Monday, May 28, 2012

Cemetery on Hwy B - Marathon, WI
I love seeing flags on our veterans' graves for Memorial Day.
For patriotic holidays when we were kids
we got to help place the flags in the ground.
Then there was a ceremony followed by a 21-gun salute,
performed by veterans like my Dad.
So cool.
Still chokes me up thinking about it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's been a strange weather day.
They have announced Tornado Watch and Wind Advisory bulletins for our area.
It's not looking good out there.
The poor dog has not left my side the entire day, she can sense something in the air.
I hope we don't have to seek shelter in the basement.
It's grooooooooosssss down there in the dungeon.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today, as my dog and I walked at Rib Mountain State Park, this little deer watched and watched us.
We stopped at the edge of the woods and I talked softly to her - while she kept an eye on that black dog.
She even walked closer to us and stood for awhile, but then got spooked by some other walkers.
She may have had a fawn nearby that she was protecting.

This picture was taken on my iPhone camera.  I almost brought my good camera along, but decided not to.
Bummer!  I'll never do that again...could have gotten some cool close-ups.
Lesson learned!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wow, has it ever been a CrAzY run of things lately.
So many times I've started a new blog post but never got to finish.
Here's a little peak at fun stuff that's been going on.
We'll just skip right over the not so fun stuff,
like the night I accidentally flooded the garage...

Back in January, I entered a contest through my favorite mixed-media magazine Cloth Paper Scissors.  The challenge was to submit a journal page with the theme "stitched".  Some submissions would be included in a book for The Sketchbook Project.  The books will go on a nationwide tour, then make their permanent home in Brooklyn, NY, and can be viewed online all over the world.  Recently I was so humbled and excited to see my page included in the book!
Here's my page, and a link to my original blog post about it:  

I've recently discovered chef Jacques Pepin on public TV and I am smitten!  I've never really been a great cook; it just doesn't come naturally.  Following directions has never come naturally either, which doesn't help my cause.  But now Jacques, his cookbook and DVD have come into my life - and things are going to be different.  Watching his show is like learning how to cook from your French grandpa.  I could listen to him talk all day long.  And I do!  I play the DVD over and over when I'm creating in the studio.  Pompeii loves when we spend time in the kitchen together, as she waits for bits and pieces of food to fall on the floor.  One time she got hit in the face with some flying flour, it was so funny.  She didn't mind one bit.
Here's my version of Jacques' Country Apple Galette, right before it went into the oven.

It's turkey hunting season and we had a houseful of hunter friends here one weekend.  Now what to do with all those turkey breasts in the freezer...maybe my man Jacques has some advice on how to prepare wild turkey.  Pompeii was happy to jump in the picture with my husband and his turkey, even though she didn't have anything to do with the hunt!

One year ago I agreed to make two collages for my sister's bathroom.  I finally started them last month.  The project got delayed while waiting for some skeleton leaves to arrive in the mail.  Here's the very first layer on the collages, but the final project really won't look a thing like these.  This is just the texture stage.  And by now the leaves have arrived, so I need to get back to it.

Been spending time in my flower garden now that it's warming up.
I especially like being out there right after a Spring rain.

Here's the first batch of sun tea and the first rhubarb crop of the season!

The first flowering things in my garden each Spring are the Bleeding Hearts.  I love the pink flowers, but there's something about these white ones that tug at my heartstrings.

There can never be too many fresh flower bouquets hanging around!

Naps on the porch swing are the best!

Views from the hammock on a weekend up north:

A wonderful Mother's Day hummingbirds are back!  The fights at the feeder have begun too.  Really need to look into getting another feeder so there's some peace out there.
Creeping Phlox are so pretty, even in a vase.

I'm so happy it's Spring!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I'd been looking forward to yesterday ever since my husband told me he had to go to Milwaukee for work,
and said I could go along for the ride.
I got to venture out and spend a few hours at the Milwaukee Art Museum!

My mother-in-law was also in Milwaukee yesterday, so together we toured the majority of the museum and had a terrific lunch at the museum restaurant.  Yesterday was the last day for an exhibit called "Accidental Genius", a collection of works by self-taught artists.  We enjoyed reading the brief artist biographies and began to notice a pattern after awhile...insanity, madness, institutionalization and downright tragedy in the lives of most of these artists!  Now for the good news...most of them didn't discover their artistic talent until well into their middle age; some were even in their sixties.  Proving that one is never too old to begin.

It's super fun to recognize art and artists I studied in my old college Art History classes.  Textbook photos and overhead projections just can't compare to seeing a piece live in person.  I love to get up real close (actually, I HAVE to get up real close these days...) to soak in every brushstroke and color detail.

Here are a few of my very favorite pieces I saw yesterday at the art museum.

Barend Cornelius Koekkoekva
La Valee de l'Ahr, 1841
This looks just like a photograph!  Such vibrant colors!
I had to get REALLY close to this one to study the details.
John Steuart Curry
(American, Wisconsin) !!
Landscape with Grouse, 1941
Hey, he's a Wisconsin homeboy and I didn't even know it til right now!
I'm attracted to the contrast between the cool blues and whites and the warm golds and oranges.
And the simplicity of the whole thing.
Head of a Noble Woman
96-100 A.D.
Ok I'll admit...I mainly just like the name.

Marsden Hartley
Northern Seascape, Off the Banks, 1936-37
The nautical theme makes me happy, the shapes make me happy, the colors make me happy.
Wish I was on a boat right now.

Marc Chagall
The Horseman, 1966
Gosh, I wish this picture would have turned out better.
The thickness of the paint.
The brushstrokes.
The little teeny tiny details that can't be captured in a photo.

Pablo Picasso
Le Coq de la Liberation, 1944
This reminds me of traveling to tropical locations,
where there are always chickens roaming the streets.
What up wit dat? 

August Macke
Geraniums Before Blue Mountain, 1911
Blooming flowers on a porch railing,
green trees, blue skies and a mountain,
a fire blazing in the fireplace.
What's not to like?

Alexej von Jawlensky
Pale Woman with Red Hair, 1911-12
Wish I was better at painting people.  These guys make it look so simple.
Maybe I'll give it another try.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Street Scene, 1926
Just makes me wonder where they're going in their fancy hats and high heels.
Nobody's really smiling.
Maybe they don't want to go wherever they're going.

Gabriele Munter
In Schwabing, 1912
I have a new crush.  Her name is Gabriele Munter.

Gabriele Munter
Road in a Multicolored October, 1959
I immediately felt a connection to her paintings.
Now I know what it means when other people say that.

Gabriele Munter
Staffelsee, 1920
This collection had a nice representation of her work.
Lucky me, lucky me.

Gabriele Munter
Boating, 1910
OMG, and there's a black Lab in the boat!

Gabriele Munter
The Green House, Murnau, 1911
Well then Gabriele Munter, German painter...
I'll be googling you in the very near future.

Georgia O'Keefe
(American, born in Wisconsin) !!!
Poppies, 1950
Another homie from WI.

Alex Katz
Sunny #4, 1971
I love goofy stuff like this.
Love.  Love.
Who says art has to be all stuffy and stuff anyway?

Harry Bertoia
Dandelion, 1970
Normally sculpture doesn't do much for me, but there was something about this one
that made me stop and take a closer look.
See Lake Michigan in the background?

Maurice Brazil Prendergast
Picnic by the Sea, 1913-15
Now for my very favorite piece of the whole day!
Wow, is this an awful picture of it though.
We weren't allowed to use a flash in the museum,
and I'm terribly nervous when my camera is set on anything but Automatic mode.
The colors are lovely.
You'll have to just use your imagination.