Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Grazie, T,P, & A.K.!!!!

  We always wanted to take a gondola ride through the back canals of our neighborhood…but never got it together to do so.
  Thanks…and we mean Grazie Mille to our pals Tom, Pat & Anna Kate..we did it! What a lovely and generous gift….
  Here's how it went, dear friends...

  The gondolas haven't been on the Grand Canal because it's been so windy, so we had a great cruise through the Dorsoduro area, where our apartment is. Really cool! 
  The gondola had a few moments on the Grand Canal before heading into the side canals, so we had the best of all worlds...

Despite the nasty winds, we went for it..
No gondolas on the Grand Canal, but we wanted the side canals anyway..less traffic!

Happy Johnny

Happy Janelle...

Our sweet Gondolier, Roberto.

  We had a blanket and a bottle of wine..Perfection!

Perfect time of the evening..the light so gorgeous...

The colors flying in the wind...

Some bonus time on the Grand Canal because of a traffic issue! Yeah!!

  A super nice gift from some awesomely nice friends..Thanks, Bassett Clan!! We toasted you all the way!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Venice Moments: 9/27/15

  I am really loving taking photos while we are just walking around, on our way here or there…or while we are taking a break, or having a bite to eat…just the regular moments that happen in a day, here in Venice. 
  Especially with my new camera. 
  I will keep the old one, just because I am that kind of gal. My old camera was a trooper. A real work horse. It survived so many trips across the pond, as well as just around our neck of the woods. 
  What can I say…sometimes I just sort of get attached.

  Anyway..I am still in the 'learning curve', tumbling around with my new camera. It has a fancy-pants touch screen, all sorts of doodads and what-nots…I really have no idea of it's potential yet. But I am slowly figuring it out, and having some big fun as I do so.

  Yesterday we spent a big part of the day viewing artwork at the Arsenal venue of the Biennale. I hope to continue posting some art related stuff over the next few weeks…But this post is all about nothing much…just the in-between stuff.

  We did a bunch of walking around before and after all the art….

Early in the morning, the street where the apartment is.
No one about yet, so it's nice and quiet.

   The colors of the buildings are so gorgeous, and they seem to just blend beautifully. One of my favorite combos, below, is nearby, so we pass it almost daily...

  We walked through Piazza San Marco to get over to the other side of the island where the Arsenale is. On the way, we had a bit of fun just poking around.

Johnny giving the lions some love.

The Campanile

I love the clock tower the most.

I want our bedroom ceiling painted
with this blue…and also the gold stars.

  After several hours cruising through the Arsenale section of the Biennale, we took the long..and I mean really long…way home.
  The walk included several stops for resting to paint, drink a bit of wine and munch on this and that. My kind of long walk home.

  Along the way, there were things to see and photos to take.

A sweet spot way over there somewhere...

A little break that includes wine... and work, for Mr. J, at least.

Making it work.

I love my friend the Hedgehog….

Not exactly a hedgehog, but a cool dude nonetheless…
Some street art, Venice style.

 So, of course it's beautiful…It's Venice, for god's sake. 
  Therefore, I must include some pretty shots of prettiness we came across whilst winding our very long way home yesterday evening….

Tasty reflections...

Perfect light coming on after a cloud filled day…
This is looking towards the cemetery and  Murano from the Fondamenta Nuove.

  There are always stunning canals and bridges to take shots of..


The sweet time of the day.

Another bridge, another reflection.
I will never get tired of this.

  Since we walked all day, we were thinking some canal side cicchetti might be just what we needed for an early dinner break.
  We had walked past this place the day before, and it looked promising, so we made a point to start heading into that general area again.

  I am so glad we did. I will not even name this already super popular bar, because I want to get an actual seat/table next time.
  We ended up sitting on the steps of the canal while we had our dinner…no big deal, but a table would be nice some day. They have tons of vegetarian options, so we just had the kind fellow behind the bar fix up two mixed plates that we could share.
  It was great.

Fried zucchini flowers, along with all sorts of veg goodness.

Like I said…I wouldn't mind a table next time…just a thought.
It was big fun, in all honesty.

  After chowing down in a grand way, we took the still long walk home. It took forever, but we needed to walk off that dinner. 

  What fun to just eat, drink, walk miles and miles…See good art, make good art…even play dominoes. I'd say that this has been a fine adventure so far.
  Weather permitting, we'll keep up the pace.

Add caption

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Biennale: Dutch Pavillion Highlights

  This was a perfect exhibition for me. 
  Texture, color, natural elements, fragrance.
  In a word… Sublime.

  The artist, 84 year old Herman De Vries, is representing the Netherlands. His years as a horticulturist and natural scientist are an integral element in this work.

  I loved it all…

  The first piece, as you enter the bright and open space, is the title work, "all works to be to be ways to be to be".
  Large, charred hunks of branches, with that smell of burnt wood..I knew I was going to enjoy this one.

  The next thing I noticed was a very familiar fragrance wafting throughout the entire area. I knew this scent….but it was subtle…organic…and right at that moment, I looked down at this giant circle of thousands and thousands of dried rose buds….

Enough to make the entire pavillion smell wonderful and nostalgic, too.

  Around the corner was a wall/grid of simply framed  works on paper. Lovely as they were, but mind blowing when I read the title of the piece

Please, can we have this one?
I want it in the living room….Sigh.

  There were rocks from around the earth, as well, and they were displayed in such a perfect way.

  I copied this small bit from a review of the artist's work, in general:

  de vries gathers, orders, isolates and displays objects from nature, directing our attention to both the unity and the diversity of the world around us. 

  Case in point, this wall covered in all sorts of natural bits of things…crystals, leaves, fronds, soil with dried leaf debris, small stones, shells….A patchwork of our earth's treasures.

  Looking at this now, here in bed early Monday morning with coffee at my side, I also realize that this work appeals to me because of it's "orderliness"…The way things are so neat and tidy. I am so very drawn to this world…It makes me feel calm on many levels.

  The whole exhibit is displayed in this ordered fashion, which I understand is as much a part of it as the subject matter itself..And I love it even more.

  Then there was the wall of grasses. 
  I will have these in my bedroom, and dream of the sounds of the fields in winter….

I wanted Mr. J here for scale.
I know these grasses, and how large they can get...

  This vision, the concept of these grass works…Ahhhh. So simple. So beautiful. So effective.

What is not to love…adore, actually..?

  The display of scythes was a nice touch. All sizes and colors, antiques as well as newer. Well used, it looked like. 
  Interesting contrast in the space.


  Maybe my favorite so far? There is a lot to like this year, for me, anyway.
  Poor Johnny wants more painting…but we still have so much to see.

  More later-

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When Things Go Wonky

  So anyway, today, our first full day here in Venice, we saw that the weather would be a little iffy….some rain, for sure. Warm, no real wind, but by about ten o'clock, it started coming down in a soft but steady shower.
  I can't believe I don't have a jacket, coat or even a real sweater…

  We thought we'd head to an area known as the Zattere, where there were several Biennale spots to visit, as well as Punta Della Dogana, a space which houses an amazing collection of contemporary art. All opened at ten, so the timing was perfect with the rain coming down…

A shot from La Dogana across the Grand Canal.
Clouds looming.

  I was excited to see this exhibit, which we were going to after La Dogana. We passed the entrance as we walked down the Zattere.
  It ended up being a rather long very interesting and bizarre (in a good way) video piece. I just loved this poster….had to have this shot.

What's not to like?

  I love the spaces inside La Dogana. It was the customs and taxation building for the salt trade back in the day. The old bricks are so textural, and the large open rooms are perfect for installation art...

A massive chandelier above an odd work, 'Moon Face'.

That's 'Moon Face'…….

   There was this great installation of gold spray-painted cardboard boxes.
  Danh Vo, the creator of this and many other works in the show, is also one of the the curators of this exhibit, "Slip Of The Toungue"

The cardboard was so nice, but the mix of rusted tools and chains made it extra cool for me.
I just love this kind of thing.
"Untitled" 2015.

I also loved this mash-up of garden sculptures. This was one of two in the show.
Didn't know it was the beginning of the end...

  Yeah, the garden sculptures were great…nice combo of pieces, perfect patina…I was going to take a photo of the second one, but something went wonky…..

  Wonky with my camera, that is. Yes, fine readers of Live Pronto…my always ready/steady camera died…. MID-SHOW! DAY ONE!
  Early in the day, too, damn it. Jeez, camera, couldn't you have waited another week or so? 
  How did I know she'd conked out?

  Well, I wanted to see how the next shot came out, as the lighting was tricky…and this is what I saw on my bitty little screen:

The reflection of a sheet of gold leaf really blew my camera's mind.
Too bad, it was a cool piece.

  I tried a few more shots….And go figure...
  I liked 'em! 

  So, as often happens when you are on an adventure, when some type of shit hits the fan, you make yourself some limoncello out of lemons, and write a post that features pix from your now busted (and much loved) camera. 

  So here's my take on several works featured in this really fabulous show. 


  Aren't these great? Wait, don't answer. 
  Let's just say..I think they're great.

  In reality….. though I loved what I was seeing in my little camera screen, I still had hopes that something would turn out in the uploading process. I mean something more focused and all…
  So I went ahead and took pictures of our lunch at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum cafe.

  Since you can't really tell, we are enjoying vegetable omelets with some french fried potatoes.
  What a hoot...

  Saw the newly restored Jackson Pollack "Peggy Guggenheim" mural, too. But no photos allowed.

  Then, we were on a hunt for a new camera. And by the way, not an easy task in Venice…it's all tourist shops and high end clothing, etc. 
  We walked off those fries, I'm telling you. Then finally…came across a camera shop! What luck!

The last shot from my old, dear, long weary camera…
The camera that has been on so many adventures over the past decade…
Sigh. I heart you, camera.

  Then we met our new best friend ever- Evelyn!
  Dear Evelyn, she spent so much time with us, helping choose something not too pricey, not too difficult…not too cheap…
  I now have a lovely new camera, which took this photo of Evelyn at the shop she works in.

What a sweetheart…
Grazie Mille, Evelyn…Abbracci!!!

This is the spot!
Ramo dei Fuseri-San Marco #1805,
 if you need a camera.

  I can now look forward to posting more ART! FOOD! TRAVEL! STUFF I LIKE!!!
  As always…Stay Tuned!