We decided to have an excursion into Boston today, to do something fun for my mother’s visit. We didn’t have a specific plan in mind, but thought we’d take the train and play it by ear for the afternoon, and then get dinner at Pho Pasteur. (2 years ago, we took the train into Boston and happened to eat there after wandering around the Common, and now it has become a tradition when we take the train into Boston. They have really yummy soup.)
On the train ride in, we decided that we’d check out the Institute of Contemporary Art, which none of us had been to (at least in its current location). It looked to be a reasonable (~15 to 20 minute) walk from South Station.
The building itself is very cool, with amazing views of the harbor.
We all enjoyed looking out, as well as looking at the artwork in the exhibits.
The walk from South Station may have been a bit long for those with shorter legs, especially bundled up and wearing clompy snow boots. There may have been some tiredness. We ended up staying about 2 hours, which was about right. Then we took the T toward dinner.
Whenever we go to art museums, Phoebe and Theo are always inspired to do their own art. Here we are at the restaurant before our food arrived. Theo was drawing a train.
Taking the T back to South Station after dinner, and looking a bit like poster children.
On the train home, we managed to score one of the coveted tables. Theo was happy to be able to draw some more. He spent most of the train ride drawing.
He was looking a bit tired, but his picture was super cool. He later explained to us that it was a robot as big as a planet that had thousands of robots inside.
I love the patterns often formed by peeling paint and rust. With their constant exposure to the elements, along with the rough treatment they receive due to their function in the world, the outside surfaces of dumpsters are often home to particularly fascinating non-objective compositions.¹
Here are 3 dumpsters I have come across in the past few years.²
¹ In posting this, I realize that may well have now proven to many of you that I am completely insane. That may well be, but I assure you that I am quite harmless.
² The two blue ones are in parking lots where I park frequently. I can’t remember where the green one was.
Post-holiday sluggishness has set in, likely fueled by too many holiday treats.¹ In any case, I am slow to post. My photo library is full of photos of all kinds of art this week’s friday foto finder theme. Here it is Saturday afternoon, and I am finally getting around to posting some photos of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. This famous painting by Georges Seurat is located in The Art Institute of Chicago, which I visited during my May, 2010 trip to Chicago for a conference.
I hadn’t seen the painting before in person, though I had seen various reproductions, as it is one of the most famous works of pointillism.²
I know some people would find that these people are in the way, but I like photos of people interacting with art
The painting has lots of interesting details to explore. Click on the photos to embiggen them a bit.
A monkey! (Also a little dog.)
There is also this pointillist border all around.
To see what art others have put on display, please check out the friday foto finder blog.
¹ Can sluggishness be fueled?
² I also remember the painting from its noteworthy role³ in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. [youtube]
³ It was not a speaking role.
The Musée D’Orsay in Paris is a remarkable building. It was built as a railway station around the turn of the (last) century, but only used as a rail station for a few short decades. The large and impressive building was converted into a large and impressive art museum in the 1980s, and it houses, among other works, a very large and impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces. (Most of which are impressive, but not very large.)
When we visited Paris in 2007, I made my first visit to this museum. It might seem surprising that I had not been there before, especially given my love of art and the fact that I had lived outside of Paris for 2 years. However, the first year I lived in France was 1980, and the museum would not yet be open for another 6 years. I’m pretty sure I heard of the museum when I lived in Paris again in 1988, and I’m not sure why I never made it there then. I certainly remember going to other museums. (I particularly remember the Rodin Museum and the Orangérie.)
In any case, I was very taken with the museum, as much (if not more) for the building as for the art. I loved the grand arches, interesting use of glass, and many other details.
I love the tunnel-like effect of the main hall.
This gigantic clock faces inward.
This gigantic clock faces outward, and can be seen from inside the café.
People and sculptures.
High vantage point.
My rosy-cheeked little one in front of some of Renoir’s famous rosy cheeks.
This week’s friday foto finder theme was “station.” Given my love of rail travel, it might not surprise you that I have many photos of train and subway stations in my photo archives. However, this was the station that came to mind first.
To see what other stations are being shared, please visit Archie’s friday foto finder blog. Won’t you consider participating, too?
Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day, sunny and surprisingly warm. We found ourselves with no specific plans for the day, and the kids were starting to go a little stir-crazy in the grandparents’ house. Inspired by the previous day’s leafy homage to Goldsworthy, I felt compelled to visit the large sculpture garden nearby to see one of Goldsworthy’s own works.
I posted a couple of photos I’d taken there last month, at which point I realized it had been 6 full years since we’d been there. It had been when six-year-old Phoebe was under a year old, and if you do the math, you will realize that four-year-old Theo had never been there at all. Clearly, this needed to be remedied.
The Storm King Art Center now boasts 2 large Goldsworthy works. I had seen the first wall before, but hadn’t realized that a second wall had been built only a couple of years ago.
The wall winds through the trees.
It wriggles all the way down the hill, where it dips into a pond.
This is the second wall. I don’t believe that the twig ring is part of the sculpture, as it is not in the description. However, even if not put there by Goldsworthy himself, it was a fitting tribute.
I found myself wondering why it had taken us so long to get back here, especially given how much both Phoebe and Theo love art. But our trips are often too short, often well under 48 hours, and are usually filled with other family-related things.
(Once again, these photos were just taken with my iPhone, as I didn’t remember to pack my camera for this trip.)
Yesterday, the kids and I spent some time playing out in the front yard at my in-laws’. Phoebe had collected some pretty leaves, and I found myself joining her. Fall comes a bit later here than at home, so the big maples in the yard were still leafy and bright. I kept finding interesting individual leaves, with interesting patterns and color arrangements. Of course I had to photograph them. First individually, then in groups. Before you knew it, I realized I wanted to spread them out and arrange them by color.¹
I was channeling Andy Goldsworthy, one of my favorite artists.
I found I had to hunt around to find more of the brightly-hued freshly-fallen leaves among the crinkled older leaves, which had turned a fairly uniform shade of brown as they dried. I paced around the yard, poking at the leaves, looking for more oranges and reds. I was enjoying myself immensely.
I was somewhat startled, therefore, when a woman from across the street yelled across: “Did you lose something?”
“No,” I replied. “We’re just playing with leaves.”
The neighbor took my explanation, with a nod and a slight look of confusion, and went back into her house.
I was reminded a little of that time I probably confused (or amused) some passersby back at my house by my rather unusual approach to shovelling snow.
Do you ever confuse your neighors?
¹ Much like I once did with tomatoes.
This week’s friday foto finder theme is “evocative.” I took this photo at the deCordova sculpture garden, a beautiful place full of intriguing and thought-provoking works of art.
This morning, I decided to do an art project with the kids. Specifically, we made potato prints. (I’ll let you guess what inspired me to do this particular project…) We’re at my in-laws’, and I didn’t want to risk getting paint on the furniture (or walls), so we worked out in the backyard. It was a beautiful day to be outside, but a bit windy for a project involving paper. Phoebe’s tendency to collect piles of rocks came in handy, providng us a ready supply of paperweights.
I can’t remember when I last made potato prints. I’m not sure I have done this as an adult, even. It was a lot of fun. (It would have been more fun if not for the wind.) And I did like the way the prints came out. I loved the way the thick paint made veiny patterns on the prints. (We used some washable Crayola paints that John picked up at the grocery store.)
See the slideshow, below, for more photos from this morning, and this morning’s results. I put even more photos up on Flickr.
My post of last night, with my flourishing root vegetables, reminded me of a painting I did in an art class a number of years ago. (I think that number may be greater than 10.) I can’t remember what the class was, as I had many classes with the same teacher over several years. For this particular assignment, though, we were to paint something in response to a poem my teacher read to the class. The poem was one by her husband, a poet, and involved memories of his mother and potatoes. (Sadly, I don’t have a copy of the poem, nor do I remember the title.)
Here is what my brain cooked up:
The Potato Madonna
The painting is somewhat modelled after Medieval or Renaissance Madonnas. It wasn’t quite finished, as I’d originally imagined a more ornamental/ornate background. It’s been sitting in my basement for quite a few years, and has curved in the dampness. This was before I started stretching my own canvas, and would just buy whatever cheap canvas or canvas boards. Cheap canvas boards really don’t last well. On the other hand, I think the wrinkling and the warping rather suit the subject matter. As does the musty basement smell…