Bee Feet, Chocolate Shoes, Very Spiky Heels, and the CFFC Photo Challenge: Feet

There’s diversity of foot size in this post. Let’s go small-medium-large…

Bee feet clinging to the butterfly weed

Bee feet. This one was snuggling the butterfly weed in Piedmont Park on Sunday morning.

 

What goes on feet (unless they’re bee feet)? — shoes of course. But I saw these in the window of a candy store in Asheville NC.

Asheville NC - chocolate shoes

Not quite life-size, but almost. I say the bigger the better if they’re chocolate.

Moving on to real shoes…

Red shoes with lobster - in a NYC window

Seen when window shopping in New York City. Candy-colored but not candy – would these be appropriate for a meal at a ‘Red Lobster’ — that is, if you ate lobster?

These are impressive too…

NYC again. These have a look of speed, ironic, for something that looks hard to walk in. If super-heroes wore spike heels (and *sigh* if they’re women drawn by men I suppose they do) then these might be just the ticket.

One more. Where else but NYC? These spiky ones remind me of the bee feet, and they could be a little difficult to wear if you can’t fly. 

There. I got my shoe-fascination taken care of for a while, thanks to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

What do you think – where would you wear shoes like these (well, except the chocolate ones)?

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Amsterdam: Keukenhof Gardens (and the CFFC challenge: Eyes)

You may think I’m reaching, using Keukenhof Gardens for the CFFC “Eyes” challenge, but it’s hard to think of anything but our eyes — staring goggle-eyed and visually dazzled — when confronted with so much color and light and so many beautiful blooms.

Eye dazzling displays – rivers of tulips. And see the fellow tourists on the upper left? We were part of a river of people touring that river of blooms. 

When we first planned to stop-over in Amsterdam for a few days on the way back from a tour, I was thinking about art, not flowers. “But wait –,” I thought, “We’ve only been to Amsterdam in autumn. If we’re going in the spring, shouldn’t we see tulips?” Sam agreed to a tulip tour, so we booked early. After all, we were going to be there Easter weekend. There would be crowds. And so there were…

The fields alongside were full of color too…

Tulip fields - alongside Keukenhof Gardens

Tulips and hyacinths in the fields alongside Keukenhof Gardens.

I’ve since read that there were a record 200,000 visitors to Keukenhof over the 4 days of Easter weekend. Compare that to 236,000 visitors in the entire first year the park was open – 1950. We were 2 of the multi-thousand there on Good Friday. It was “hot, flat, and crowded” (thank you Thomas L Friedman) but still drop-dead gorgeous. Keukenhof crowds - Easter Weekend 2019We took a tour bus from the Central Train Station, a ride of 30-40 minutes depending on traffic. I later read that by Saturday, traffic was so heavy that there were problems just getting to the Gardens, and tourists went into the fields along the way instead. We saw that happening on Friday too — here are some pictures I took out the bus window on the way back to Amsterdam…

Tourists in the tulip fields near Keukenhof Gardens - Amsterdam 2019 -- Driving by Tulip Fields

Tourists in the tulip fields near Keukenhof Gardens – Amsterdam 2019 

Near Keukenhof - Posing in the tulip fields - snapshot out the bus window

Posing in the tulips

 

Snapshot out the bus window - posing in the tulip field near Keukenhof

Snapshot out the bus window – posing in the tulip field near Keukenhof

Meanwhile, no flowers were harmed in the actual gardens — Is this peak tulip or what?

Keukenhof Gardens - iphonography

Iphonography – one more look before we go.

Keukenhof wasn’t exactly a bucket-list item, but now that I’ve been there I’m tempted to count it as such.  Tulips and other spring bulbs were among the first things I planted when I bought a house. Along with violets, irises, and peonies, they’re the plants most likely to evoke a sense of home and childhood memories. The graceful arc of a stem, light slanting through blossoms, or the heady scent of a large bed of blossoms in sunlight are enough to transport me.

I guess I qualify as a flower-fanatic… do you?

 

Keukenhof Gardens

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes

Missing Kusama: Yayoi Kusama at the High Museum in Atlanta, traveling on…

We’re in the Infinity Room at the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the High Museum last December – suspended in the cosmos while the “stars” above and below seem to go on forever. In reality, the little walkway we’re standing on is the center of a tiny room. But like the Tardis, or Snoopy’s doghouse, or Harry Potter’s tent, it seems much bigger inside than outside.

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room November 2018 - High Museum Atlanta

Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. Yayoi Kusama – High Museum Atlanta GA

Outside Infinity - Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room at the High Museum Atlanta

What’s outside Infinity? — the gate-keeper.  Only three can go in at one time… and for less than a minute, but we’ve happily stood in a long queue to get this far.

Infinity Room Door - red dots

Another door to infinity, this time with Kusama’s signature soft sculpture forms with obliterating red dots. Peeking in the door at changeover time is almost as interesting as going inside…

That was December. The Kusama show closed February 17, a week ago yesterday. I’d bought tickets early on for November and December dates, not realizing how much I’d want to go again or how soon it would sell out. Then I saw the film Kusama: Infinity, and when the museum did a surprise opening up of ticket sales on the last week, of course I went online to get one. Problem:  I was number 29,593 (-ish) in queue.  I didn’t get a ticket.

So, today I’ll revisit my photos (and wish I’d taken more).

Island in the Sea # 1 - Yayoi Kusama, 1953 - gouache and painted pastel on paper

This small early piece was one of my favorites — Island in the Sea # 1 – Yayoi Kusama, 1953 – gouache and painted pastel on paper. 

Yayoi Kusama 1955 quote - High Museum Atlanta, exhibition 2018-2019

Kusama came to the U.S. and moved to New York. Her soft sewn sculptural work inspired Claes Oldenburg to start his series, her early infinity spaces inspired Lucas Samaras’ successful mirrored rooms, and an exhibition in which she papered the gallery with copies of the same image over and over led Andy Warhol to the idea. But Kusama’s career did not take off like theirs, and she went back to Japan in 1974.

High Museum Exhibition 2018-2019

My Eternal Soul” – recent work – High Museum Exhibition 2018-2019

Yayoi Kusama - as an artist...

Kusama has said the main theme of her art is obsession, that her work is based on “developing her personal psychological problems into art.” When she returned to Japan in the 1970s, she found a mental hospital offering art therapy and checked herself in. She’s almost 90 now, still living in the hospital, going out every day to work in her studio nearby.

One of the many ways Kusama was ahead of her time is how her work expands to encompass us all. It seems made for today’s obsession: social media.  In this show, everyone got into the selfie spirit, even me.

Infinity box at the High Museum exhibition 2018-2019

This was a box to peek into, not to step into.

 

Forget “exit through the gift shop” — viewers got a chance to participate in the theme of obliteration when leaving the exhibition through (of course) the Obliteration Room. Given a set of six multi-colored multi-sized adhesive dots, we each chose where to place our own dot allotment in a room that started out all white.

Kusama Obliteration Room - High Museum Atlanta - November 2018

Kusama Obliteration Room – the first week of the exhibition. High Museum, Atlanta GA

Kusama Obliteration Room - High Museum exhibition 2018-2019, Atlanta GA

Here’s the room a month later…

Kusama Obliteration Room - High Museum exhibition 2018-2019, Atlanta GA

.. by this time it was getting hard to find a place that didn’t already have a dot. 

The exhibition has moved on now. Installation for the next one must have begun – here’s what we saw when walking past the museum a few days ago —

High Museum Atlanta GA - banner for Phillips Collection

Putting up the banner for European Masterworks from the Phillips Collection, opening April 6.

 

Now, late again for Cee’s Foto Challenge – CFFC: Color of Your Choice — what color shall I choose? I’m going with “Dot” – can you blame me?

Film, Kusama Infinity – trailer

High Museum exhibitions:

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

Art from the Phillips Collection

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018, and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC): Places People Live

One more post on Places People Live:  I couldn’t pass up a chance to blog my favorite Atlanta homes tour — the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour.

It comes in October, and this year I timed two fall trips with a week at home between them just so I’d be here for the tour.

Barbie - Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018

“Hooray – it’s time for the tour!” (Barbies seemed to be a decorative thread this year. It was near enough to Halloween that there were zombie Barbies too)

 

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour - interior

There’s always lots of art…

 

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour - detail over doorway

… and individual decoration. I loved the sculptural arrangement of these metallic bowls over a doorway.

 

Castleberry Hill Loft tour - home/studio

Another loft home, with signs that it’s also this artist’s studio (brick walls and paint on the table: a little like my fantasy-future, back when I was an art student).

 

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour Dino detail

Dino detail: I covet the T-Rex planter.

 

Castleberry Hill Tour favorite - 2018

This was a favorite – serene, elegant and livable.

 

Stairwell with art - Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018

It’s on three levels…

stairwell Castleberry Hill Loft tour 2018

I do love the big-dipper light fixture at the bottom of the stairs.

 

Rooftop view - Castleberry Hill Loft tour 2018

It was a beautiful blue October day – perfect for rooftop views…

 

balcony - Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018

… and balconies

 

Castleberry Hill tour - balcony 2018

… and more balconies.

As we were leaving, we saw this group in the Gulch. We thought it might be a movie-site walking tour, or maybe a Walking Dead location tour. Lots of filming gets done in Atlanta these days.

Could it be a Walking Dead tour?

 

We appreciate the Castleberry Hill tour because it’s different, more ‘personal’ than some of the other local homes tours, which lately have featured places staged for sale, or even newly built homes that have never been occupied and are open for viewing anyway (are you listening, Modern Atlanta Tour?).

Castleberry Hill is a little quirky, and fun; the neighborhood seems welcoming, with residents always willing to talk about the advantages of inclusivity. Plus, all residences are within walking distance, so we get a good feel for the area.

— For me, it encourages that vision of my “fantasy future loft” — what’s your fantasy future home?

 

More on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Cee’s Challenge: Places People Live

Castleberry Hill Neighborhood

 

Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, at the High Museum, Atlanta (Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: CFFC)

Step up Atlanta – there are only three days left to see the High Museum’s exhibition Winnie the Pooh, Exploring a Classic. It’s an immersive exhibition with many original drawings by illustrator E.H. Shepard, plus a room full of Pooh memorabilia, photographs, play-spaces, and reproductions of the toys.

To me the drawings were a revelation. I’d seen (and loved) the books, but the preparatory drawings are on a whole new level. There’s more depth and detail in the drawings than in the modern editions of the books.

"Do you think it's a Woozle?" - Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic - “Pooh and Piglet go hunting,” Winnie-the-Pooh chapter 3, pen and ink sketch by E. H.Shepard, 1926. From the collection of Clive and Alison Beecham © The Shepard Trust

“Do you think it’s a Woozle?” – Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic – “Pooh and Piglet go hunting,” Winnie-the-Pooh chapter 3, pen and ink sketch by E. H.Shepard, 1926. From the collection of Clive and Alison Beecham © The Shepard Trust

We see Pooh and Piglet (above) from behind, but they’re still individual personalities. I hadn’t seen Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and company for a while. Modern anime eyes and googley Disney eyes and exaggeration are so intrusive that I’d almost forgotten the joys of subtle expression, compact movement and economy of line.

Another revelation: the trees. The subject may be Piglet in the flood or three friends discovering Roo, but the forest is a character too.

A very small animal entirely surrounded by water - E.H. Shepherd, 1926

“It’s a little anxious to be a very small animal entirely surrounded by water” – E.H.Shepard, 1926

E.H. Shepherd, Winnie-the-Pooh, Exploring a Classic, High Museum Atlanta

E.H. Shepard, Winnie-the-Pooh, Exploring a Classic, High Museum Atlanta

The Three Pine Trees - High Museum, Winnie the Pooh Exploring a Classic

The Three Pine Trees – High Museum, Winnie the Pooh, Exploring a Classic, High Museum, Atlanta

Re-reading the first book, I found only one written description of the trees. The illustrations carry it after that.

It was a fine spring morning in the forest as he started out. Little soft clouds played happily in a blue sky, skipping from time to time in front of the sun as if they had come to put it out, and then sliding away suddenly so that the next might have his turn. Through them and between them the sun shone bravely; and a copse which had worn its firs all the year round seemed old and dowdy now beside the new green lace which the beeches had put on so prettily.

They’re a little bit of ancient Britain shining first into the 20th, and now the 21st Century, a remnant of enchanted forests.

Here’s a photograph of E.H. Shepard…

E.H. Shepard, photograph by Howard Coster, 1932, given by Mrs Norah Shepard © National Portrait Gallery, London.

E.H. Shepard, photograph by Howard Coster, 1932, given by Mrs Norah Shepard © National Portrait Gallery, London. (High Museum, Winnie-the-Pooh, Exploring a Classic)

… and A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin Milne and Pooh Bear, by Howard Coster, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London.

A.A. Milne, Christopher  Robin Milne and Pooh Bear, by Howard Coster, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Photograph of A. A. Milne and Christopher Robin
From: Correspondence and other material relating to the illustration and publication of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and ‘Now we are six’, 1925-1926.

 

And at the end, wall-sized “Good-Bye”… 

High Museum, Winnie the Pooh Exploring a Classic

“Of course it isn’t really good-bye… the Forest will always be there, and anyone who is Friendly with Bears can find it.”

And one more thing, for a little color, and a little fun, (and in case you’re wondering how I can possibly work this post into this week’s Cee’s Photo Challenge: Teal/Aqua/Seafoam/Turquoise)… who doesn’t love picture cut-outs?

Eeyore/Piglet cutout - High Museum Winnie the Pooh Exploring a Classic

Today’s question: are you Friendly with Bears?

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

More on the exhibition: High Museum

Murals, Art and MARTA, and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

A sunny day last May, a walk to the neighborhood grocery store, and a discovery when passing the MARTA train station (that’s “Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority”) — there’s painting going on — it’s not just MARTA now, it’s MARTA.

Midtown MARTA Station painter

Midtown MARTA Station mural artist – Andrew Catanese

Yes – the wheels are off the ground.

And, it’s not just a one-side-of-the-door thing, there are several murals… and more painters.

Midtown MARTA Station mural - painter's helpers

Painter’s helpers – just starting out

The murals were commissioned by MARTA’s Artbound program. We watched as the weeks went by and the details got filled in… here are more recent photos.

Atlanta Midtown MARTA Station mural

I like to think of this next one as “Sheep may safely graze” but maybe they’re goats (they are across the street from the Dancing Goat coffee shop). A nearby sign tells us that the mural “celebrates Midtown as a diverse and collaborative community that welcomes all” – so I’m thinking safely grazing is accurate enough.
Atlanta Midtown MARTA Station mural

Details are lots of fun…

Atlanta Midtown MARTA Station mural

“Picasso eyes?”

Atlanta Midtown MARTA Station mural

Goose with glasses…

Atlanta Midtown MARTA Station mural

Peeking parrot, or bird with hands?

I see now that there were volunteer days — I wish I’d known, it would have been fun to go and help paint.  Meanwhile,  there’s a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the station on Monday July 23, for dedication of the murals. I’m putting that on my calendar. And, after looking at the page about the Artbound program, I see I’m going to have to get busy and tour more MARTA Station Art.

More about the Midtown MARTA Murals 

and MARTA’s Artbound program

 

Waterfalls, Lotus Ponds, Atlanta’s Midtown Open Garden Stroll, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Sunday was the 4th year we’ve gone to the “Midtown Open Garden Stroll” in Atlanta – it’s always a joy, and speaking of liquid, it almost always rains at least some time during the day. This year there was thunder rumbling as we walked home, but the rain held off until later. We were lucky to see the sun shining on garden ponds and fountains. Here’s a favorite from this year’s tour —

Garden Pool with waterfall - Atlanta Midtown Open Garden Stroll 2018

This one had everything: lotus flowers, koi, and electric-blue dragonflies who were determined not to sit still for their close-up.

 

Lotus Pool - Atlanta Midtown Open Garden Stroll 2018

Here’s the lotus side of the pool.

Atlanta Midtown Open Garden Stroll sign

Signs identify homes on the tour, indicating which part of the yard/garden is open.

Atlanta Midtown Open Garden Stroll 2017 - frog planter

This frog planter is from a front garden on last year’s tour.

Side Garden - Atlanta Midtown Open Garden Stroll  2017

Here’s a side garden from last year’s tour – even the narrow space between homes is beautifully planned and tended.

Back Garden - Atlanta Midtown Open Garden Stroll  2017 and 2018

There’s a koi pond at the end of the walkway in this serene back yard garden.

Atlanta Midtown Open Garden Stroll 2017: we liked this house across the street from one of the open gardens..

Sometimes there are surprises along the way. This house was across the street from one of last year’s open gardens. I was fascinated by the colors, the roofline, the arched windows and door. 

I’m lost in admiration for these gardens and the people who design them, care for them, and let all us strangers tromp in to see their private wonderlands. But I have a new outlook on garden tours now that I no longer have a back yard of my own. I can still identify and appreciate plants. If I see something new and different I want to know what it is, but there’s been a shift in my regard. They seem more like garden art, and (at least for now) I’ve lost my possessive instinct. I no longer yearn to have them for my own to nurture. Maybe it’s just laziness, or maybe it’s facing reality that there’s only so much time available. After all, I always liked development work more than maintenance and let’s face it – weeding is maintenance.

Here’s more on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Do you have a favorite local garden tour?