Sunday, April 30, 2017

Our Favorite Get-Away Spot in California

I'm two days late for my "celebrate the small things" post, but I'm celebrating a trip we took last week to Pacific Grove/Monterey area. This is probably our favorite get-away spot in California, and this year was no exception. It's so peaceful and relaxing: the roar of the surf, the beauty of the waters along the waterfront. The weather was warm and the skies blue and sunny. Families were out along the strips of beach fronting waves and rocks. 

We usually zip over to Carmel to browse the art galleries, too, but this time we didn't. We simply enjoyed walking around in both Pacific Grove and Monterey. Along the waterfront, we encountered several painters out doing "plein air" paintings of rock and water. 

The motel where we stayed was right near the Monarch Habitat that I wrote about once before, but on this trip, so late in spring, the butterflies were gone until their next migration. In Monterey, we went to the current "Cannery Row," an out and out tourist trap not as charming as it once was, but there is a nice monument to the novelist John Steinbeck and many characters from his books. A couple of blocks in town, we came across the house and lab of Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck's marine biologist friend cast as "Doc" in the book, Cannery Row. 

We were in the area two nights and then came home, totally refreshed, in time for the Science March the following day, which was inspiring and refreshing in another way. 

Do you have a favorite "get-away" spot? Is it tied to art? Literature? Nature?

                                            Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog. (You can go to any of these sites to add your name to the list, and also to read some enjoyable blog posts.)

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Beauty of Monet's Paintings

Two weeks ago we went with friends, Sue & Bert Collins, to see the Monet Exhibit and the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, a remarkably beautiful building dating back to the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition. You can learn more about it and see both a photograph of the building and a painting of it by Edwin Deakin HERE . But I couldn't resist taking this photo looking back at the Golden Gate Bridge from the grounds. It prepares you for the beauty of the landscapes to come.

The exhibit focused on Monet's early works, starting from his first exhibited painting, when he was 18, and ending with his paintings in 1862, when he was only 32 years old. I have loved prints of Monet, exhibits of the Impressionists that featured his work, including his later works of the waterlilies and moon bridge in his garden, calendar pictures that I've shared with my after school art class. But it took my breath away to see how accomplished Monet was at the young age of 32 — how many masterpieces he had created. Have a look at a few of the photos I was permitted to take in the museum.

                     There are more,  but I'll stop here. For those who like the work of Monet and are interested in his life,  Stephanie Cowell wrote a wonderful historical novel about his life, Claude & Camille. (Camille was the love of his life, the mother of his children, and his muse for so many of his paintings.) 

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You can order this through Amazon (as well as many other sites.) 

Stephanie also has a nice page about this book on her enjoyable blog:   

Do you enjoy art? The impressionists? Novels about famous artists? Share a favorite book about art or artists.

And have a great day.