Thursday, June 30, 2016

De Scott Evans: A Victorian Painter with a Tragic End

This American painter, who only survived into his 40's, has a painting in the Orlando Museum of Art.
"From the Kitchen Window": we see the detail of a 19th Century moment as the woman (mother, servant, older sister?) apparently reacts to the arrival or departure of someone outside. We are set back from the action (visually) by the length of floor space. The light is so soft, muted, pearl-like.
Even the baby is interested to see what is happening; the cat wonders too. So there is a quiet tension, somehow.

The painter worked with interiors like this, still life, portrait, etc.

Evans, along with his three daughters, was lost in the shipwreck of the SS La Bourgogne in 1898; the ship was a fairly new and fast steamer, hit in fog by a sailing vessel. Huge loss of life for the time, about 500; it was an elite ship, used by wealthy people for relatively speedy transport to and from Europe.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Orlando Museum of Art in a Rain Storm: Something Besides Theme Parks

We spent the morning at the Orlando Museum of Art.

It is not too large, so easily toured in a leisurely morning. The museum owns a well rounded collection of older American landscape and portraits paintings, modern, Native American, African artifacts and special temporary installations.

We seem to enjoy discovering the 19th Century American regional painters of landscapes from the period. That seems to be our comfort level.

Then, it is interesting to stretch the boundaries with more modern pieces. I don't necessarily "like" this type of experience, but "making us think" is fine, too. Mostly, I think I like my old landscapes.
But certainly, I am willing to look at something new.

Monday, June 27, 2016

My Mixed Thoughts about Disney-Culture: Admiration at the Creativity vs. Dismay at the Materialism

Hot, tired children and parents were everywhere.
Hyper-materialism on display.
Bippidy-Boppidy Boutique?
Worlds Largest Disney Store
A tiny toddler princess tosses a hat on the floor and refuses to pick it up. Both parent's plant the flag on the point that "she will pick it up". Well, no she won't. (Baby too young for The Worlds Biggest Disney Store).
Constantly, though out the day, I saw parents hauling tiny kids far to young for such a big day. Why not leave the babies with Grandma and take the 8-pluses?
Too me, all this would not be fun, this would be pressure.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tranquil Scenes from Central Florida


This raucous bird looks like a Fish Crow


I miss these small lizards and their antics, now that I am home in Illinois

Monday, June 20, 2016

Central Florida Without the Glitz, Theme Parks and Resorts...and it's hot and muggy in June!



Prior to Walt Disney's choice of Orlando for his theme park in 1965, near the end of his life, the town proper had about 90K population and lots of the above pictured landscape. Now the city is the center of a large metro area of over 2M people. Walt Disney certainly was a visionary.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Returned Yesterday: A Long-Scheduled Trip to Orlando

American Tragedies: Dangers in Paradise

A bright young lady from our extended family needed a help in situating herself for her second 6-mos. internship at Disney World. It happened that we arrived in Orlando 3 days after the night club shooting and on the evening of the alligator incident at the Grand Floridian Resort.

We stayed at a Marriott that also had a lovely lagoon full of wild creatures. I wondered, that evening, as we explored our resort, "how careful does one have to be about 'gators?" I've never been to Florida before. My answer? stay away from the lagoon's edge. Not that easy for inquisitive toddlers, sadly. And how is a young Dad from Nebraska to suspect this could happen?

The Dangers of Paradise. This photo was taken last Thursday from a monorail: the flags at half-staff and the fateful beach area beyond, all edged in black.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Beauty is on the inside. You can't always tell a book by it's cover. In Beatrice NE

Country Cookin' Restaurant in Beatrice, NE

We live near Chicago; Hubsy's hometown is Manhattan, KS. Beatrice, NE is a good-sized agi-business town along the way.
Usually, we are getting hungry when we pass through, and frustrated, stop at a franchise place before nagging hunger causes an argument.

This time, we asked a few questions at the local donut shop and were advised about is place. It's well hidden, off the main roads, in a residential neighborhood. And really unattractive from the outside, I have to say. If not recommended, we never would have stopped.

It was mid-morning, so not crowded-too late for breakfast, to early for lunch. Wonderful breakfast food! There usual table of solid, mid-west businessmen and farmers, drinking coffee and keeping up on local events.

This year, it seems, all the small town waitresses was pink hair and a number of individualized tats and possibly body piercings. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A nice "reflection shot", as it turned out..

Reminded me of the classic kitchen table and chairs in the setting of "Bridges of Madison County".

I was in Iowa, after all. On the square in Chariton.

An Old Fashioned, Feel-Good Horse Opera: "Thunderhead" by Mary O'Hara

Photo by Barbara Besler:  Battle of Wills taken at Keeneland September Sales about 2 years ago. Sometimes, I enjoy readin...