Playing Hooky at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Yesterday I went to the Milwaukee Art Museum with my friend L. It was a lovely day.

Initially, L had asked me if I wanted to make a day out of going to the Art Institute in Chicago. We’d take the train down, go to the AI, have some lunch, maybe go to the Cristkindlmarket. We’d made our plans in late November for before Christmas. Of course, life happens and plans change.

After rescheduling twice we determined a trip by car to Milwaukee might be a bit safer with Omicron wandering the world.

It was a cold day, but we had a great time!

We wandered the MAM for two and a half hours, and I saw more than I had during any of my previous visits. L had been visiting the MAM since she was a girl with her parents leading the way. She knew the MAM from the pre-Calatrava days.

The famous wings of the museum stayed down yesterday, due to the weather and probably also because it was just another working Thursday for the world.

The Museum is currently doing timed entrances to keep the crowds low, but it would have been a quiet day anyway, I suspect. That suited us just fine.

L is an interior designer, so she had special parts of the museum to see and show me…great collections of modern furniture, but also turn of the previous Century furniture as well.

If you get the chance….

Creative Mornings at the Milwaukee Art Museum

The Creative Mornings theme today was “Symmetry,” and what better place to have this conversation than the Calatrava?

The Creative Morning program started at 8:30 this morning…long before the MAM was due to open and spread its wings for the day. Coming out the top story of the parking garage from the museum on Lincoln Memorial Drive, I was able to cross over what I consider to be part of the “spine” of the structure.
The event started with coffee and muffins with a view. Tables were set around to rest a cuppa while you introduced yourself to other creatives. I enjoyed conversations with Nancy, Sandy and Toni…close friends attending together. Sandy is a seasoned Creative Mornings attendee, and Nancy and Toni were enjoying their first venture into the event.

Before the presentation, our host for the event, Paul Oemig (above), asked us to engage with a stranger in our vicinity for one minute to explore our “____” = “_____” name tag topics. I had a nice conversation with Nick who is an experiential designer focussed on cutting out the social media clutter in pursuit of deeper interactions. Creative Mornings was just the spot for Nick. He talked about his desire to find locations for events where people can have shared experiences. I told him about Kenosha’s Creative Space, and he already knew Francisco Loyola. It’s a small wonderful world.

Whitney’s presentation was a treat. Her career has not yet spanned a decade, but she discovered early on the jangly dissatisfaction of a work/life imbalance. She talked about the process of determining her goals and rebuilding her career to attain that balance (symmetry) for herself.

She’s put together a freelance illustration and design business that allows her to take the time to do work that is more pleasing to her and to her clients. Time, play, and the power of saying no were all necessary in remaking her career.

I wish I’d had such a clear vision of my own career from such an early part of it.

As a wonderful surprise, the MAM invited all attendees of this Creative Mornings event to view the Bouguereau & America exhibit. As it happens, I had the time, and the exhibit was terrific.
When I left, the sun was shining, the clouds had cleared out, and the wings were spread.

Until next time….

Thanks for stopping by!

Maryland for Grammy’s Memorial

Travel isn’t always about the food, but when you’re sitting still to eat, it’s a handy time to sketch.
It’s not often that our family gathers in numbers, so it was a charmed breakfast that brought a steady stream of family through the door for breakfast. Makes me wish we all lived in one town and could recreate the experience on a daily basis. 
The coat draped over the chair was the only part of this sketch I liked. The guy looked like a Peanuts character and the Southwest marker post was waaaaaaay out of proportion. The page just needed a whale with a ridiculously pointy nose, and then a tree to balance the spread—perfection.

In between the drawings we ate many more meals, shared many memories of wonderful times, visited with more family, and memorialized a wonderful woman who will be missed by many.

Thanks for stopping by!

Italy Sketching Tools

A look at the tools I used for the Italy Travel Journal. I pilfered the sock-wrist-towel from Pinterest—worked like a dream and I continue to use it. Derwent watercolor pencils, Pentel Water Brush, and a ballpoint pen (substitute pen pictured—original is now charging an appearance fee, and requires a signed contract up front).

Thanks for the journal, Aunt Peg! It finally got to travel!
No, Smithers, they are not cat treats nor do they require sharpening, but thanks for stopping by!

Italy Journal Sketches

First sketch of the Italy travel journal.
That’s my real luggage—to scale! Ha, ok so maybe not, but it kinda
felt like it until I had to carry it.
Fig page edge…the fruit is hard to come by around here,
but they littered the ground outside our door at the villa.
One of the guest buildings at Cinelli-Colombini.
Notes from our tour guide’s presentation at Avignonesi. She explained
in great detail two experiments in planting that were completed at
their winery. No two vineyards were the same on the trip—they
all had their own practices and traditions.
What happens when you try very hard to draw a straight line while riding
on a bus? Wonkiness! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
It tickled me that my morning cappuccino was served to me every morning in a cup with
Big Ben and the Parliament building on it—loved it!
Our final night at Cinelli-Colombini we had dinner
“on our own” at the Osteria di Donnatella (the restaurant
on the property of the villa). Bob very generously decanted
a 2000 Donatella Reserve for each table as a treat. Wow!
The villa sent us off with a bag lunch for our 5-hour bus ride to the Adige
region in the north of Italy. There was a yummy dessert bar in there, too, but
I required sustenance for the drawing…ha!
This bit o’ sketchiness is out of chronological order in my travel journal.
Our first night in the Adige region we ate at the Gasthaus Zum Schenk…
wonderful food, very friendly people, HUGE language barrier that
led to a lot of laughter for all the parties involved.
It also led to a game of musical beer glasses for one of our tour members
who wanted a small beer—but not that small. And then a large beer—but not that large.
A rough and incomplete (let’s face it, just terrible) map of our short morning
walk around Trento after breakfast. We went full-out tourist with cameras in
hand to look at the river, architecture and whatever else captured our attention.
Juice first…wine later 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!