Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Buffalo girls at the Martin House

I forgot to include this photo, taken by the waiter with Brit's phone, in the last post. The group of us out to dinner.
Sunday morning it was breakfast at Camille's, a lovely french bakery. I had an apple and caramel crepe. I am salivating just typing about it.
We had a 10 o'clock tour booked at the Martin House, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home that is open to the public. We started with a brief video and then joined our volunteer tour guide for our 2 hour visit. Unfortunately we were only permitted to take photographs of the outside, no inside shots, and the landscaping was all being redone, just basically soil, so not that inspiring.
We went to the Gardeners Cottage first where some of the characteristics of Frank Lloyd Wright's (FLW) Prairie Style were pointed out; the band around the base, side or hidden front doors, ribbon windows and wide overhangs.
Each of the houses on the property had distinct and different leaded glass designs for the windows.
Next we went to the house that was built for Darwin D. Martin, an affluent businessman in the late 1800s, early 1900's in Buffalo.
The house had gone through a number of owners, parts had been rented out, sold off and abandoned and it is still undergoing restoration. I realized after taking this window shot
that this was one of the ones that had been covered with a decorative film to emulate the stained glass design that had been taken out for restoration.
Inside we saw the central fireplace (opening into the front foyer and, on the other side, the living room) that FLW considered the heart of the home. His use of ceiling heights and confined and then open spaces designed to impress guests and define rooms in an open concept layout. It was fascinating to hear about his attention to every detail in the house and his innovative building and heating systems. He had an unlimited budget in this home (although in all the homes he built he always came in over budget) and spent it lavishly on wood, brick, tiles, stained glass, furnishings and state of the art home decor. Everything was beautiful and thoughtful.
Even this walkway to the conservatory has a basement and the glass blocks on the floor let light down to it and at night those same blocks light the walkway.
Mrs Martin had asked for a greenhouse so FLW built her a conservatory, with glass panels on the roof that could open for ventilation.
Next we went into the house FLW built for Mr Martin's sister, also on the property.
The final stop was the Carriage House, built to accommodate the horses and carriages but almost immediately it housed motor cars and the chauffeur lived upstairs.
Frank Lloyd Wright was named "the greatest American architect of all time" by the American Institute of Architects and I have been interest in seeing  his work for some time now. George and I  tried to see one about 8 years ago but it was closed for renovation. I am even more determined to see some of the others, that are open as museums, now.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Buffalo Girls continued

I love to wander an art gallery by myself, taking my time, moving to those works that appeal to me, but taking a guided tour adds to the experience. It is an education, things are pointed out, explained, stories shared. I am invited to look at works that I might have passed by. The volunteer who was our guide encouraged all of us to talk about the paintings and always had something interesting to tell us. After the  tour she even offered to take any of us interested into the rest of the gallery and I was one of those who took her up on it.

Waterdrops, by Kim Tschang-Yeul, was so realistic I wanted to reach out and touch the water. It was an oil painting.
Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama had its own room.

I had wanted to see her exhibition at the AGO but hadn't been able to find the time.

George Washington and Three Indians by John Wesley.

Translumina 2 by Richard Joseph Anuszkiewicz

One of the identification labels explained "Op Art refers to the work of a group of artists who emerged in the 1960s who were interested in the scientific properties of color and line,  and the ways in which the human eye processes information"

Vega-Nor by Victor Vasarely who was considered "the father of Op Art".

Untitled by Donald Judd was more about the play of light and shadow than the structure itself.

At first glance I thought this was string art

but no, Focos de Luz by Migual Angel Vidal, is acrylic on canvas.

 As we were still with our tour guide she arranged for us to get some gloves and we were invited to play this piece and couldn't resist. Those are Heather's hands in the video.

That evening we ate at a restaurant, Dick and Jenny's, run by a couple from New Orleans and enjoyed our cajun meals and the friendly, lively vibe of the place.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Buffalo Girls

At the invitation of a Buffalo rug hooker, Cindy,  a group of J.J. Ruggers and myself are staying in Buffalo for a couple of days. In a house rented through Airbnb we have 2 apartments with 3 bedrooms in each, 2 kitchens, and 2 living rooms. Lots of room for the sewing, crocheting, knitting, lace making and weaving that we bought with us. It was determined that there wasn't enough room in the "hooking can" (Peter's van) for us all to bring our hooking paraphernalia.
Breakfast at Bertha's on Herkel.

It  met the criteria for an authentic American diner. I posted in December 2013 about what made an authentic diner (according to George and I) and I went through that for the group: formica counter with metal trim, stools at the counter with metal rims and vinyl seats, glass cabinets for the deserts, cake pedestal too, open for breakfast and lunch,  mirrors, full of locals, no liquor license and local food specialties (waffles here). Bertha's also had black and white tiles on the floor and red plastic water glasses.
Across the road was a used book store that we all perused and all found intriguing purchases.
It was a lovely store, wooden floors and shelves, well organized and piles of unpacked boxes everywhere.

Next stop Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

One of the sculptures at the entrance, of aluminum canoes and boats, was by Nancy Rubins, who also created the similar, colourful one that Chris and I saw in Vegas.

Heather had been told by a docent that the artist was "an elderly woman who is still alive!". The plaque indicated that she was actually younger than most of us.
We started by touring the gallery, which specializes in contemporary art, and then joined a guided tour.

The staircase to upstairs is an installation called Wall Drawing, by Sol LeWitt
The 3 walls were created with graphite pencil scribbles.

The first gallery I went into had some interactive contemporary works and works from the 60s. The one in the video above, Grass by Len Lye, rocked and the wires swayed and brushed, looking like the grass at the beach and sounding like the waves. Music could also be turned on to accompany the motion.

Computer Nude, Studies in Perception created on  a computer from binary code by Ken Knowlton.
Four quart-er-es by Mary Bauermeister.
Head - red and yellow by Roy Lichtenstein.
Hand painted dots in red and yellow make up the image.
100 cans by Andy Warhol
So interesting to get up close and see the use of stencils and that each can is slightly different.
There were some older paintings in the collection - A Claude Monet
La Maison de la Crau  by Vincent Van Gogh
Dinamismo de un cane al guinzaglio by Giacomo Balla was a favorite of Pam's.
The last splatter painting by Jackson Pollock, Convergence.
To be continued in the next post.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Farewell to summer

Today the temperature is hovering just above 0 and it has been very windy the last few days. Even though I swam in the lake just over a week ago I have to accept that summer is over and fall is fast moving into winter.

Last winter, and this summer, the weather has not been kind to the Long Point shoreline. Cottages along Woodstock Ave have been threatened by high water and many now have stone or metal barriers to protect foundations.

It was a good year for the vegetable garden and I still have peppers and marigolds thriving in it.

Changed up the porch post pots.
Fall gives me some fabulous sunsets. The sun sets into the lake which reflects the colours. Doubles the effects.
Warm and windy fall weather bring people to walk the beach,
and, of course, kite board.

I take so many sunset pictures, its hard to know which to include.
One of the program challenges this year, at J.J. Ruggers, the rug hooking guild I belong to, is to hook a small piece to commemorate our 50th anniversary. So I took my camera to Paris, hoping to find some inspiration.

Perhaps the cupola on the downtown hotel.

The railway bridge or the dam.
It wont be these canoes peaking from under the bushes, because they are not 50yrs old, but I loved the shot.

Perhaps one of the windows from John M Halls.

I'm leaning towards this picture of the heritage plaque and cobblestones
from this lovely old house on Broadway St.