Saturday, October 10, 2015

Greek Fest! Pasadena, California!

Life is an unfoldment,
and the further we travel
the more truth we can comprehend.
To understand the things that are at our door
is the best preparation for understanding 
those that lie beyond.
Greek, 350-415

I can't believe this was almost 3 weeks ago! Anyway, it was blazing hot and my friend Karen and I were looking for something fun to do and it just so happened there was a Greek Festival over the weekend in Pasadena ... which is where she lives! We waited until later in the day, because of the heat!

Pasadena Greek Fest

Turns out it's a fundraiser they do every year for Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church. 

Here's a little music to listen to while at the Fest!

After we bought our tickets, we went in and could smell the grill! Yum! I don't eat much meat, but the lamb chops were amazing and too good to resist! Karen had a huge Gyro but I was extremely happy with my choice!

Not what we have
But what we enjoy, 
constitutes our abundance.

Greek Grill Master

She had a mojito but I went with the special Greek Cherry Smash, which was vodka, soda, fresh lemon and imported Greek Cherries over ice. Yummy and very refreshing! "Gia' sou!"

You can discover more about a person
in an hour of play
than in a year of conversation.

They had different dance groups of various ages, and different live bands play ... this shot below, was later and I think they were just folks from the church. So fun!
 (No we didn't go out on the dance floor. They all knew what they were dong and it was so hot, even in the evening, that it felt like midsummer in Athens!)

Music is a moral law.
It gives soul to the universe,
wings to the mind, flight to the imagination,
and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

We also shared a refreshing cold Greek beer.

Our prayers should be for blessings in general,
for God knows best what is good for us.

Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church

There was a guy with the church who gave talks about the church, the meaning of the symbols and icons, their faith, and the origin of the Church. Pretty interesting stuff!

The screen (Iconostasion), separating the nave from the sanctuary, with its full scale icon figures ... and in the sanctuary you can kind of see the mosaic of the Last Supper. 

One who knows oneself, knows God:
and one who knows God is worthy to worship Him as is right.
Therefore, my beloveds in the Lord,
know yourselves.
~St. Anthony the Great
251-356 AD, Egypt

The portrait of Christ, in center of the dome, is in most Greek Orthodox churches. You can also see there are biblical scenes and folks from the old testament. 

On the right side of the church (facing the altar) were icons of male Saints, and on the left side were all female saints which I thought that was pretty cool. 

Wisdom begins

Before leaving  ....

We grabbed a bunch of yummy Greek desserts involving lots of filo dough, nuts and honey!

And, of course, I love to theme dress (even in subtile ways) so I wore the sandals my parents brought  back for me from Greece a few years ago, along with my blue and white dress! 

Karen and I, in her hood, at the Greek Fest!

For more about Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in Pasadena, the orthodox church, and as well as their Patron Saint, click here.

For the Pasadena Greek Fest website, click here.

I'm now in need of a trip to Greece!

Of all the things which wisdom provides 
to make us entirely happy,
much the greatest is the possession of friendship.

Blessings and light!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Museum Color and Light ~ LACMA

Never lose the first impression which has moved you.
~Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
(painter, France 1796-1875)

After my visit to the Frank Gehry exhibition, I headed into the Ahmanson Building to get inspired by some masters in the permanent collection.

The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame, c. 1638-40
Oil on canvas
Georges de La Tour (France)

This Magdalen above, you may recognize, as it is a pretty famous piece. In fact, it was in my art history book! You can see the influence Caravaggio had on other painters. (They are called the Caravaggisti) This painting was a gift to LACMA from the Ahmanson Foundation. It's one of the highlights of the collection and one of my favorites!

Seine and Old Bridge at Limay, 1872
oil on canvas
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Corot is my friend Rachel's favorite artist. In fact, I texted this to her after my visit! There is something kind of magical about so much of his work. Even when the palette is dark and subdued, there are these little bits of light or sparkle that give it a mystical or dreamy feel. (At least to me!) 

Here's a piece at the Getty, with commentary.

Here's a lovely slideshow of his work with beautiful music!

Beauty in art is truth bathed in an impression received from nature.
I am struck upon seeing a certain place.
While I strive for conscientious imitation,
I yet never lose the emotion that has taken hold of me.
~Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

This Angel Raphael, below, is another of my favorite pieces, in the museum!

Archangel Raphael
Italy (Naples), c. 1600
Polychromed and gilded wood

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, c. 1615
oil on canvas
Bernardo Strozzi (active Genoa and Venice, Italy)

The piece above of St. Catherine, was a recovered Nazi-looted painting, valued at 3 million. It's a promised gift of the owner's direct descendant, Philippa Calnan, to whom it was willed and returned. 

It turns out she is a retired public affairs director who worked at LACMA! Many times, a piece is willed to many family members who have to sell, often to pay for all the legal trouble in getting the stolen pieces returned to the family. 

I work on all parts of my painting at once,
improving it very gently
until I find that the effect is complete.
~Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Basket of Peaches, with Plums and Quinces, after 1641 (detail)
oil on canvas
Louise Moillon (France)

Art is nature as seen through temperament.
~Camille Corot

Broad building at LACMA

Jesús Soto's Penetrable 
This piece (the yellow "strings") is very interactive and you can usually see kids playing in it. Right now the platform is being repaired, to the frustration of the under 10 patrons.

Window from the gift shop!

Colorful giftsop rings and things!

Sleeping woman with Boy, 1926
Painted wood
Hermann A. Scherer 

The Locks at Dolo, c. 1735
Antonio Canal (called Canaletto)

Portrait of Marten Looten, 1632
Oil on wood
Rembrandt van Rijn (Northern Netherlands)
(even when there are other Dutch Masters in the room ... you can always tell a Rembrandt!)

The most important things in a painting are 
Form and Value.
Color comes last - 
like a friend you welcome. 
~Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Abraham and the Three Angels, c. 1750 (detail)
Pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk
with white heightening
Francesco Fontebasso

A Fallen Angel, c. 1952
Red and white chalk over black chalk
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Venice, Italy)

The Triumph of Alexander the Great, c. 1485 (detail)
Tempera and gilding on panel
Bernardo Rosselli, (Florence, Italy)

Reality is one part of art;
feeling completes it ... 
Before any site and any object,
abandon yourself to you first impression.
If you have really been touched, 
you will convey to others
the sincerity of your emotion.
~Jena-Baptiste Camille Corot

Hesiod Listening to the Inspirations of the Muse, c. 1890
oil on canvas
Edmond-François Aman-Jean (France)

The Hope Hygieia
Roman, 2nd-century copy, c. 130-161, 
after a Greek original of c. 360 BC

"Hygieia, goddess of health, is identified by her snake. She was the daughter of Asclepius, god of medicine (and mythical ancestor of Hippocrates), whose shrines apparently housed sacred serpents. Here Hygieia feeds one some milk."

outside the museum ...

For the LA Times article on the Bernardo Strozzi, Nazi looted painting, click here.

Hope you enjoyed the little art visit and that you are off to a lovely fall.

Blessings and light!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Frank Gehry at LACMA

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, model, 2006-present (in progress)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Frank Gehry
September 13, 2015 - March 20, 2016

Not every person has the same kinds of talents,
so you discover what yours are
and work with them.
~ Frank Gehry

I wish I could start this post by saying that I have some vast knowledge of architecture and Frank Gehry. I mean, I do love the Disney Hall in downtown L.A. and looking at his buildings in photos, but I also just really love places with air conditioning in September! 

Since LACMA is about 5 minutes from me and fits the bill, on all counts ... it seemed like a really good idea to head to the Miracle Mile and get out of my apartment, which was probably in the 90s.

I have to say, the Frank Gehry exhibition was much more extensive and interesting than I'd expected! In part, because it felt like being in a sculpture exhibition and somehow seeing these buildings in miniature was just really cool. So many of them are just beautiful! Anyway ... here goes!

Above and below, an incredible model of the Louis Vuitton Foundation Building in Paris. (Art museum and cultural center.) I really want to see this one in person!

This video, below, has wonderful views of the finished building but it's in French, so if you can't speak french you can just fast forward it along. ;)

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, model
Bilbao, Spain founded October 18, 1997

Here's a short documentary, in English (!) about the museum in Bilbao.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Project model, 1989-2003
Los Angeles, California

I know I draw without taking my pen off the page. I just keep going, and that my drawings I think of them as scribbles. I don't think they mean anything to anybody except to me, and then at the end of the day, the end of the project, they wheel out these little drawings and they're damn close to what the finished building is and it's the drawing ... 
~Frank Gehry

Another view ...

The best advice I've received is to be yourself.
The best artists do that.
~ Frank Gehry

There were screens up in the exhibition with photos of the finished buildings ... The screen below was showing the MARTa Herford Modern Art Museum, which opened in 2005, in Herford, Germany.

For me, every day is a new thing.
I approach each project with a new insecurity,
almost like the first project I ever did.
And I get the sweats.
I go in and start working,
I'm not sure where I'm going.
If I knew where I was going 
I wouldn't do it.
~Frank Gehry

Quanzhou Museum of Contemporary Art,
final design concept mode, 2012
Quanzhou, China

(one of my favorite models!)

Creativity is about play 
and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition.
It's crucial to an artist.
If you know where you are going
and what you are going to do,
why do it?
~Frank Gehry

The Ocean Avenue Project,
Santa Monica, California
One Model
(120-room boutique hotel, retail and residential space, with open public space and museum complex.)

Nationale- Nederlanden Building, site model, 1992-96
Prague, Czech Republic

Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial,
model, 2009-present
Washington, DC

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.
~ Frank Gehry

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Renovation, cross-section model,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
1/4 inch scale

You can look anywhere and find inspiration.
~Frank Gehry

Beach House, model,
Marina del Rey, Califonia
1/2 inch scale

Jazz Bakery, exterior model,
Culver City, California
1/4 inch scale

Liquid architecture. 
It's like jazz - you improvise, you work together, 
you play off each other, you make something, they make something ...
~ Frank Gehry

Jazz Bakery interior model

8150 Sunset, model
West Hollywood, California
1/8 inch scale

8150 Sunset, model

I love that Gehry (based in LA) has so many projects in progress in the L.A. area! This Sunset one, above, the apartments in Santa Monica, the Jazz Bakery, the Beach House in Marina del Ray, and I think there were another couple of residences, as well.

Your best work is your expression of yourself.
Now, you may not be the greatest at it, but when you do it, 
you're the only expert.
~ Frank Gehry

Biomuseo, Museo de la Biodiversidad,
site model, 2000-2014
Panama City, Panama

This is the full documentary on Frank Gehry done by the late Sidney Pollack, in 2007. It was actually playing on a screen inside the exhibition at LACMA. And you can watch it right here! ;)

For some great photos of the LV Building ... Louis Vuitton Building 

The message I hope to have sent is just the example
of being yourself.
~Frank Gehry