July 24, 2011

Boston Proper 1st Day

After my Sudbury experience was over at the Wayside Inn, I headed back into Boston via a shuttle with the other photogs. Many were headed to the airport, but my rooomie for the workshop, Caroline, and I weren't flying out that day. I, was waiting for my family to fly into Boston that night, Caroline had scheduled a flight the following day so she could take in some Boston culture. It was great to have a friend to troll around the museums with.

Our first stop was the MFA....Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I would like to say that I walked into the museum with a confidant knowledge of art. But that would be far from the truth. I have been to the Dallas Museum, but that was for the Egyptian exhibit, and we didn't venture any farther in due to time. Abilene's museums are great for a city our size, but there are no Rembrandt's, DaVinci's, Rodins, Veneers, Monets...you get the point. I was blessed to be with Caroline as she has a Masters in Fine Arts and she was a wealth of knowledge. I am sure I seemed as though I was about 6 years old and at Disneyland for the first time. My eyes were huge and I had a million questions, to which Caroline knew all the answers.

Here is the beautiful ceiling that greeted us when we arrived.

I think I could have stayed in the MFA all day and still would not have been ready to leave. There was something so amazing about standing right in front of a painting that I had seen on a movie or tv show, or in a book, that was painted 600 years ago. The original. The brush strokes, the lighting so carefully painted. I felt as though I was on the verge of tears over and over. I do believe that I have fallen in love with art. I was enticed to the MFA by the Chihuly glass exhibit. It was an amazing show, and SO beautifully put together. Here is an interesting link on how he creates his glass and the painstaking process of designing the exhibit. Chihuly's exhibit travels, so there are many opportunities to see his work.

Below are some of Chihuly's exhibits within the museum.

It was the shiny colors of Chihuly that brought me to the MFA never dreaming that seeing the paintings and sculpture would rock my world as I knew it. I still tear up thinking about the sculptures of Christ many dating back to 1200 AD and the old Italian artists who painted the icons exhibited. It was all amazing. Most of these works below were created between 900-1500 AD.

The Picasso's...well they were...hmmmm...odd. But it was cool to see on a large wall a comparison of Picasso's work as a 20 year old, then as a 50 year old, and then 70 year old. It was interesting that the Picasso we all imagine...was only his later work. His work in his early to mid years looked what we would think would be...normal. But had he not been so abnormal he might not be so talked about today.

Once we finished up the MFA we quickly walked to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. We only had 20 minutes before it closed, not near enough time to take it all in. The museum was like no other. It featured a center courtyard set in Roman times with the foliage switched out each season. The collection was owned by Isabella Stewart Gardner and her husband, Jack. She died in 1924, but her life's goal was to bring beauty to our young country. Here is a link to click over to learn about the museum.. Here is a link ot the museum. Each large room within the three levels was decorated as though it was a large living room. Each room, and there were about 4 rooms per floor, filled with art that hung on the wall, along with statues and furniture to complete the look of the room. The rooms were decorated from top to bottom, each with special moldings and fabric coverings for the walls. It felt as though I was in an old castle just wandering from one room to another. I wish I could have gone back to the "Izzy" and if I ever make it back to Boston it will be at the top of my list to return. There was no photography allowed in the Izzy :(.

Once our museum tour was completed Caroline and I parted ways. She back to her hotel to meet friends and me to my hotel to wait for my sweet family to arrive. I ordered some yummy pizza for the family to eat as by the the time they arrived it was 9:30pm. Too late to head out. But we all settled in with the lights of Boston outside our hotel window and rested up for our tour of Boston that would start the next day.

July 22, 2011

Boston Workshop

I am back home from several wonderful whirlwind weeks of wandering. Wandering to and fro in the northern part of the United States. My sweet husband delivered me to the Abilene airport very early...(before the 5's as Judy would say), as I was en route to a much anticipated photography workshop in Boston.

I have been walking the fence in the last two years between academia and photography. Each day one side pulling me away from the other. When I make a picture with my camera and I see a smile from the person who has commissioned me to make that picture I feel as though I am right where I need to be. Then there is a wonderful world of learning, books, literature, bible, social sciences, research...I love it, too. I am driven to find a way to combine these two worlds. I think that is what I was hoping this workshop would do for me. It would bring me greater understanding of where my emotive yearnings meet the world around me. I am still a long way from where I can see these two places collide, but I am certainly a step or two closer.

The workshop was wonderful, among many activities I learned how to make an old fashioned VanDyke print, how to create an encaustic collage (wax coated collage), how to make a dress for a model/client out of plan fabric and some ribbon on location. It was a creative smorgisborg for my brain.

The workshop was filled with awesome photographers. Each amazing and unique. It was a beautiful group to spend 3 days with.
Here is a pic of two the girls I hung out with quite a bit. Peggy and Caroline.

Another great character of the weekend was the Inn the workshop was held at. The Wayside Inn, in Sudbury, Massachusetts. If you are familiar with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (He wrote the poem about Paul Revere's ride) at all, you might have heard the name of the Wayside Inn within his poetry. He was a great fan of the Inn and wrote many of his works there in the tavern. The oldest part of the Inn was built in 1716 when it was a home, but then the Howe Family added on to the home and made it an Inn during the late 1700's. It has been an operating Inn since then. It was truly amazing. The Inn had SO much character, and it was amazing to stay there. Here is a pic of my bed in room #4 (which is not haunted, btw). Rooms 9 & 10 have been visited by all sorts of ghostbusters through the years. Jerusha Howe, the daughter of the homeowner, is reported to have been hanging out there for the last hundred years. Hers was a story of a longing for her love who left for England, and meant to return to his love, Jerusha. He never returned, and she died waiting for him.

The link above gives a great description of the Wayside Inn and all it holds on the property. There are no televisions or radios. But one can pass the time looking for the secret drawer in your room containing letters from past Inn customers who have written about their experience. The grounds were so beautiful, lush and green that there wasn't much time spent in the room. Most of us photographers were roaming around with camera (or iphone) in hand taking pictures of everything we could see.
The Wayside Inn is truly a place that I will never forget.

The food served in their dining room was extraordinary. During the 3 days... some of the meals I enjoyed...I had lobster pie, chicken pot pie, whole wheat blueberry pancakes (the old grist mill on the property still grinds the wheat for the Wayside) and lobster eggs benedict, and they have a pastry shop, too. It wasn't a place to even consider calories, but to just enjoy the experience of the history, surroundings...and the fresh blueberry pie.

I decided to use my hipstamatic app on my iphone for most of the pics on this trip. They give it a quirky, artsy feel more than my big camera. I love the way these pictures look.

This was without the hipstamatic app. Just the iphone camera, I loved this color burst coming through the trees.

This is the schoolhouse that Mary brought her lamb. It was moved to the Wayside Inn property to preserve it. Henry Ford invested in this area years ago to give it all new life. He brought Mary's schoolhouse to the property. There is a church you will see below that is called Mary-Martha. Of course I assumed it was named for the Mary and Martha in the Bible, however, upon further investigation and reading I found out it was named for Henry Ford's mother and his mother in law....Mary and Martha.

This was an amazing weekend. The people, the creativeness, the surroundings, the Wayside. Wonderful.

Up next on the blog...from Sudbury to Boston proper.