Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snapshot Interlude: A Chicago Holiday, Part I

Life is good, life is busy and fulfilling, but I am so badly missing the drawing track I was on. It was starting to become such a good habit, but has currently fallen by the wayside. First, however, I have promises to keep. And the promise to myself that as soon as I finish some of my lovely projects that have been patiently waiting for me to love them too, then I can go back to daily journaling of the ink and paint nature.

The first love of my creative life has always been textiles, and I have quite a few fabric-y things piled high in the studio. I am just this week completing (and I mean before the week ends) a quilt that started with an inspiring class in... 1999! Several times I almost called it quits, but I'm so glad I persevered, because I love it now. My guild's next show is in late March, and so I have set a rigid schedule to help me have a good showing there. I'm sure I will be glad I did.

So instead, this week I am sharing the first installment of visual candy of my recent trip into town to gather and participate in that good holiday vibe of early December. I always take the sketchbook and journals with me, but when there is a short time and much to capture, there is nothing like a camera. I love to see how much energy I can pack into my shots, and so share a bit of the excitement with you.

The Hotel Monaco, just south of the Chicago River is our favorite place to stay in town. They have just redecorated and the room was quite elegant.

The view from our third floor window took in the Trump Tower
 across the river. The crystalline blue makes it look
 like a computer-generated image to me.

In Daley Plaza, we drank hot spiced wine and ate gooey chocolate soft pretzels. Two "porcelain figurines" posed in front of the giant Christmas tree.

Hanging out at the Christkindelmart is a nice time to stop and look around at the dramatic beauty of the city buildings.

I love all the overlapping reflections and intersecting lines. Just a pop of red.

Always on guard and always on duty.

"Flaming Pigeons"
It was hilarious to watch them warming their "heinies" in front of the memorial flame in the plaza (especially since it wasn't a terribly cold day.)

An elegant Macy's Window foretold the exciting decor to be found inside. (Although it's still Marshall Fields in the heart of many locals, I am a Philadelphian, and the fabulous building reminds me of the Wanamaker's of my youth.)

Trumpets on State Street

The amazing tree in the Walnut Room restaurant

Real tree "skirts" along the sidewalks are always holiday festive.

Sometimes "The Bean" makes you catch your breath with how it appears as delicate as a bubble.

It is mandatory for tourists and locals to visit and take
 photos of their reflections.

When you walk under Cloud Gate (the real name of the artwork,) the reflections multiply and produce dizzying effects. If you aren't careful you can walk into the surface.

The girl behind the camera

The sun was beginning to set and we headed off to the Art Institute for our afternoon coffee at the Modern Wing.

Lines, textures, colors (and this was just a hallway out side the lavatories!) I think it would be a good start for an interesting painting or quilt.

Crown Fountain "spews" water from the ever changing faces
 on the two 50 foot glass block towers. (Well, not in winter; but in summer kids of all ages frolic in the water.)
Note the moon directly overhead.

Heading back to the hotel, the magic glow of the city at sunset.
The building on the far right is the Aon Center,
 previously the second tallest building in the city
(before Trump was completed.)
Hope you enjoyed!
Next time: a bit of the night, plus an arty stop at the Chicago Cultural Center.

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