Monday, July 23, 2012

A similar trip in 2012


Clark Museum
Well, I told everyone that I bailed the boat yesterday, and predicted the bailing would make rain today, and it is raining hard this morning with thunder as well.  No fishing just now.
I did catch four big bluegill off the dock and fed Keith and Gio bluegill bits for breakfast yesterday.  Gio had his first taste.  He liked them better with ketchup.  Dewey also had his first taste.
About 55 years ago I overhead my mother wondering aloud how my grandfather could eat bluegills done in just a little water, which he did for the rest of his life after a gall bladder attack.  It taught me they would not be good that way.  So, I've never cooked them that way.
Yesterday I put a bit of garlic on them and cooked tiny Lime Lake sized bluegills in a little water.  They were delicious.  Live and learn.

Dana, the Jeneral, Eliz, and I went up to the Clark and saw the new show called "Unearthed"
which was a collection of burial art dug up in the North Eastern part of China along the Silk road reflecting tombs from the 5th to the 11th century.  It was great.  There was a complete sarcophagus from Song Shaozu who died in 477 AD which had been taken apart, shipped and reassembled
(see the photo in this article)
and many great clay figures depecting vehicles like an oxcart that would take the dead to the promised land and scary figures that would protect them along the way as well as guard the crypt from robbers.  These are called zhenmushou. 
The horses shown were really fat, like the one I rode in Vegas.  There were also camels.  Camels were associated with wealth and status in 550-570.

My new word of the day was mingqi

One of my old words from the trip to museum with Harvey and Alice was revisited.
There was an ewer here with a decorative tiny chicken and a handle in the form of a dragon.

These diggings were a long way from Kung Ming where Gregg's dad did the photography; however, at the upper section of the Clark were photographs that used the same technique of pairing the past shot with a present shot.  We did not get to visit that part yesterday, but Gregg might like to see how the photographing pairings compare with his work.

I could not photograph the "Unearthed" displays, but I could photograph the rest of the permanent collection. 


I liked this painting of the Virgin and Child with Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist by the Netherlandish artist Quentin Massys painted about 1520 to 1525.,Here the religious babies look like they are from the Netherlands and the scene beyond is very green and wonderful.



This is the second in a series of three paintings that depict a burglary. This one show the robbers being confronted and arrested. Here is what should happen to my tree robbing neighbors, I thought as I studied the paintings, especially the angry outrage on the faces of those doing the arresting. The artist is Louis Leopoid Boilly and the date 1810, just about the time my Ashcraft ancestors were opening up the land in the Southern tier for settlement.


My notes are weak on this one. Here was a young girl (nymph?) being attacked by a ferocious dragon and defended by a fellow riding a flying creature. Great stuff!

Photobucket And of course, I had to reshoot this one of David Teniers "The Younger Card Players". Here is a fine poker painting showing the most negative possibilities in card playing. In addition, we were to revisit some of my favorites: The Winslow Homer paintings, especially the "Undertow" the Women of Amphissa who were hosted by the women of their enemies after they had spent too much time drinking in celebration of Bachus, the god of wine.. Plutarch said this was a lesson in charity.

Afterwards, I had mahi mahi out on some lake in Massachusettes on the way back from the Clark. 
It was delicious. 
It was great to find something on the otherwise pub food and mostly fried menu that I could eat.  The Jeneral found this dish for me.  Thanks, Jen.

The lake was much larger than Burden Lake, but much noisier.  Perhaps this is not such a bad location afterall. 
It certainly is quiet today as we prepare food for the relatives joining us soon for a gathering. As I post, the rain has been replaced by fine sunshine. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Trip to Massachusettes

Note: This is still a post in progess.  Elizabeth has more photos on here camera and I'll just post them here when I get them. I need to get things written and posted or I forget things.
I'll also edit tomorrow.  So if you are a really detailed reader, you should return and reread later.  It will get better.

Elizabeth and I went up to the Clark to see the Pissarro exhibit.  I could not take photos there, but here is some sense of what we saw:

I am not thrilled with impressionists, but I enjoyed seeing these.  I certainly enjoyed his celebration of the common laboring people.  He was one of the first to do that.  I liked that he thought labor was admirable, but that it should be balanced with leisure.  He especially celebrated farm labor.  In the cities capitalism had destroyed the chance for common people to be comfortable and happy.  He did an entire book on the evils of capitalism in the cities.
Most of his work reflects pretty young women working in the fields, picking apples, working as maids.  
What I learned about myself is that if a painting reflects the rich beauty of the human face, I like it better than those that try to celebrate the human figure or people in a scene without managing the face.  Impressionists can do that, since what they depict are not the kind of realistic details that allow us to interact with a face.  It hit me that Pissaro did manage to give us a sense of the personality via the face.
One painting was of himself reading in 1893.  It could have been something out of the 1960's.  He looked just like many of my old friends.  Once there was a decent reflection of human personality, then the impressionist creation of the easy chair and the rug in small brush strokes worked for me.  Pissaro compared making those small brush stokes over and over to the same kind of labor a farm person does when they do their tasks over and over.  It gives a new slant to repetition.  A sweeper might provide service without drugery.  One painting celebrates washing dishes.  
There were many celebrating the harvest.  It was a different take on farm work than Hawthorne had after he lived a Brook Farm and did some of it.  Was it romantic?

I was interested in The Pork Butcher - 1883 as it was a sweet painting with no blood. A woman was doing fine cuts on the meat.  Nothing was hanging.

Sad was the story of his daughter Jean, called Minette, who died.  He painted her as she declined.
After seeing the technique of using flat planes high and behind the main focus of a painting, I went to see Winslow Homer's undertow, one of my favorites.  However, I did not like his plain sky now that I had seen what could be done there.  I love all the drama and the action and the water.  Maybe the guy on the left is a bit overdone.  However, this dull, grey sky needs something more.  

Francis William Edmonds - City and Country Beaux
I got a good laugh out of this one. However, it was also a very different take than Pissaro on the city versus the country.  Here the county fellow is a bumpkin and the city fellow is polished.

Very similar was this one

Here is a cool painting called The Card Player's from 1646, 300 years before I was born.    David Teners the Younger.

This painting was about burglars being arrested, but I thought I use it the next time I talk about rules discussions in poker.

In the Prado I had a favorite painting of Saint Jerome. He was an interesting religious character who live in a cave and was totally devoted to God.  As an old man there are other sorts of meanings in the holding of the skull, a reminder of death.

There was a couple paintings done by Goya. This one is called Autumn.  I caught the Goya in this woman with the basket on her head and it reminded me of the Prado.

I can't remember the name of this one.  But it is just wonderful.  Here is what I mean about faces.

How could I not like this next painting?  It is called, The Amorous Proposal and is an old man's fantasy. Francois Le Moyne, a French painter is the artist.  The girl's youth shines out against the dark sense of the old man. I have had a card with this painting on it on my dresser since my last visit.

Outside other sculptures picked up the themes of Pissarro.  They were very well done.

We walked along a nice wooded road and path to get to the newest part of the Museum and see some interesting modern art.

Basically the artist put together fine bits of found aluminum and other metal so that it looks from afar like woven fabric.  It was quite decortative and beautiful and showed an amazing process.
I did not take photos of the art; I did of the path.

On out way out we had lunch at this place.

I had a wonderful salad with grilled prunes, granny apples, Gorgonzola  large walnuts over greens and dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette that they make there at the restaurant.  This place is a bit upscale, but we sat in these large tall backed upholstered chairs and just had a fine time.  We were early and the only ones there for a long while.  Elizabeth had some seafood, but it did not set well on her stomach.  I tried one scallop and my stomach liked it.  I drank an IPA called Lost Sailor.
I think Saranac is a better IPA, but it was good to have a local brew.

The bathrooms were uniquely marked

I guess they wanted us to figure out which was which.  It hardly mattered since they were for one person at a time.

On the way back we stopped here:

There was a lot of drumming in the small temple.  This temple was being painted.  Tomorrow is a big celebration, an anniversary of sorts.  It was interesting to see all this.  We don't yet know what it means.

Here is an interesting way to build a bench.  Are the sandwiched sections there because they needed more height or to act as nailers or to hold the seat together or for some symbolic reason.  All the benches had them.  I may steal this design.  I sure have lots of short pieces of pressure treated wood that I brought back from Ann Marie's.

On our way home we stopped at the Plum Blossom 
outside of Troy along route 7 and just across the street from Ron's fish fry.  It is a fine sit down Chinese place and the food was all good.  I had Peking duck...well,  Elizabeth and I had Peking duck.   It came over a fine bunch of fresh mixed vegetables: squash, broccoli, little corn, carrots.  I upgraded to fried rice and started with a delicious chicken corn soup.  We took most of Elizabeth's sesame chicken home for another snack.  Nice prices as well.  Strong tea and noodles with sweet/sour or mustard dip came with the meal.  Maybe the tea and the coffee at the Clark helped keep me up into early morning.

71st Birthday visit

NOTE:  At the end of this post it seems sometimes to repeat itself.  I can't quite figure how to get that out of the post.  My intentio...