Spring into Chicago

 We took a short flight from NYC to Chicago....we have come to spend spring break with a really cute, funny, energetic  granddaughter, E.M., who just happens to be a budding artist. Her favorite painting style is abstract and she has an unfailing eye for shape, color and contrast.

Of course this all gave us a reason to go to the Art Institute of Chicago, where two giant Lions sit elegantly on the steps welcoming all.  The institute is hosting a new Matisse exhibition, Matisse Radical Invention 1913-1917.

Our family once lived in Chicago and spent many wonderful hours at the Institute of Art. It was smaller then. Most memorable was one main hall full of armour, axes, helmets, tools, implements everything from the medieval period... our family LOVED it.  So it was quite a surprise to see the museum as it is today, all refigured, redesigned and the Modern Art wing attached to the main building. The "Knights of the Round Table" artifacts are now replaced with all things "Asian." Two large halls are sparsely filled with beautiful sculptures, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, etc. There is a peaceful presence.

Of course we were excited to see the Matisse exhibit, but first a visit to more familiar works of art. Our granddaughter loves Mary Cassatt and we actually had to search to find her paintings. We walked through a maze of halls, relief when we finally came upon two of her favorites.

 E.M. is working on her photography skills this week. Her favorite photos have been inside the museum and shadow photos outside.

 Back in Maryland, I joined a small group of artists gathering twice a month for life modeling classes. This has added a new challenge in my own artwork, improving my sketching and drawing skills.  I looked for  works of art with strong drawing techniques.

 Almost all impressionist painters were equally skilled with charcoal, pen, ink and pastel. Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt were especially gifted in their use of pastel.

It is fun to focus  on a particular artist when visiting an art museum, this time it was Vuillard and Bonnard. The following are a few gems that I cropped closely  so  you can enjoy  the details. The strong composition,  texture, value and story telling elements are exciting!

 We were ready to see the Matisse Exhibition, but very disappointed to not be allowed to take photos. Sorry we can't share with you. In all honesty it wasn't my favorite Matisse exhibit. But we did enjoy his larger, more colorful, abstracted paintings. The Museum of Baltimore has a very large collection of Mattise paintings, donated by the Cone Sisters.

As with all good things, it was time for the  museum to close. Saying goodbye, we enjoyed the Bucket Players, full of enthusiasm, adding to our fantastic experience.

But here is my favorite artist ...with a great future ahead of her.

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Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you take to say hello. Warmly, Sharon