Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chihuly Patchouli

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.  
John Updike

A few weeks ago I took a break from my home -- the fraternity house -- and drove north to Dallas to see my long-time friend, Savannah. You might recall her from previous posts. We go way back to the early 80's in Denver where we played softball together  and both worked in the oil bidness.

In April, Vanna had flown up to Green Bay to help my brothers and me empty my mom and dad's house. After that fun, I was eager to visit with her in a less emotional setting. 

When you live with a bunch of men, as I do, it is always a pleasure to have extended time with women friends. Women look at me when I speak and appear to comprehend what comes out of my mouth. They respond.

Always shocks me.

But Vanna and I did more than just chat for hours on end. We did stuff, too. Fort Worth is a very cool city. I'd always heard it called Cow Town, but it wasn't no Cow Town in the museum district. Our first stop was the Kimbell Art Museum to see the touring exhibit The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark. (I like the way that makes me sound like an art snob, which I'm not.)

The Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts has many fine impressionist paintings. This tour brought many with them. I do like many other artists, but I'm true to the Impressionists. (I love the books of the era also.) Renoir is my favorite and I wasn't disappointed by what I saw.

I had never seen either of these, but both became favorites. My guess the collector's favorites also?
And this one, by Berthe Morisot. 

But you can only handle so much great art in one day. With an eye to all the museums in this area, we planned a return visit and pondered lunch. We headed to what Fort Worth was really all about way back when - the Stockyards.

We had a fabulous hamburger and a beer.

We got propositioned by a couple of guys to go over and get a room with them here, but, no, Vanna didn't want to.

We ended up here, checking out where they hold the ROOODEEOOO.

You can only have so much fun in one day so after a return to Dallas we got a good night's sleep and spent the next day at the Dallas Arboretum where a Chihuly show was going on.

Who is Chihuly? Yes, I was ignorant enough to have to ask that question. Sounded like some Chilean, Italian, or Chinese guy to me. Neither my arboretum guidebook or the docent standing nearby   overflowed with information. (I did my own research when I got home.)
For those of you as unaware as me - Dale Chihuly is a renowned sculptor of glass. You can find out more here. Turns out he's American - his family long ago emigrated from what was once Czechoslovakia. Chihuly resulted from some Slavic name. I have one of those, too. My maiden name -- Sucha.
At this special exhibit, Chihuly's glass sculptures were installed throughout the botanical gardens. I've never been a huge fan of Murano/Venetian glass art. I'm still not quite certain what I think. How about you?
Pretty. Like the blue. Like the mist.

Bad hair day?

These creeped me out. Sort of like the horns on Cinderella's stepsisters' ball hats.

Colorful. Fun. Odd.

Incredible view. Carnival!

I hate to say, but I liked the real live blooming lilies better. One of my favorites though.

Pretty. Flowing.

What is it with me? Why do I have friends that are petite and 5'2" and I always feel like the Jolly Green Giant standing next to them?

Remember at the end of the first episode of Lonesome Dove? When the nice, young Irish guy is afraid to cross the river on his horse? And then he does? And the mating ball of water moccasins kill him?

Hey, we're in Dallas. Did you think you were gonna get out of here without seeing the Dallas star? (Packers Rule!)

Then, just when I wasn't certain what to think, we came across a series of little houses with artist names attached to them that I understood. Here's the Georges Seurat house. They had a Picasso, Van Gogh, O'Keefe, too. For little kids. And me.

 Monet's bridge in Giverny.

Monet house. That guy standing there? I ran out of patience waiting for a clear shot. His children weren't listening to him. He wanted them on the bridge for a picture. Don't you hate that when people don't listen to you?

What would an artistic weekend be without beautiful food? Blueberry souffle anyone?

How about a Bananas Foster souffle? Decadent.
Okay, these photo essays exhaust me. Take me 20 times longer than using my words. Plus, we've arrived at the end of the story. I had to drive home and go back to my house that smells like a bunch of boys live there. In a much better mood though.
Thanks Vanna.


  1. I love visiting art museums with my friends! I've seen two Chihuly exhibits - though both were indoors- and I find his work fascinating. I was also excited to see you mention the Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA. I had a chance to visit it in October of 2010 with a girlfriend during a 4 day visit to the Berkshires. It's a great museum! Here's to spending time with good friend.

  2. I know you had a great time with Vanna. She's such a wonderful friend.

    I like the Chihuly stuff. It's super interesting, and if I could afford the guy, I'd have some of his pieces in my home.

    Only thing we lacked yesterday, I think, was the decadent desserts. And you know how I love decadence. Mmm-hmm.

  3. Colorful, fun, odd...that's Chihuly alright...but what he can( with a team of dozens) do with glass is truly amazing. He works so large that the size alone is impressive. What a fun time you had! Great holiday!

  4. I love Chihuly's work...he does some pretty extraordinary work!! All in glass!!! It is awesome. How cool that you got to see his work in person. Wonderful

  5. Very impressive little travelogue on Ft. Worth and Dallas. Impressive exhibit, too. And I'm also impressed that you can spell Czechoslovakia!

  6. I'm glad you had such a lovely and therapeutic visit!

  7. So good to see you!
    A field trip with a favorite friend, doing fun stuff is just what the doctor orders. Thanks for the visit and the sharing.
    The glass art feels so fragile to me; yet, it could be the fragility that attracts us, makes us appreciate it more than we know.
    Glad you enjoyed the visit.

  8. I am a big fan of Chihuly, there is a large installation near me. This one rocks.I am big on impressionists also, I need to visit this museum.

  9. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog! I truly understand living with all males. I have 4 boys, now all grown up. Your museum trip looked very fun and I love the Chihuly exhibit. My son and his family have seen this exhibit in Mich. They loved it. Now hand me a fork and I'll just dig into that yummy souffle...either one will do! Thanks again for the visit!

  10. What a coincidence - I had never heard of Chihuly until a few days ago when a facebook friend put up pictures of his work. He does do fascinating stuff - love your interpretation of the exploding horn pieces!

    "She didn't want to." Ha! that made me laugh!

    Renoir is one of my favorites, too, and I have seen the second painting, but not the still life.

    Those souffles look awesome! Today is National Blueberry Muffin day, but I'm wanting a blueberry souffle now instead!

  11. It sounds like you had a fine time. I do like the glass art.. well some of it, anyway. The boat full of spheres is rather interesting.

    I've been to the Clark in Williamstown, Ma and fell in love with all of the Impressionist art they have there. I love Renoir, Monet, Seurat and of course, Vincent. So nice that you were able to see some of that exhibit.

  12. So glad you had this mini retreat with your friend. You should probably do more of these before the summer is over. Chihuly has a glass-blowing studio in Tacoma, a couple of hours north of here. He's a big deal in the Pacific Northwest - maybe because we don't have many people besides Bill Gates to brag about.

    His work is stunning, and astonishing. I love how he's constantly breaking the rules. Your interpretations are my favorites ever. :-)

    I loved the little buildings, too. And as always, your stories.

  13. What fun.

    The shots of the colored balls in the water with the great view look like a Microsoft computer background--I think they should hire you to photograph future ideas for that.

  14. Glad that you enjoyed time with your friend and didn't you see some interesting art.

    Don't apologise for being tall. I always wanted to be taller than my 5ft 4in.

  15. great to get out with the girl(s) now and then...i'm totally with u on that! chihuly is a puzzle to me...my sister adores his work but i'm a bit reticent. i like the high color and whimsy of it, though.
    thanks for including us on your tour!

  16. Glad you came out of the weeds a bit and had a good time...lots of interesting sites! Good book if you haven't read it yet..The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty...I'm going to check out her others.

  17. This looks super fun. Nothing like time with friends who have known you forever!

    The glass is amazing!

  18. Haha - you're so right - I always think those photo posts will be done lickety split but they take FOREVER!

    I love Chiluly - saw an exhibit at the MFA in Biston that was terrific - a lot of cool "under the sea" type vibes.

    I have never heard of the Clark - will have to head right out there this fall on a scenic leaf peeping drive. The Impressionists can do no wrong in my world. People who are oblivious to blocking my photo shoots? They can do lots wrong ;0)

  19. Speaking of men and their lack of responding - Last night, I poured out a rant to my husband about a problem with my daughter. "I'm sorry," he says. I say, "Thank you, but I need a solution!" Conversation over. LOL Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

    Anyway, I loved sharing time with you and Vanna in this post; museums, nature, food, socializing... I learned a few things, too.

    I'm hoping to find a museum buddy this fall when my kids go back to school. As fortunate as I am to have many friends, I haven't found a "touring" buddy yet. Ohhh...my friend next door just became an empty nester. Hmmmm... :)

    I hope your next getaway comes around again soon - just when you need it.

  20. ps. You look maaaaa-ve-lus. :)

  21. i love your blog, to express your views, this is the correct way.

  22. So fun to go along on your excursion with you and Vanna! Fort Worth? Who knew???

    And I'm soooo glad you had a little (much needed!) getaway. You have a fantastic family of men but I know how important the girlfriend time is!!!

    (And I LOVE your photo essays ... time consuming as they are. (I'm about to do one too.)

  23. My friends are always shorter than me too, but being 5'8".... well, I would never give up being tall. I savor every inch that I tower over their heads. :-)

  24. I like the glass art! (Thanks for telling me what it was, otherwise I'd have just said "the colorful balls.")

    Random aside: There's an old western swing song called "Big Ball's In Cowtown." So now I guess I have learned what Cowtown is. Or where Cowtown is. Whichever.


Let me know what you think. Every word you write, I appreciate.


Related Posts with Thumbnails