The Fine Art Of Indecision: A Gallery Wall, Maybe

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THE PROBLEM [as a reformed perfectionist sees it]:

I’ve been thinking that I might want to put a collection of frames, with yet-to-be-named images, on the big blank wall in the TV room.  This wall, painted SW6142 Macadamia, is across from a run of five divided-light windows that allow us to look out into the woods behind the house.

I want something going on across from the windows but am uncertain about how much pattern I want to see over there when I look into the TV room from the kitchen.  I tend to be a bit pattern-phobic, but can stand pattern, which to me often looks cluttered, IF the pattern/shapes/colors makes sense to me.

Therein is the problem.

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AN ASIDE [for those interested in fine art]:

While I wasn’t blogging in December one of things that we did was visit NYC for a short getaway.  I’ve not spoken of it before because overall it was a lousy experience that left me wondering about humanity and my ability to deal with said humanity.

However, there were a couple of wonderful adventures during our few days in NYC.  One of which was going to MOMA to see Henri Matisse: The Cut-Out Exhibit [also here via NYT: A Walk Through The Gallery].

To see his work up close was amazing.  First, I’d never realized how intensely colorful it is, and that before he cut out his shapes, his students painted white paper these bold colors for him.  And second, the thing that struck me about the exhibit was that the cut-outs, which are easily recognizable as a whole, were not perfect in the small details.

At all.

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MY CONCLUSION [albeit a wishy-washy one]:

Looking through all the gallery wall images that one can find online, I realize that anything goes.  And I’m cool with that, in theory.  But when it comes to actually putting a framed “art” collection on my TV room wall, I hesitate.

I look at what other people have done and see that the gallery walls that appeal to me are balanced, yet stunning in their uniqueness.  There’s a flow and cohesiveness to the frames and images that I adore, but so far I haven’t been able to translate this feeling onto our TV room wall, which remains blank until I decide what to do about it.

Soon, I hope.

We Went To Utah For A Long Weekend

The hubster was on business out in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I decided that it was time for me to see Utah.  He left here on Monday and I joined him there on Thursday.

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The tail of an airplane + many pigeons at Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum.

On Thursday afternoon Zen-Den and I went into downtown Salt Lake City so that I could see what it was all about.  SLC was just as clean and organized as I had heard that it would be.  I didn’t take any photos of the buildings or streets, but visually it was inviting.  And clean.  I mentioned that, right?  With people walking within designated painted lines on the streets in accordance with the timing of the traffic lights.  Who knew?

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The Wasatch Mountains.

We have friends who live just north of Salt Lake City and on Friday they took a day off from work to drive us around the area.  It was generous of them to do this, can’t thank them enough.  First we went to Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum and looked at their wonderful collection of airplanes and memorabilia– which, of course, I liked.  Then we went to lunch at Taggart’s Grill, a restaurant and bakery nestled in the Wasatch Mountains, with camera-shy pet peacocks who live in the garden around the restaurant.  The food was delicious.  Coolness.

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The Great Salt Lake.

After that we drove up through the Wasatch Mountains and then down to the edge of the Great Salt Lake.  Everywhere I turned I saw the most amazing sights– whether they were natural formations, or unique small towns, or a herd of bison living free on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.  Amazing.

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A herd of bison on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.

On Saturday Zen-Den and I drove up to the mountain resort town of Park City, Utah, to go to an art show.  Park City is home to Sundance Film Festival— and many wealthy people from the looks of it.  The community was perfect.  Like Disney perfect.  Like so planned that I worried that we’d be thrown off the set for not adhering to the director’s vision of what the town’s residents should look like.  Oh well.

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Wild sunflowers that grow as weeds along the highways in northern Utah.

That evening in Park City we had tickets to the outdoor Deer Valley Music Festival with the Utah Symphony featuring Mandy Patinkin.  He was amazing and professional with an astounding vocal range, charming personal stories and a quiet sense of humor.  Delightful.

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Starlings [I think] in a nest under the eaves.
On Sunday morning before we left we decided to drive around the University of Utah in SLC and surrounding neighborhoods.  Again, so clean.  And well-maintained.  And, I’m assuming, safe.  I say this because the capitol of Utah is in a residential neighborhood with no fences or guards around it.  The building is just sitting there.  Pretty.

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Utah daylilies in an unusual shade of orange that I’ve never seen before.

We enjoyed Utah and would like to go back there someday.  Maybe take a week and drive up into Wyoming and Idaho while we’re in the area.  Maybe take more photos of the cities– and the buildings– and the unfailingly polite people who waited on us.  That part I really, really liked.  Worth the price of the vacation alone.

Sunday Afternoon In The Sculpture Park

[Even though I said that I was only going to post to my blog once a week this summer, I’m going to disregard my plan and turn this adventure into two parts.  Today – the SCULPTURE part of the park.  Tomorrow – the PARK part of the park.]

Last weekend we went to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park.  We’ve been there at other times of year, but we’ve never managed to see it in the summer.  Misplaced priorities, I do believe.

If you’ve never been to an outdoor art museum with oversized sculptures juxtaposed against nature, it is a fascinating way to spend an afternoon.  Even more so when nature is putting on a perfect summertime show of green hills, blue skies & white cumulus clouds.  Very unique.

We walked part of the park & drove our car around to see even more of it.  There were three trails for hiking through the woods on the edge of the park, but we didn’t have the time to do any of them.  Something to do on our next visit, eh?  And I’ll take photos, of course.

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Simply Shaker

{A Weekend Getaway – Part 1 of 2.  Part 2 here.}  

[I know, I know.  I said that I’d post once a week during the summer… but this adventure was two parts.  My blog, my rules to break at will.]

This past weekend we got together with some friends and we went to Lexington KY for the weekend.  On Saturday we drove about 25 miles from Lexington to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.  Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a living history museum with 14 buildings nestled in the hills of Kentucky.  It is the largest restored Shaker community in America.

Above is a stone building with wood floors built by the Shakers.  When built in the [early?] middle 1800s, it was a wonder to behold because at that time many people lived in log cabins with dirt floors.  The fact that this building is still standing today is equally amazing to me.

This is the dormitory where the Shakers lived.  At the height of their popularity the Shakers, who were celibate, numbered around 500 people.  Notice that there are two front doors on this building.  The left door was for the women & the right door was for the men.

I loved this well-maintained, yet slightly off-kilter, shed.  The white fences and the stone fence you see here were everywhere on the Shaker property– as well as all around Lexington KY.

Inside the barn we saw this snoozing lamb whose mother [upper right corner] gave me her version of the evil eye as I snapped this photo.  In all honesty, sheep don’t do evil very well;  they are just way too cute for that sort of thing.

I like goats so when these two guys decided to try to eat a leather tab on my cross-body bag I let them do it… for a short while.  This is the look they gave me when I stepped back from the fence taking my handbag with me.  Not pleased were they.

This guy, one of two oxen, was a goof.  He loved having his photo taken and followed me along his fence pausing so I could get a good shot of him.  Such a cooperative fellow!

Here is a view of the land surrounding Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill.  It was spectacular to see.  We enjoyed craft demonstrations in many of the restored buildings, then stepped outside each building to see a serene view such as this one.

Naturally there was gift shop at this museum.  Many of the items for sale were either made/grown on the property.  Also, it was possible to special order some pieces of furniture.  We didn’t buy a thing, but enjoyed the inside of this shop which was beautifully merchandised.

While on the outside of the shop on a window ledge this little guy– blissfully unaware of anyone or anything except his own comfort– cleaned his toes .  ‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free…