Sunday, October 14, 2012

"AWASH in COLOR" Exhibit at Smart Museum of Art

Smart Museum of Art is on the campus of The University of Chicago. It is a small but diverse art museum that covers many areas of art from Korean Foliate Wine cup with stand from 1200, Italian Oil painting from 1500 to art using plastic bottles from Chicago present.
Now until Jan 20,2013 it is featuring French and Japanese wood block prints in the Gray Gallery. The exhibit is titled "Awash in Color: French and Japanese Prints". The museum's brochure says "It explores the roles, functions, and technology of color in prints from these two countries. It features more than 130 prints from the 18th to 20th centuries" ( sadly I was not allowed to take any photographs in this exhibit)
I mainly went to see the Ukiyo-e (floating world) prints to see how the text was used in the prints. I am working on a photographic project where I am combining text with photographs and wanted to see how the Japanese masters incorporated the text (poem in their cases) into the art but I only saw one Ukiyo-e with it. Maybe I was mistaken that Hiroshige and Utamaro used poems in their prints.
Another exhibit "Renewals and Revision: Japanese Prints of the 1950s and 60s" is a much smaller exhibit that featured Japanese prints from the first 20 yrs after WW II. The prints felt warmer and more approachable than the traditional wood block prints. Maybe it was due to the different techniques and subjects that artists had used.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Fall Day at Sagawau Nature Preserve

As the temperature dipped close to freezing this morning we headed out to Sagawau Nature Preserve for a photo shoot. This forest preserve has a hidden gem, the only ancient coral reef canyon in Cook County, which is in the city of Lemont, just outside of Chicago, Il.
With the crisp fall air, the trees were shimmering with yellow, gold and red colors of the fall. It was made more beautiful with the reflections on the pond at the south end of the canyon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shopping for a Valentine at the Harrods Department store in London

Before I traveled to London, I asked my friends for their recommendations as to where I should visit and many told me to go to Harrods department store. I had visited two museums in the morning and I decided that the cool winter air would be better than the stuffy stale air of the Tube (London subway). So I walked from Cromwell Road through Brompton road all the way to Harrods. Harrods has a dress code policy and has turned away several people who it believed are not dressed appropriately, so I was a little concerned as I walked through the door into the massive department store. I had no idea where to go but loved seeing the beautiful bags, scarfs of expensive named brands. But you know me, I can always follow my nose to the food court. As Valentines day was approaching many departments were decorated in pink and red hearts. Chocolates, oh those delicious decadent chocolates where everywhere.
Can't you just see the smiling face of a lover when she (or he?) receives one of these heart shaped boxes filled with chocolates on Valentines day?
I had a great time looking at every counter trying to find just the right gift....
So many different kinds of chocolate truffles, what is this girl supposed to do???
Counter after counter filled with so many different kind of chocolates from all over Europe. What a heavenly place.....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Buckingham Palace in the Winter

I was fortunate to visit London last weekend. I have been wanting to visit for so long that I was totally ecstatic. After a long airplane ride from Chicago, I was nodding off going through the city of London in a cab then I saw it !!!! The Buckingham Palace ... It is not like a castle you would imagine, it is more like a huge government building but Oh it is THE place where the Queen of England resides. Just seeing the palace where I have watched it on the TV all these years for the Royal weddings was right in front of me. What a was so amazing
Just look at this gorgeous gilded royal crest of The King George on the gate....
This palace is in the heart of London and even on this cold winter day tourists from all of the world kept streaming in and taking pictures..
To me this is where all the fairly tales begins... Handsome prince finally gets to kiss his beautiful princess... Recently this is where Prince William kissed his newlywed Duchess Catherine in front of the whole world.
Ornamental Orb on the fence.
Though I did not see the formal changing of the guard, I did see the intricate hourly changing of the guard.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Where spring never stops

Today is a ground hogs day. It is said that the little ground chuck will come out of his burrow and if he sees its own shadow then there will be 6 more weeks of winter. But I know one place in town where it is always spring and is filled with colorful flowers. It is Hausermann Orchids nursery. It is set back from the busy street and you would never know that it is there except for the huge bill board in front of the driveway. When you walk in through a small glass door, it looks like a small shed with a small collections of Orchids under a grow light. But when you walk by the checkout desk, and a small gift shop to the left the whole place opens up to the light filled green house filled with every kind of Orchids that you can imagine....
I was with a dozen photographers this day and after a couple of hours it was decided that we were going for a lunch, but several of us decided that it was more fun to keep photographing these gorgeous Orchids then grabbing hot dogs.. Yes, we are a crazy bunch of people who would rather take pictures then eat.... Here are some more of the gorgeous Orchids...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Rose Bowl -- football championship game

Continued from last post..... The football championship game between the University of Oregon and University of Wisconsin was fierce. It was a very hot day and we were sitting on the side of the stadium that did not give us any shade until much later in the game but that did not dampen our spirits to cheer for our team...
During the halftime, marching bands from both schools put on a great show. But I must admit, the University of Wisconsin marching band made this Midwesterner proud. Their style of playing loud and louder really worked in this stadium with really bad acoustics.
At the very end of what turned out to be highest scoring Rose Bowl game ever, University of Oregon Won the championship 45-38. If you would like to read more about the game itself, here is the link. Just click here.
It had been a long time dream of mine to go to the Rose Bowl, and this game did not disappoint me especially since my Alma Mater won. GO DUCKS !!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Rose Bowl -- Univesity of Oregon vs. University of Wisconsin

The day of the game, Jan 2, 2012. I was meeting my friends from college days early at the Rose Bowl Stadium.
We all wanted to take in the excitement and anticipation of the game, and heck it is a championship football game. People who were for Wisconsin dressed up in bright red shirts, and Oregon bright Yellow and green. We all wanted to get our picture taken in front of the "Rose Bowl" sign. The day was just gorgeous, typical southern California blue sky and by 10am you can tell that the temperature was going to be above 80F for the day.
Rose Bowl Stadium has a seating capacity of 90,000 plus and has a beautiful view of the mountains....
As the morning progressed, more and more people started to fill the stadium.
With huge cheers the team from University of Oregon ran onto the field.
Then the University of Wisconsin team ran onto the field with even louder cheers...
With fireworks,
With a Stealth Bomber flyby,
The 98th Rose Bowl championship between U of Oregon and U of Wisconsin kicked off...
To be continued.......

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The day before the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Calif - Part 2

Another area that I was able to observe was where the Cal-Poly University students were making their huge float. This float was totally constructed by the students and as we watched, they were busying themselves with putting the flowers one by one on to the float... The Cal-Poly float was one of very few that was covered in all California grown flowers. No material from other countries was used to decorate it....
This was the area where they kept the flowers before being prepared and used.
Some younger volunteers stripping just the flower petals to be used on the float.
This showed a basic structure and the way the floats were built...
Samples of the natural materials and their variety of colors and textures...
Little closer details of the float and yes they did use the whole potatoes as the cobble stones.
This was a very clever and nice way to ask for donations. You paid $2 and addressed a "To the Rescue" post card. The day of the Parade, the card rode on the Cal Poly University float. After being stamped with "This card rode in the Cal Ploy float January 2, 2012" it was sent back to the addressee. Of course I got mine a few days after the Rose Parade....
In the same area, there were antique cars all decorated with flowers that were going to be used in the Parade. Photographs below are for the Grand Marshall, and for the Tournament of Roses President.
My visit to the float making was a lot more than I had expected. I saw many beautiful floats decorated with breath taking flowers, shopped a little, received University of Oregon colored roses, met many nice people and took vast amount of photographs. Next year? I hope I can make it back and actually see the parade itself...