is hamming it up for the camera!
Unusual “face” on a building in Germany
With a gaping mouth, this “face” is on a rock face (pun intended!) in Arches National Park
A stressed face on a hot day in Vienna

CFFC: Which Way Thru the Seasons

Cee’s series featuring other challenges this week has the theme Which Way. This challenge includes streets, walkways, waterways – any “way” on which people travel.

Winter, spring, summer or fall – there’s always something interesting to experience on roads and sidewalks in every season.

Snowplow path
Downtown Mt. Prospect after dark in February
Springtime at Chicago Botanic Garden
What would spring be without those dotted masses of dandelions?!
Late summer stroll in a Tacoma park
Late June in a Wurzburg park (Germany)
Street musicians hope for tips from passersby in downtown Nuremberg
Red carpet in Cabourg, France
November on Clearwater Park walking/biking path (Mt. Prospect)
Shadowy street, October in Chicago

CFFC: Paper and Books Memorabilia

The theme of Cee;s Fun Foto Challenge this week is books and paper. When I looked up my photos in this category, I found memorabilia (personal and historical), such as the following:

At the Overlord Museum at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France

I don’t think this display is really made of paper, but it’s meant to look like the pages of a book. This display describing the history of the hotel and the findings of Howard Cater was in the lobby of the Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor, Egypt.

In our local newspaper, The Daily Herald, there is a column on Sunday that I enjoy reading called “Grammar Moses.” Jim Baumann, Mr. Grammar Moses himself, writes about grammar and spelling gaffes, mistakes, and clarification of usage of particular words or phrases sent in by readers. How often have we all seen a sign like this one?

Cards Against Humanity is a sort of nasty card game that is also hilarious (if you like this sort of thing), which I’d never heard of before until our son-in-law introduced it to us. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, seek out this game if you are not prepared for truly sick and twisted humor! Every once in a while, I get in the mood for it, and then I ask my son-in-law if we can play it next time we go over to their house…

Books and coloring books were my solace and salvation during the pandemic quarantine, in the spring of last year.

I did some original artwork during those months too.