Friday, August 30, 2019

Postcards from the Lake: More from Art Camp

My favorite week of the summer is Art Camp! As I think I've explained before, art camp is just an excuse for my artist friend Kate and I to get together up north and spend most of our day doing art.

That's not all we do. Far from it! We take walks around our area of the lake. We're lucky to have a woods right outside the door so there's lots of shade.

This overturned bear in a swamp is the closest thing we've seen to a bear at the lake!

We'll count bunnies along the way and I am continually trying to get better photos of the eagle. So far, this is the best I can do!

And we look for signs of autumn. Alas, we are seeing too many of them!

We don't leave the lake often, but going to town to the farmer's market is a must.

Sometimes we even discover an antique market while we're there! (More in a different post on that!).

During the evenings when the light starts to change, we read, watch Midsomer Murders (since I couldn't get the internet to handle my computer, we watched on her little ipad screen!) and watch for the ducks on the lake.

We enjoyed many sunsets (but skip the sunrises).

We'll take a dip if weather permits.

And now and then, spot a butterfly!

I was chasing this one down the beach!

On occasion there's a bit of unwanted adventure.

Fortunately, no one was hurt and nothing damaged with this small electrical incident, as smoke came out of the electrical outlet. Three cheers to the volunteer fire department and police in Gaylord! (And the electricians who came later in the day!) Not that they weren't wonderful people, but I was glad to see the back of them!

Sometimes a friend will stop by for lunch or on their route home from other spots.

And while we mostly cook at home, we'll be sure to get out for dinner once or twice.

This time we went back to our favorite restaurant, Bennethums. They have the best happy hour in the north -- so they say and I believe it!

It's always good to toast the week!

It is so relaxing to sit in the garden under a beautiful green umbrella on a perfect early evening, make a dinner out of appetizers and enjoy the mellow!

But mostly we did art, even if it was too nippy and windy to work on the porch. Just move the table in!

And of course, we were under continual supervision.

I'll share more of the work in another post, but it was indeed a productive week -- and that's what it's all about!

(I know I'm jumping around a bit, but I'll continue with more from the Isabelle De Borchgrave exhibit soon. Some of you had questions about the art and I'm trying to suss out the answers for you!

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Road Trip: Isabelle de Borchgrave and Fashioning Art from Paper

The city of Flint, Michigan has had quite a lot of deservedly negative press for its tragic drinking water situation and the city itself often gets a bad rap. What could possibly be in Flint, you might ask.

I'll tell you. The Flint Institute of Art. And until September 7 they have a remarkable exhibit by Isabelle de Borchgrave called "Fashioning Art from Paper." If you are a paper nut like me, or a fashion/costuming fan, this is your cup of tea. So, for my birthday excursion there really was no second choice. This was the exhibit I had to see.

And if you're not, this post might not be for you, because it is packed with photos of the exhibit. And remember, every outfit, every gown, every costume in this post is made completely of paper. They even had samples on hand we could touch. Some was leathery. Other pieces very delicate. (But I will tell you, Rick seemed very interested and I don't think he was when we started out!)

Even the accessories and jewelry are crafted from paper!

De Borchgrave has pulled her inspiration from a variety of sources. For example this portrait of Maria-Maddalena d'Austria...

...inspired this almost-to-the-button gown.

Check out the detail. Her painting is remarkable.

She is very big on the Medici family and her work showcases any number of the family known for their art patronage.

 Not all of her gowns are exact replicas but inspired by paintings of the individual. Such is the case with Maria d'Medici. In the corresponding portrait, there are few differences, just the collar of the dress.

This trio is Lorenzo, Il Magnifico, Eleanora of Toledo and Cosimo I de Medici.

Lorenzo's ensemble was inspired by a fresco in the Medici Chapel in which he is depicted as Caspar, the youngest of the Magi, in "Journey of the Magi." His title was granted because of his lavish patronage of the arts including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli, among others. In Lorenzo's outfit, the jewels on his belt are painted on.

Eleanora of Toledo's gown is modeled after a Bronzini portrait.

Cosimo I is depicted in his coronation clothing or ermine with a crown and scepter. And yes, the ermine is painted on.

Two of my favorites were based on women in classical paintings. "Pallas and the Centaur" by Botticelli was inspired by ancient Roman mythology. The painting was commissioned by the Medici family and hung in their Florence palace.

Also hanging in the Florence palace was Botticelli's "Primavera," in which Flora, the goddess of spring, is seen dropping flower petals in a scene that includes Venus, Cupid and the Three Muses.

This style of gown, worn by women in 18th century England, is called a mantua and was inspired by a gown in the Victoria and Albert museum. The museum curator said this was shipped in a crate slightly wider than the gown and as tall, on its stand, as others were shipped.

This court dress was inspired by a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and includes starched lace (yes, paper) and pears and other jewels (also paper!)

Here you get a sense of the detail.

And, in the last of the historic gowns, a look at a couple of little numbers based on Madame de Pompadour! Mistress and later friend and confidante of King Louis XV of France, she was known for her political aspirations as well as her fashion.

Here is another of Madame de Pompadour's gowns.

Too long? Just a couple more dresses of a more contemporary mode. I have worked with the gossasmer like paper in this shawl. Don't snag it!

And this one is fun. From even a fairly close distance the sparkles look like jewels and sequins.

It's paint!

I took photos of every single one, I think. But I'll spare you some for now, though in another post I'll show you some of the paper sculptures she did based on costumes from the Ballet Russes. Meanwhile, one more look at the accessories...

...and one more gown.

It took my breath away.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Postcards from the Lake: Lake Birds!

Just another sunny day on the lake and the birds are plentiful! (Not terribly diverse, but lots of them!)

I love the seagulls. They're so crisp and white!

And they're always on the lookout for something!

This one was bigger than the others. I saw what I think was him pull a big fish out of the water. (That might have been the eagle -- he was pretty far away).

I've not seen the gray ones before and don't know if it's a male-female difference or just a different type of gull. Anyone?

They certainly know how to fly high!

Here's Mama Duck. Her number of ducks has varied throughout the summer. First, five. Then four. Now five. Another had more. So I'm wondering -- is this Mama 4-5 or is it Mama 7 (missing a few)?

(It could easily happen on the lake -- there's a Bald Eagle that I think nests in the neighbor's tree or at least flies that way. I either see him when I'm swimming or he's flying in too fast to grab my camera!)

A flotilla of Canada geese. I love seeing them on the water like this.

Less so on my beach. Fortunately, they seem to love the Treeless Loud Neighbor's beach best! (I know. That's very uncharitable.) I leave you with yet another sunset...

...and a few shots of a beautiful moon.

On nights like this I sit on my porch and am just so very grateful that I have the opportunity to enjoy all this in the quiet of the night.

Well, quiet once the Treeless Loud Neighbor's air conditioner goes off.

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