Its been a busy week. Judi and Robin from WetCanvas came to DC to meet me and we have spent four days together. Wonderful to meet them both and its been an art extravaganza and even though we all religiously carried our sketchbooks everywhere we went, we didn't do any drawing at all!
Thursday we went to the National Gallery. In the East Wing (Contemporary Art) there was a lovely exhibition of Rousseau paintings and a superb exhibition of Sheelers work - not an artist I knew before. We also managed the lower floor of the West Wing (Classical Art) which included a wonderful exhibition of drawings including da Vinci, Raphael, Picasso, Duhrer and many others. Wonderful bronzes too by Degas (including The Little Dancer and many of horses too) and Rodin.
Friday we went back to the National Gallery to see the Bellini, Titian and Giorgone exhibition. I was particularly taken by the painting of fabrics in those work and Titian in particular impressed me. After a fabulous lunch in the Sculpture garden (photos last post) we went to the National Portrait Gallery which also includes a section of very contemporary art - mostly sculpture and installation work. There were a number of pieces that I liked there (forgot to write down who or what, DOH!). Also two Hoppers - one of my favourite artists. We had a great evening in Adams Morgan with another couple of old friends who joined us and had a great evening that ended in an Ethiopian restaurant. Yesterday we took the boat trip to Mt Vernon. Early start but worth it. A peaceful and scenic hour and half ride down the Potomac to Mt Vernon which is in an idyllic setting overlooking the river. The architecture is lovely with white washed walls and red shingle rooves set in beautiful countryside.
I fell in love with the garden which even at the end of the growing season is a riot of colour with black-eye susans, sea holly, cannas, marigolds and lots of busy lizzies. Great use of box hedges.
I found this little (about three foot) beach as we waited for the boat back to DC - teeny waves lapped at the river edge and a stack of driftwood, wonderfully worn and textured laying in the sand.
We spent the evening in Georgetown which is a delighful DC suburb, very busy with restaurants and shops. The architecture is very reminiscent of England and I always feel at home here.
I finally got an photo of this to post on here. I'm not entirely happy with it but can't figure out why its not quite right. I might play with it some more. If you comment please note that her adoring Grandmother looks at my blog! :-) The photo has come out much darker than the drawing.
Finding time here in Iowa to think more about art and trying to gather thoughts and make lists of directions I want to move in. I've been taken by an interest in architecture and particularly urban architecture which might make you laugh after my comment a couple of posts back about not wanting to be able to see my neighbours and a leaning towards a hermit like existance! Also as I think I said before, still life of seemingly unrelated objects.
Hoping to get out and do some plein aire sketching here - hope I can find some of the legendary barns of Iowa. Or maybe I will just do corn fields! Would also like to spend a day down on the Mighty Mississippi painting.
I've had trouble getting to the internet to post the next stage of our journey. NO art work this week as I was totally uninspired by anything - oh except the second portrait for the wetcanvas class but I forgot to photo that to put on here. Doh!
So we had four days at the Lake of the Ozarks, central Missouri. Great lazy time with family. A great deal too much alcohol and food but lots of fresh air, swimming in the lake, boating and paddling.
Wonderful sunsets too.
Bit too crowded to by idyllic - I think I must be turning into a hermit as the thought of even being able to see my neighbours fills me with horror. Maybe thats too many years of big city living!
Driving back to Kansas City we crossed the Missouri river.
Monday we left to come to Iowa for a couple of weeks - a couple of photos of Iowa countryside - just realised I got photos with not an ear of corn in sight! Miracles do happen!
Am hoping to get out and do some painting while we are here but I can't say I find it very inspiring here either. Hope I can find some pretty barns somewhere.
And just to alleviate any fears that I have been overworking myself .........
Its been too long! We left Mexico City a week ago tomorrow. Wednesday was filled with tearful goodbyes. We had a wonderful two years there and it was sad to leave.
We flew out to Dallas and I managed a couple of sketches - one of fellow travellers on the plane from Mexico City to Dallas/Fort Worth and one of our plane before we embarked on the last leg to Denver.
From Denver we trekked up to the property up on the Wyoming border near Fort Collins. Incredibly peaceful and isolated and very beautiful. The only thing missing was water! Still there were lots of trees, mainly pine but also wonderful whispering aspens in the breeze. Think we would have to plant some of those on our little piece of land if we decided to settle there.
We headed north and then skimmed the Wyoming border and into Nebraska and across the whole empty width of Nebraska. Lots of flat nothing! Occaisional mesas and rocky outcroppings but nothing much else.
Near the Iowa border the trees started to multiply as we ran alongside the Platte river. Once into Iowa we turned south and headed down Missouri to Kansas City and Smithville.
Sketch of Jean's Flower shop that Karen owns in this sleepy mid-western town. The countryside here is wonderful, gently rolling hills and pretty trees, oak, pine, aspens, willows and poplars. More peace and quiet - a great contrast to the hustle and bustle of Mexico City.
I've also managed to work on the class from WC using Derwent Drawing Pencils and here is my version of the image we were given to draw for the class. (Sorry lousy photo)