Thursday Doors May 31: Rocky Mountain High

Two weekends ago, I traveled out to Denver Colorado to see an amazing concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. For those of you who don’t know of the theater, it’s about 10 miles outside of Denver, in an open air natural HUGE rock structure. While I have a couple photos in the mix, google it as well to get aerial and other views. Simply spectacular.

Otherwise, it was a whirlwind weekend, with only a bit of time to venture out in the city. Which means of course, DOORS. Mixed with some fun and funky art. All in all, a great city, great adventure, and great concert.

The concert was really a top three for me, which says a LOT. Above & Beyond are not just DJ’s, but musicians, humanitarians, and fully ingrained in their music and show. I could weep that I missed their fully orchestrated acoustic gig at the Hollywood Bowl. Next time for sure…

For Norm’s Thursday Doors Challenge.

Whimsy in Wood and Name: Wharton Esherick

It’s funny how we can have all sorts of amazing cultural places not far from where we live – museums, gardens, historic landmarks – and we tell ourselves “I need to check that place out some time.” And then the years go by, and you’ve yet to check it out!

I can say I don’t typically let years go by, but in this case Wharton Esherick studio was one of those places I’d not visited.   It wasn’t until last fall that I finally discovered him. The eccentric studio and little homestead of this lesser known artist, sculptor, and craftsman is a hidden gem, filled with an array of art in several mediums (mostly wood).  How can one go wrong visiting a place where he outhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places? I love architecture, and while I’m  not fully privy or educated formally around it, to me it’s what is pleasing and amazing to the eye and the knowledge of the feat and engineering required to build it.

Wharton Esherick (1887 – 1970), was a Philadelphia native, the studio/museum not far from where I now live. He began his career as a painter, built his studio, moved on to carving frames for his paintings, and then on to woodcut prints and finally, sculpture and furniture. He is considered a pioneer in the 20th century for his organic harmonizing style, mostly wood, and today his influence can be seen within the “Studio Craft movement.”  His actual studio evolved over forty years, and is considered his biggest “piece” of artwork. Having visited twice now, I can say I’d never ever tire of popping in a couple times a year.

You can also check out his super interesting bio here.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Triple-take Trastevere

So given the small world that it is, it only makes sense that both The Daily Post ‘s own Michelle and The Mexi Movie ‘s Manja both share in this weeks collage challenge – like, exactly share! Seems this spot in Trastevere had a way to lure in three lovely photographers 🙂

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Collage

Il fuoco di Firenze

I will concede – Firenze is a way more cool word than the English plain old “Florence.” And furthermore, Florence was an unbelievably amazing city. I hadn’t anticipated anything other than love for it, given all that I knew about its history, architecture and art art art – many of my friends who had been to Italy told me it was their favorite Italy destination.

As expected, I took many photos. So, I’ll chunk it out in two or three posts perhaps. Though, some of what I shot is already in my Street Art and More Street Art (Clet Abraham art) posts. So pop over to those as well for some Firenze love 🙂

For this round, I’ll just dare you to not jump on the first plane out, with a look at my favorite highlights.

 

Michelangelo’s David – as much as it’s pretty much one of THE main tourist attractions – was truly just stunningly beautiful artwork.  I was teary eyed upon first seeing him.

 

Please – ignore the sign and enter!

If there’s one thing that Italy does to a person who’s just visiting for the first time (most likely every time), it’s that She leaves you utterly salivating for more. Please, just a few more days to explore and enjoy and bask in that Italy glow.

Even something as simple – and charming – as French artist Clet Abraham’s hacked street signs, scattered across the streets in Florence… that sort of thing will do it to you. And while I saw many in my Firenze travels, I found after coming home and perusing the internet, that there were many, many more whimsical (and not-so whimsical) quirky artsy signs, not only in Florence, but all over the globe.

You can read a super interesting interview of Clet here. And, check out the ones I was able to capture in my travels, below.

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Our fav gelateria in Florence – Grom – happened to help me find this sign.

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I only recently noticed the second sign 🙂

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I spy keys, too.

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Volterra: Ancient Times and Fairy Tales

While it’s not easy – or even necessary – to choose a favorite place in Italy, I may have to put Volterra on the top of my list. Coming off of our first stop of Rome, and the city-esque crowds of tourists, Volterra was an incredible respite. And, an amazingly gorgeous hill town that left me teary-eyed from the overwhelming charm and history.

Volterra, historically, is a walled hill town dating back to at least the end of the 8th century BC. What’s amazing is, it’s believed to have been continuously inhabited since that time. AMAZING. This is a place where just being and sharing space with the beauty and history settled into my soul in a gentle, healing, humbling way.

Much of my pictography in this post is meant to convey Volterra in a simplistic way. The irony of simplistic is, here it is charming and beautiful, no matter where or how one ventures in this lovely classic Italy hill town.

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Panoramic view from Volterra, beautiful Tuscany

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Under the Tuscan Moon

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Early a.m. view from my room window

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Ombra della sera, “Shadow of the evening”, Etruscan museum. The statue represents a nude male, 22.6 inches tall, with very elongated body but head in normal proportions. It is estimated by archaeologists to date from the third century BC.  Quite humbling.

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Wine cellar, the wine tasting fantastic.

Roman Theatre, excavated in the 1950’s, built in the late 1st century BC.

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Volterra Cathedral

San Giusto, Volterra

Cute Italian dogs and cute Italian men 🙂

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Etruscan Arch, entry into town

One of many, many quaint streets in Volterra.

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Beautiful everything here.

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Arte di Strada

One could spend days scouring Rome and Florence for street art; graffiti – I suppose it depends on ones definition of the two. But I sought out street art; defined by that which intrigues, interests and moves me in viewing it. And it was plentiful, uninhibited, and scattered all around me in my travels. Continue reading “Arte di Strada”

Trastevere: It feels just like it sounds…


…but just be sure to speak it in Italian, not American…

I had read about Trastevere before we left for our trip – so when Marco and Manja suggested it part of our day long trek around Rome, I knew it wouldn’t disappoint.

I should mention, all of the places we I visited had scrumptuous street art – including doors and windows, that qualify as art to me. I’ve decided to post most street art, door, and window captures separately. They each deserve their own.

However, a good bit of it speaks to the flair and verve of each of the neighborhoods, towns, and cities we visited. So I’ll include ones that were standouts.

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Street art.

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Trastevere.

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All over Italy, water fountains run freely (some, have a spigot), which you can rinse your hands off, fill your water bottle, or water your dog. The water in Italy – not surprising as they know how to do water, historically – was delicious.

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Charming Trastevere (if you find me using the word “charm” in any form on Italy posts too much, well, get over it. 🙂

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Piazza di Santa Maria

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I sure wish hanging laundry out windows to dry looked like this at home!

Trastevere also has a spectacular church – you’d never know it by it’s relatively plain Jane exterior: The Basilica of Santa Maria, stunning. After seeing St Paul’s huge glorious-ness, we shifted gears to a more modest (well, not really) size. The basic floor plan and structure dates back to the 340’s. Yes. That’s the year three hundred forty. 

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Basilica di Santa Maria

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Basilica di Santa Maria

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Basilica di Santa Maria

We ate gelato. I should mention that. By the end of our trip, we had a ranking for our top five places.

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Oh Gelato, we love you so.

Manja snuck in a picture of me doing my thing. It was a treat having a fellow photographer with us!

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Manja’s snap of my snap.