Art

Rome, Italy

Flew into Rome, Italy for one night. Doesn’t seem like it would be enough time, but it was.

The first place I visited in Rome was the Colosseum, which is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome. It’s built of concrete and sand and is the largest amphitheatre ever built.
From the Colosseum, we walked to Il Vittoriano, built in the early twentieth century and honours Italy’s first king.
Afterwards, we made our way to the Piazza di Spagna, at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. It’s one of the most famous squares in Rome and owes its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, seat of the Embassy of Spain among the Holy Sea. This is where I fell in love with these shoes and purse in the Valentino Store.
No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Fontana di Trevi in the Quirinale district. The Trevi Fountain is known as one of the most stunning fountains in the world. Throwing a coin from the right hand over the left shoulder will ensure that you will return to Rome in the future. This is my coin, hoping to return to Rome a third time.
I spent half of the next day at the Vatican City. The Cappella Sistina (Sistine Chapel) serves as the pope’s private chapel. The pope who commissioned Michelangelo’s frescoes in 1508 was Julius II, the nephew of Sixtus IV. Contrary to myth, Michelangelo did not paint on his back, but on a platform of his own devising that extended over half the area of the chapel and allowed him to stand upright. It was moved midway through the project. At no point could Michelangelo look at the work in progress from below, but he was still able to paint images on a vast scale from a distance of a few inches.
After leaving the Vatican, I saw these shoes and they were on sale so I bought them! I put them on and wore them for the rest of the day. They’re not Valentino, but they got bling and I got them in Rome!
Before leaving Rome there was one more artwork I had to see. “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” is the central sculptural group in white marble set in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria. On my last visit to Rome, I did not get a chance to see her so I came today. It was designed and completed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the leading sculptor of his day, who also designed the setting of the Chapel in marble. The church is beautiful and I am glad that I got to visit.

 

Helsinki, Finland

Two days later, we boarded the ferry out of Sweden to Helsinki, Finland.

On the ferry and off to Finland! You can see our hotel to the right side of the photo, it wasn’t too far from the ferry.
On the ferry, there was a lovely mural of the Vasa Ship in one of the stairwell hallways. I love this wall!
Woke up the next morning at sea to a delicious chocolate pastry and a cappuccino.
When we arrived, the first thing we saw was the Helsinki Cathedral. It’s a Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the neighborhood of Kruununhaka in a plaza that is in the center of Helsinki, Finland.
A postcard that I watercolored for one of my friends back home.
In case anyone was wondering where the “Dinner in the Sky” attraction that is seen all over facebook was located, right here! In Helsinki, Finland. This was a block away from our hotel, and no I did not attempt to dine in the sky, it looked kind of scary to me.

Oslo, Norway

The next stop on my vacation was Oslo, Norway. I stayed at a hotel downtown, across the street from the Oslo Central Station.

On the Oslo fjord sightseeing cruise, passing the Aker Brygge waterfront through a maze of islands with picturesque summer houses.

 

A visit to Vigeland Sculpture Park, with more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943) in bronze, granite and cast iron, including The Angry Boy (Sinnataggen in Norwegian), The Monolith (Monolitten) and The Wheel of Life (Livshjulet). All of the statues in the park are naked!

 

I couldn’t help myself from “horsing around” with the statues.

 

One of the highlights of my time in Oslo was visiting the National Gallery Museum, it’s the largest public collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. The gallery’s central attractions include Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and “Madonna”.

 

The Penitent Mary Magdalene by the female Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the featured highlights from the Baroque era. This is one of my favorite all-time master and it was quite a treat to view this artwork in person. I had an amazing time in the museum.

 

Another post card that I watercolored for a friend back in California. It was inspired by The Scream and my time spent in the museum.

Van Gogh Bedroom in Arles

Last weekend I had the privilege of viewing Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles” at the Norton Simon Museum of art in Pasadena. This is the 2nd version  of this painting which is on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago. There are three authentic versions of the Bedroom paintings described in his letters to his brother Theo. The paintings are easily discernible from one another by the pictures on the wall to the right of the bed. The paintings depicts van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles, France, known as the Yellow House.

In April of 1889, van Gogh sent the initial version to his brother regretting that it had been damaged by the flood of the Rhône while he was in the hospital in Arles. His brother Theo proposed to have it relined and sent back to him in order to copy it. This “repetition” in original scale was painted in September of 1889. Both paintings were then sent back to Theo.

Later in the summer of  1889, Van Gogh decided to redo some of his best compositions in a smaller size for his mother and sister. The Bedroom in Arles was amongst the subjects he chose to recreate, this is how he ended up with three versions.

Van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles Second version, September 1889. Oil on canvas, Art Institute of Chicago.
All three versions presented side-by-side, on the left is the first version which hangs in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the second version in the middle hangs at the Chicago Art Institute and the third version on the left is in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.
Close up of Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles Second version, 1889. Oil on canvas, Art Institute of Chicago. Enjoy! I know I did.

Getty Center “London Calling”

On Sunday I visited the J. Paul Getty Museum to catch their “London Calling” and “The Shimmer of Gold” exhibits. They were awesome!

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Lucien Freud’s “Girl With A Kitten” 1947, adorns the entrance to the “London Calling” exhibit.
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His infamous “Girl with a Dog” 1950-51. What an amazing painting. This is the second time I’ve seen it. How lucky am I?
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“Bruce Bernard Seated”, 1996.
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Detail of Bruce Bernard’s hand, look at the awesome brush strokes.
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So my graphic design pet peeves are ligatures. Apparently they were hand-lettering ligatures in Italy during the 1400s. This is suppose to be a ligature of “ffi”. This is part of the “All That Glitters” exhibit.
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The Coronation of the Virgin, 1420. Tempera and gold leaf on panel.
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The Ascension, completed about 1431. Designed by Lorenzo Monaco and completed by Zanobi di Benedetto Strozzi and Battista di Biagio Sanguini, tempera and gold on parchment.

 

2016 Pomona Chalk Festival

Last Saturday I participated in this year’s Pomona Chalk Festival. The them was “My Favorite Book”. I recently received this wonderful book titled “Latinx Comic Book Storytelling” in the mail from the author Frederick Luis Aldama and it has the cover art of one of my favorite cartoonist of all time, Jaime Hernandez so I decided to chalk it!

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“Latinx Comic Book Storytelling” cover art by Jaime Hernandez.
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Making progress on my chalk square…
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My finished square, I hope I did Jaime Hernandez justice, Love and Rockets Forever!

Renaissance Moment at Norton Simon

Last week I visited the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena to look at the Renaissance art in their permanent collection. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to fly all the way to Florence, Italy to see work that was painted by Renaissance masters. They have a lovely collection and these are just a few of my favorites.

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Saint Francis in Prayer by Francisco de Zurburan 1638-39.

 

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St. Cecilia by Guido Reni, 1606.
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Madonna and Child with Adoring Angel by Sandro Filipepi (Botticelli), 1468.
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Madonna and Child with Book by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael), 1502 – 03.
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Coronation of the Virgin Altarpiece by Guariento di Arpo, 1344.

2016 San Fernando Day of the Dead Chalk

This was my first time participating in the San Fernando Day of the Dead Chalk event and it was a lot of fun. The event is quaint and in its 3rd or 4th year. I loved it and can’t wait to do it again next year.

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This was one of my favorite altares. There were so many beautiful ones. I love how colorful it was.
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The theme of this year’s chalk event was “Rock and Roll Heaven” so naturally I chose to pay tribute to the legendary Lemmy Kilmister who passed less than a year ago. He was great.
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With my finished square. I made a little offering to him of a jack-and-coke and a cigarette.
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After leaving the chalk event, me and my friend Michelle stopped by Forest Lawn Cemetery and left our offering at his burial site. We light the candle, drank some jack and coke and put one marigold next to the cigarette.
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His urn was placed in the “Columbarium of Sacred Trust” section, under a beautiful statue. He is directly across the green belt from another legend, Ronnie James Dio.
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We couldn’t be in this cemetery without stopping by and placing flowers on Dio’s sarcophagus.
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Peace be with them.

To see the squares of the other chalkers, look on my chalk blog here: girlwithchalk blogspot.

2016 Gesso Italiano Chalk Festival in San Diego

This year I attempted to chalk the Roman Colosseum. I had a great time chalking.

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And so it begins…
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Break time, enjoyed the “Chile-Mango-Limeade” from the Little Italy Farmer’s Market. Honestly, I cannot wait until I come back to the Farmer’s Market to get another one of these.
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This is a pic of me working on the square. Photo by San Diego Photographer Steven Anderson. He always takes great photos!
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Finito!

Check out the squares from the other chalkers on my chalk blog here: GirlWithChalk Blogspot.