Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Part 2

Joan Miró

At the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, I found the sculptures and enormous wall hangings as intriguing as the paintings. The museum has several outside areas as well as interactive art and a place for young children to explore and build. Kudos to including the kiddos! Just like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, I’d return to the Foundation if I traveled to Barcelona again.

Miró insisted that art ought to be an extension of life and part of life itself…His increasing knowledge of ceramics and sculpture led him to cultivate some of these techniques using more weather-resistant materials…Beginning in the 1960’s he was particularly prolific sculpting in bronze. In Miró’s view, both sculpture and ceramics were closely bound to nature…Landscape claimed the last word: out in the open, his pieces interact with their surroundings and, to some extent, give back to the land that which has always belonged to it.

Excerpts from the Fundació Joan Miró

Hon, if you ever go, I highly recommend bringing headphones so that you can listen to explanations of pieces throughout the museum via your phone.

“Lovers playing with almond blossom,” resin, c.1975, These sculptures are models for the enormous sculptures displayed at La Defense, Paris.” Of the two people, “One is captured as a tall cyclinder with yellow and reddish regions, with a blue ball shape on top. The round blue shape is decorated with pre-historic style abstract shapes which would deliver symbolic meaning to this intriguing piece. There is then a second tall construction, with a pointed blue shape that leans away, though with a red claw-like feature which is placed around half way up. It could perhaps be a hand reaching out to catch the ball which sits on the other figure…” (joanmiropaitings.org)

Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Part 1

Joan Miró

Hon, I have lots to share from my trip to Spain. Our first stop was Madrid where our daughter is studying this semester. From Madrid, we took the high speed train to Barcelona. We saw so many different things from palaces to parks, churches to cobblestone street, and museums to mountains. So fun!

When I found out about the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, I added it to my itinerary. Miró, a Catalan painter who combined abstract art with Surrealist fantasy, wanted to create an international, interdisciplinary center that made art available to the public. He created the Foundation by donating the majority of his work which is supplemented by donations from his wife Pilar Juncosa, artist Joan Prats, and collector Kazumasa Katsutas.

The Joan Miró Foundation reminded me of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice because the artwork is housed in a smaller, interesting building set away from the center of the city. Whereas the Peggy Guggenheim Collection faces Venice’s Grand Canal, the Joan Miró Foundation, located in Parc de Montjuïc, sits on a hill with a gorgeous view of Barcelona.

The Fundació Joan Miró was created by Miró himself, at first principally with works from his own private collection, with a desire to set up an internationally recognised centre in Barcelona for Miró scholarship and contemporary art research, and to disseminate the collection. The Fundació opened to the public on 10 June 1975 and has since become a dynamic centre in which Joan Miró’s work coexists with cutting-edge contemporary art.

https://www.fmirobcn.org/en/foundation/

“Figure in front of the sun,” acrylics, c.1968
In this diptych, the figure in each painting appears in a celestial landscape accompanied by the moon in one and the sun in the other.
View of Barcelona from museum terrace, “Sun, moon and one star,” bronze and painted cement, c.1968
Image source: Fundació Joan Miró

Travel Bug Part 2, Crayon Box Burano, Fishing Village

Burano, Venice, Italy
Burano, Venice, Italy

This is a re-post of the 2nd part of Crayon Box Burano in honor of travel!

Hubby and I are off to England and then France for a whirlwind anniversary trip. We’re not the only ones in the family who will be abroad. Morgan’s  going to direct a music video in Tokyo and is there now! She packed up and left within 48 hours of finding out. (“Mom, I guess you can do that when you’re 25 years old.” My response, “True, true.”)

Shout out to our amazing children along with my dad and Hubby’s mom, who are treating us to this vacation.

Hon, happy and safe travels whenever and wherever you go.

Crayon Box Colored Homes

Burano, an old fishing village in the Northern Venetian Lagoon, is famous for its brightly colored homes as well as its lace-making. Legend has it that fisherman couldn’t recognize their houses through the fog, so they painted their homes bright colors.  It’s said that house colors have been with families for centuries. Today, if someone wants to repaint his house, he must send a request to the government, who will let the him know which colors are permitted for that lot.

When we toured the islands of Murano, Torcello and Burano, I’m glad our vaporetti, or water taxi, stopped at Burano last. It was definitely the jewel-in-the-crown.

Previous Post:  Crayon Box Burano, Venice, Italy (Part 1)

Striped curtains match house colors.
Striped curtains match house colors.

Many houses and buildings are adorned with religious wall plaques.
Many houses and buildings are adorned with religious wall plaques.

Laundry lines are a common sight.
Laundry lines are a common sight.

Pink up close.
Pink up close.

Colorful canal.
Colorful canal.

Travel Bug, Crayon Box Burano, Venice, Italy (Part 1)

Burano, Venice, Italy

In honor of Hubby’s and my upcoming trip to Europe, I’m re-posting these photos from Burano, Italy. We’re headed to England and France where I’m sure to be bitten by the travel bug. If I was independently wealthy, I’d travel the world! Hey, I can write anywhere, and what better way to get inspired than to meet new people and visit new places?

And, as for my love of children, ask my own kids–language barriers aren’t barriers at all when a child’s smiling eyes meet mine. If that sounds sappy, so be it, but consider…

  • in an airport security line, a mom handed me her baby to hold while she struggled to open up her stroller,
  • in a store, a toddler giggled at our silly game, then threw her arms around me for big hugs,
  • in Sienna, Italy, a 5 year old German boy and I  played hide and seek at breakfast,
  • in a shoe department, a 3 year old boy slid over to me and let me tie his shoes,
  • in a bookstore, a 4 year old girl and I read books together,
  • on a train from Manhattan, a 6 year old girl and I played I Spy,
  • in a restaurant, new twins parents and I bonded over being parents of multiples and then took me up on my offer to hold a baby so the mom could eat,
  • at the store where I work, two 5th grade girls asked me to be in their  Tic Toc video (umm, yes!), and then hung around for hours chatting about their siblings, parents and teachers,
  • And so many more wonderful encounters here and abroad.

So, while we travel, I’ll be on the lookout for smiling eyes because those connections, no matter how short, are joyful.

And hon, I need a whole lot of joy just about now.

Shops along the canal, Burano.
Shops along the canal.

School boys meeting by a first floor window.
School boys meeting by a first floor window.

Photographer's delight.
Photographer’s delight.

Hubby and daughters.
Hubby and daughters.

Glass Tea House, Venice Architecture Biennale

View from the bell tower of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

Another view.

Sign in the bell tower.

Last summer in Venice, my daughter and I discovered something beautiful and peaceful behind the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. We had taken the vaparetto, or water taxi, to the island of San Giorgio to see the views from the bell tower. We spotted a bright blue rectangle and we were curious. 

The hidden gem turned out to be a teahouse at the museum Le Stanze del Vetro. Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto designed Glass Tea House Mondrian for the Venice Architecture Biennale.

The ‘Glass Tea House Mondrian’ by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto unites wood, glass and water as a pavilion, holding the traditional japanese tea ceremony within its transparent walls. The temporary structure consists of two main elements: an open-air landscape courtyard and an enclosed glass cube.

The garden follows a path leading along a forty-foot-long reflecting pool completely covered in Bisazza mosaic, guiding the visitor to a lucent space, inside which the cultural ritual is performed. The pavilion hosts two visitors at once, together with the master of the tea ceremony, while the other spectators can take part by watching around the perimeter of the reflecting pool.

Relating to its surrounding environment and the historical context of the site, Sugimoto’s ‘Glass Tea House’ suggests a subtle analogy between the ancient tea ceremony practice and the art of venetian glassmaking.

Glass Tea House Mondrian by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Click here to read an interview with Sugimoto. Click here to see how the tea house was assembled.

Happy exploring, hon.

Source: Designboom.com

Beautiful Girl

"Clara" by Jean Philippe Richard
“Clara” by Jean Philippe Richard.

Recognizing art I’d seen in Soho, I was drawn into the BelAirFineArt gallery in Venice. Then I discovered “Clara.” This life-sized bronze sculptor by  Jean Philippe Richard struck me as beautiful and mysterious.

"Clara" by Jean Philippe Richard.
“Clara” by Jean Philippe Richard.

Beautiful is my mom. Mysterious is our time on earth. 

Barbara Ellen, my mom as a toddler.
Barbara Ellen, my mom as a toddler.

Me, my son and my mom.
Me, my son and my mom.

this-is-love-to-fly-toward-a-secret-skyto-cause-a-hundred-veils-to-fall-each-moment-first-to-let-go-of-life-in-the-end-to-take-a-step-without-feet-2

Crayon Box Burano, Fishing Village (Part 2)

Burano, Venice, Italy
Burano, Venice, Italy

Crayon Box Colored Homes

Burano, an old fishing village in the Northern Venetian Lagoon, is famous for its brightly colored homes as well as its lace-making. Legend has it that fisherman couldn’t recognize their houses through the fog, so they painted their homes bright colors.  It’s said that house colors have been with families for centuries. Today, if someone wants to repaint his house, he must send a request to the government, who will let the him know which colors are permitted for that lot.

When we toured the islands of Murano, Torcello and Burano, I’m glad our vaporetti, or water taxi, stopped at Burano last. It was definitely the jewel-in-the-crown.

Previous Post:  Crayon Box Burano, Venice, Italy (Part 1)

Striped curtains match house colors.
Striped curtains match house colors.

Many houses and buildings are adorned with religious wall plaques.
Many houses and buildings are adorned with religious wall plaques.

Laundry lines are a common sight.
Laundry lines are a common sight.

Pink up close.
Pink up close.

Colorful canal.
Colorful canal.

Crayon Box Burano, Venice, Italy (Part 1)

Burano, Venice, Italy
Burano, Venice, Italy

Burano is a photographer’s delight, a lagoon island filled with crayon box colored houses. Is it a tourist destination? Yes. Does every shop carry similar merchandise? Yes.

Yet, it was still an interesting place to visit.

We had booked tickets for a water taxi tour that made stops at Murano, Torcello and Burano. Of the three, Burano was the only island that felt inhabited. It’s known for its lace-making, so you can guess what most shops featured. Inside some shops were older women actually making lace, and I met a twenty-something salesgirl who showed me the lace earrings she was working on.

Between my interest in photography and my appreciation for needlework, I was in thrall at every turn.

Shops along the canal, Burano.
Shops along the canal.

School boys meeting by a first floor window.
School boys meeting by a first floor window.

Photographer's delight.
Photographer’s delight.

Hubby and daughters.
Hubby and daughters.

 

Venice View

Laundry hanging to dry.
Laundry hanging to dry.

I admit it. I was camera crazy in Venice!

Something catches my eye and I have the urge to capture it. It’s always interesting to see if the photo I take highlights the element that drew me to the scene. I took these pics FROM the water during our Venetian Rowing Lesson (yay, Row Venice!).  I hope you think they are bellisima.

 Grazie!

The juxtaposition of the red flower boxes and building with the church behind set against a blue sky was.
The juxtaposition of red flower boxes and building with a church behind set against a blue sky said Italy to me.

Gondolier on his cell phone.
Gondolier on his cell phone.

This ambulance was in a hurry so we had to navigate our boat out of the way.
This ambulance was in a hurry so we had to navigate our batelina out of the way.

 

 

 

 

 

Venice buildings are so old!
Venice buildings are so old.

Seagulls are everywhere!
Seagulls are everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Murano glass.
Murano glass.

Happy colors.
Happy colors.

 

 

 

 

 

Eating outdoors even in February.
Eating outside even in February.

One point perspective.
One point perspective.

Canal, church and reflection framed by a bridge's arch.
Canal, church and reflection framed by a bridge’s arch.

 

 

 

 

 

Row, Row, Row Your Boat (in Venice)

 

Gondolas in Venice, Italy
Gondolas in Venice, Italy

Buon Giorno!

I recently traveled to Italy to visit one of my daughters (aka. Liquid Copper and Baby A of the triplets) who is studying abroad this semester. The food was fabulous, the art amazing, and meeting people from around the world was wonderful . Hon, you’re the recipient of the many photos I took.

Hubby said I was “dawdling,” but I disagree!

Bmore Energy’s tag line “I find the extraordinary in the ordinary” isn’t for nothing! In addition to our fascinating surroundings, there was so much to see. I wanted to soak in the shop windows, architecture, paintings and sculptures. I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me.

In Venice we could take a gondola ride, but wouldn’t it be more fun to learn how to row? We booked a Venetian Rowing Lesson with Row Venice, where we didn’t actually row a gondola but, rather, a batelina. Row Venice owns 3 out of the 6 of these hand-crafted, shrimp-tailed boats in existence today.

Learning how to row turned out to be a memorable experience!

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Our instructor, Nan, showing Hubby how to hold the oar.
Our instructor, Nan, showing Hubby how to hold the oar.

Hubby gets the hang of it.
Hubby gets the hang of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The oars are heavy!
The oar is heavy!

Stylin'!
Stylin’!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rowing is MUCH HARDER than it looks!
Rowing is MUCH HARDER than it looks!

Gliding along the canal.
Gliding along the canal.

 

 

 

 

 

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Concentrating.
Concentrating.

On the lagoon.
On the lagoon.

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Have you been to Venice?  Are you a “Get-Me-On-A-Gondola” or a “Row-Like-A-Venetian” person?  

(I won’t judge, I promise!)