Monday, November 30, 2015

Chicago Museum of Art: Degas, a Family Portrait

Degas was born in Paris in 1834.  He was the eldest of 5 children.  By the time he was 18, he had already turned much of his bedroom into an artist's studio.   His father wanted him to study law. So, in 1853 he applied to the Faculty of Law at the University of Paris.  But, we didn't pay much attention to his studies!

He traveled to Italy and returned to France in 1858 where he moved into a Paris studio.  And, he began painting.

He was famous for movement in his paintings, focusing on dancers for nearly 1/2 of his work.

The painting below is of his uncle (Henri Degas) and his niece, Lucie.  

Degas was lauded as an impressionist.  However, he preferred the term, "realist"

My apologies for the slight light reflection just above the cigar.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Chicago Museum of Art: Monet's "Boats on the Beach at Etretat"

Painted in 1885, Monet's "Boats on the Beach.." depicts not a wide expanse of ocean, but a sandy beach of half moon bay with fishing boats pulled out of the tide.

Some wonder if Monet knew he was painting the end of an era.   The local economy was becoming more dependent upon tourists.   And, they would not be as desirous to look at fishing boats and cleaning stations. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Chicago Musem of Art: Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte"

In a style much different than Renoir's, Georges Seurat painted "A Sundy on La Grande Jatte" in 1884.

The scene shows people relaxing in a suburban park on an island in the Seine River.  Seurant used small, horizontal brush strokes and later added small dots, in complementary colors.   The dots appear solid from a distance.   Seurant's method was quite scientific for its time. 

Many argued that his style reflected the static posturing of the modern Parisian society.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Chicago Museum of Art: Renoir's "Chrysanthemums"

First, I really tried to find a Renoir painting of pilgrims and turkeys.   I know that turkey may not have been on the menu that first Thanksgiving.  Regardless, I was unable to find a single Renoir with either a pilgrim or turkey.  What was he thinking? to serious things! 

Renoir writes that when he paints flowers, he lets his brain rest.  He went on to explain that with a model, he felt tension trying to capture the moment.   That doesn't exist with flowers.

Here, he just works on the color tones and doesn't worry about losing the image/moment with a model

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chicago Museum of Art: Renoir's "Woman at the Piano"

It was in the mid-1800's that the piano became a popular instrument for home music.  By 1875-1876, when this was painted, almost every bourgeois home had an upright. 

I liked this piece a lot.  Even the candle holder, candle and the notes on the music caught my eye.

This piece made me wish I had talent to draw and paint.   Unfortunately, I do not!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chicago Museum of Art: Renoir's "Alfred Sisley"

Renoir painted this portrait of Alfred Sisley at Monet's home in Argenteuil in 1876. 

Sisley was also an impressionist painter and friend.

Interestingly, there is little in the scene to indicate Sisley's passion for painting.  There is no paint, no brush, no canvas! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chicago's Museum of Art: Renoir's "Near the Lake"

Renoir painted this about 1879-1880.  The setting hasn't been determined.   Many believe it to be near the tourist destination of Bois de Boulogne in the western suburbs of Paris.

Renoir, like many artists used his friends as models.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Chicago Museum of Art: Paintings: Renoir's Two Sisters (On the Terrace)

It is likely that Renoir painted this in 1881 on the terrace of the Fournaise family restaurant on the Seine, at Chatou.  

The colors were stunning!

I found them flowing and envisioned flowers and feathers mixed in a beautiful hat.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chicago Museum or Art: Paintings: Renoir's Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise

Painted about 1875, Renoir did this piece in Chatou, west of Paris on the Seine.The setting is the terrace of a restaurant on an island in the river.  It was, as the placard says, a popular meeting place for recreational rowers.

Renoir was friendly with the owners of the restaurant.   One of the subjects has been identified as Monsieur de Lauradour, a regular at the restaurant.   He is the figure at the far left.

I very much liked the details of the glasses and bottles. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Chicago Museum of Art: Paintings: Manet's "Woman Reading"

Painted about 1879-1880, Manet painted a young Parisienne sitting in a cafe, with a glass of beer at her side. 

Her face consists of just a few quick brush strokes on the white-primed canvas.   It is, as the informational card next to the painting explains, almost like "make-up".

It is likely she is reading the La vie moderne, which was a new magazine devoted to literature, art and society.   Manet contributed illustrations to this publication. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Chicago Museam of Art: Paintings: Monet's Arrival of the Normandy Train

Claude Monet's "Arrival of the Normandy Train" was painted in 1877.  He rented an apartment in the nearby rue Monesry and began the first of twelve painting in this area.

There is rumor that he paid to have extra coal on hand to keep the smoke billowing so he could capture it.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Chicago Museum of Art: Paintings: Berthe Morisot

When I first saw this painting, I was sure it was a Manet.  It turns out that Berthe Morisot was an artist in her own right.  She was married to Eugene Manet (Manet's brother).  It was painted about 1882.  The woman in front is not known.   But, there is speculation that the girl in the straw hat, in the background to the right, is the artists 4 yr old daughter Julie.

It was a beautiful piece to see 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chicago Museam of Art: Miniatures

About a year ago, I was in Chicago and decided to visit the Museum of Art. I was not disappointed.  In the lower level, was an exhibit of miniature rooms.   It was quite amazing.

The photos do not do this justice.  I had to free hold the camera under very low light conditions. 

 These exhibits are anywhere from 12" to 18" square.

All the furniture had to be custom made...using custom tools!

It was amazing.  I would love to bring a tripod there and do some deeper depth of field images.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Traveling for business: Morning Coffee

Traveling for business can be brutal.  I know people think it can be fun.   But, it is often exhausting.
Fortunately, you can meet the morning with a cup of coffee and co-workers.

I like this photo.   Taken early in the morning.  Different people.   Different coffee's.  Same objectives for the day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Ahlmans Shooter Show Weekend: 17: Wrapping and Music on the Way Out

As I was leaving, it was nice to see some music for the crowd.

Not bad.  

Not bad at all!

I hope when I retire, I can find a steady gig!  Nicely done, folks!~

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Ahlmans Shooter Show Weekend: 15: REALLY Big Guns

And, they weren't kidding!

OK, that's a bomb.   I know it isn't a gun. But, I am including it because it is my blog and I want to.  I assume it was inert.  But, I didn't kick the nose to check.

If you wanted to shoot a  anti-Tank M40 106MM recoil-less rifle, you could!

By the way, it was LOUD!

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Ahlmans Shooter Show Weekend: 14: Teaching Safety!

The gentlemen below was helping a young lady shoot the bowling pins below

Shooting bowling pins is pretty fun.   They can dance around the wire and make it pretty challenging.  And, they don't easily just break apart!  It takes a lot to make slivers of them!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Ahlmans Shooter Show Weekend: 13: Calendar Models

The ladies below were part of another photographers booth.  They were featured in his calendar and they were available to sell and sign calendars.

Thanks ladies!  It was a pleasure meeting you, both!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Ahlmans Shooter Show Weekend: 12 1700's Cannon Crew Anyone?

The gentlemen below were part of a small team that fired a later 1700's cannon.

It was awesome!   And LOUD!

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Ahlmans Shooter Show Weekend: 11 Shotguns, Anyone?

There were a number of shotgun manufacturers with plenty of ammo available.

 If you don't know, the photo below is of a machine that throws the orange disks, called clay pigeons.   It is really fun trying to shoot them flying through the air!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Ahlmans Shooter Show Weekend: 10 Flintlock, Anyone?

Anyone interested in trying a flintlock?

The team was very helpful teaching people how to load, aim, and fire!

Thanks guys!