Sunday, July 15, 2018

Modern Addition

When I was in London the last time, back in the fall of 2016 one of the many places I made a return visit to was the Tate Modern Art Museum.  You are probably all familiar with that giant building on the south bank that used to be a power station at one time.

Since the last time I visited the museum, a new tower has been added to the back of the museum expanding the exhibit space by quite a large amount.  I got to see that tower for the first time on that 2016 trip.

The photos above and below show the minimalist tunnel-like area that connects the two buildings.

I was impressed by how well this area blends with the architecture of the older building.  The connection between the old and the new spaces has been done in a very modern and aesthetically pleasing way.

What I enjoyed the most about the new wing was the grand observation deck on the top of the tower. The views from up there were simply spectacular and they were available in every direction.  The view above looks toward all the distinctive buildings that make up the business district of the City of London.

This view takes in "The Shard", one of London's newest skyscrapers.  As you can see it was a beautiful day to take in the view.  We could see all the way out to Canary Wharf and all the tall buildings out there.

In another direction we see more buildings, some of them under construction.  That one that sort of leans a bit must be completed now making me wonder what the completed building looks like.

This view takes in some of the varied buildings along the Thames and the dense city structures behind them.

The famous Tate Modern now has one more feature to make it a must see stop for every London visitor.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Iconic Seattle

I don't think anything screams Seattle more than the iconic Space Needle.  Seeing it will immediately identify the city.

So when I traveled to Seattle back in May, it seemed only right to once again take the elevators to the top and take in the view.

It's hard to believe that the Space Needle was built way back in 1962 for the 1962 World's Fair.  It's currently undergoing a 100 million dollar renovation that is scheduled to be completed this summer.

None of that construction got in the way of our trip to the top or the views from up there.

We couldn't have asked for a better day for taking in those fabulous views.  The air was clear and the sky was blue.

We could even spot some cruise ships docked in the harbor below.

Out in the distance, we could see snow on the top of the Mountains.

Being a city girl at heart, my favorite view was toward the center of Seattle and it's gorgeous skyline of high-rise buildings.  I could even see the monorail tracks below.  We took the monorail from downtown to make our way to the Seattle Center where the Space Needle and many other attractions are located.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Canyon Road Art

Last week I posted that I made my very first trip down Canyon  Road in Santa Fe New Mexico on my most recent trip to the city and I discovered a plethora of art works and creativity.  Today I'll show just a sample of a few of the pieces that caught my eye.  Such as, this big brown bear relaxing in a garden.

Or how about "Hog Heaven" by Robin Laws.

Chief  Joseph by Doug Hyde was tucked away in his own niche inside a gallery.

A handsome portrait called "Blue Monkey Friday" held a special place in another gallery while the standing bear called "Hide and Seek" by Joshua Tobey stood guard.  

These happy ravens found the perfect perches in the garden of one gallery while the very large gentleman to the left seems perplexed by all that he sees.

Baby elephants were frolicking at a watering hole.

In another location, a pretty blue bird named "Halcyon" by Paul Rhymer was enjoying the attention. 

This is just a sample of the wonderful art that can be found in such a short distance along Canyon Road in Santa Fe.  The amount of talent represented in this small area is incredible.  

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Experiencing Canyon Road

I've visited Santa Fe several times in the past but, somehow on those previous trips I missed out on what Canyon Road has to offer.  I guess I've always stuck to the city center and the museums and galleries clustered there.

I corrected that omission on this latest trip and I've discovered a new mecca of art and culture that almost overwhelmed my senses.  How could I have missed this half mile of creativity in the past?

There are over 100 galleries and shops on this short stretch of road so exploring them all would take days.  The best I could do on a Friday afternoon was park the car, start walking and take in as much as possible before closing time.

I stumbled into the gallery of Barbara Meikle and was enjoying her colorful works of art when I paused in front of this painting.  I turned to the artist and asked "was this painting in the Cowgirl Up show in Wickenburg Arizona?" She seemed surprised and said "Yes, it was.".  That's when I told her that I had featured this painting in a blog post I did about that show in Wickenburg.  What a coincidence that I would have picked her gallery to explore by pure chance.

In addition to gallery after gallery, the area also had a few shops where all kinds of southwestern clothing, housewares and other items could be found.  This shelf of colorfully painted chickens attracted my attention.

But it was the art works that truly inspired me.  I saw magnificent paintings and brilliant sculptures everywhere I walked.  This one by Robin Laws called "Buddies" was particularly endearing.

I was also impressed by how beautifully the area was landscaped with colorful flowers mixed in with all the sculptures and artwork.

A few of the galleries were having special events to introduce new art collections so while strolling the galleries we were serenaded by talented musicians.  It was certainly the perfect way for this first time visitor to experience this patch of imagination and creativity.  Canyon Road will be high on my list of priorities on any future visits to Santa Fe.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Tucson Museum of Art

Last week I talked about how I tend to roam around the historic El Presidio neighborhood whenever I'm in Tucson.  This week I'll show you the Tucson Museum of Art that is located in that neighborhood.  As you walk the streets around the museum, you are surrounded by old and historic buildings in a variety styles.  However, when you step through the doors of the art museum, you enter a building that is very contemporary in design.

I love how the main room forms a ramp leading down into the galleries below.  All of the walls are covered with art so you can make your way down while viewing some of the museum's collection on the way.

The last time I was there I enjoyed a series of paintings by Jim Waid, an American artist.  He is described as creating paintings that appear to be abstract but, as you look at them they slowly reveal the organic nature of the painting.  The one above reveals a scene from Monument Valley in northern Arizona. There is a string of wild horses passing by in the lower part of the painting.

The painting above is by Dean Narcho, a Native American artist who studied with Jim Waid.  That is where he became interested in abstract art.

The museum also has a wonderful display of ceramic and glass sculptures. This one by Yoshio Taylor appealed to me.

I was impressed by this museum.  It's not as large as the Phoenix Art Museum but, it has a wonderful collection that seems to lean toward artists of the southwest.  That's always welcome.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Enjoying Historic Arizona

I mentioned in previous posts that whenever I find myself in Tucson, I always stop at the historic El Charro restaurant for a delicious meal.  It's one of my favorite places to go.  Because it's located in a historic neighborhood called El Presidio, the houses and buildings around the restaurant are also a draw.  I always make time to roam around the neighborhood and take some photos.  Many of the houses have been lovingly restored and have so many interesting details that appeal to me.  I'm especially fond of the one above with it's bright color, lush desert plants and that wonderful old door.

This one always piqued my interest.  I find it's variety of window shapes a very attractive feature.

Some of the places are very large and were probably the homes of wealthy, early settlers in the area.  

Some are awaiting some TLC but they still hold a rustic beauty that can't be denied.  

I love how colorfully many of them are painted.

And interesting things like atmospheric gates and beautiful entrances make me wonder what it looks like inside.

While I'm roaming the streets with my camera, sometimes I run into the curious who wonder what I'm up to.  This handsome fellow was watching me from the doorway so I snapped a portrait of him.  

There is an endless supply of picturesque spots in the El Presidio neighborhood.  Most of the structures date from 1860 to 1920 and the neighborhood is home to restaurants, offices, shops and the Tucson Museum of Art as well as all these wonderful old homes.  I'll be back here again, that is a certainty.  

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Collection!

I feel as though I'd be terribly remiss if I told you all about the Chihuly Garden and Glass place without mentioning "The Collection".  It seems that Dale Chihuly is quite the collector and he doesn't stop and collecting just one thing.  He seems to collect everything.  The restaurant at his wonderful museum in Seattle is where he displays his vast collection of "things".

We'll start the viewing with the accordions.  Quite a lot of accordions!  They hang from the ceiling of the restaurant creating a beautifully abstract design above our heads.

Chihuly started collecting things when he was just a boy but more recently has expanded his collection to include a vast array of vintage items like this collection of clock radios.  He is motivated by shapes and colors so I can see why this collection would appeal to him.  Do you see one up there that looks familiar?  I did.  They very much reminded me of the old olive green radio that belonged to my mother and dad when I was growing up.

Restaurant guests eat at glass topped tables and below the glass is another collection of vintage items like the toy cars and trucks above and the shaving brushes to the left.

How about a collection of vintage cameras?  Remember these?

You don't have to visit the restaurant with only the collection in mind.  You should also visit for the food.  The food was delicious and beautifully served.  I had an exceptionally good salad while I saw mouthwatering burgers and sandwiches pass by the table as I ate.

Remember long before cell phones and iPods how we used to listen to music on  pocket radios?  This was a collection that brought back all kinds of memories.