Friday, August 31, 2018

This January...Peru- around Arequipa, carriers


Map from The Rough Guide to Peru (2012)

Peru- A fourth trip- around Arequipa.

The cheapest and also most enjoyable prospect to escape the summer heat here is to go back to Peru. Ecuador is remarkably costly to fly to. I also looked at Bolivia and it also is notably more expensive to get to.

So this time, I propose to re-visit several places down in the south of the country near Arequipa to and add one or two new ones. I fly to Arequipa, then bus up to Cotahuasi where the landscape- a splendid valley- beckons. I also visit Chivay and Cabanaconde to see Colca Canyon. 

Then I return to Arequipa, thence onto Juliaca and Puno.

I`ve been to Arequipa and Puno but not of the other places. It`s reassuring to include which is familiar places on the itinerary.



The pictures all will be the larger- c. 20 x 22 cm - size. When I work on this scale I need take fewer carriers because I can paint a maximum of two such pictures per day. The paintings take up to a week to dry and after a week I can pack them together liberating carriers for new paintings. 

The long and short of all that is that I shall need to take only about 20 carriers for five weeks travel- this saves considerably on packing space.


Some things I liked at the Art Institute of Chicago


James McNeill Whistler, Trouville (Grey and Green, the Silver Sea), 1865

This desolate Whistler is large and rather more striking than it perhaps appears here...

Monet, Étretat: The Beach and the Falaise d'Amont, 1885

There are a huge number of Monet's- I especially loved this one, with it's jewel-box colouring and wonderful sense of a vista.

 Beauford Delaney, American, 1901–1979, Self-Portrait1944

Tarsila do Amaral, City (the street), 1929

Hanns Kralik, Out My Window, 1930

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942

Chaim Soutine, Landscape at Cagnes, c. 1923

This big museum is big- very big. The impressionists- especially Monet and Cezanne, are very well represented. 

But otherwise the works do not come together to tell a coherent story. 

It seemed as if the pieces had been purchased in huge lots and then the curators left to make sense of them, which they did so by hanging furniture and paintings together. Often this is rather unsatisfactory as the furniture gets in the way of the paintings- this is particularly the case in the American section.  

The modern and contemporary sections are much more satisfactory, free of bric-a-brac.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Some things I liked in the Met this time


It`s always a pleasure to visit the Met but why did they have to set the entry charge so high- at 25$ for non-New Yorkers- a charge prohibitive to those who are on a limited budget and so high as to discourage the repeat visits that are necessary to know this vast collection. Surely the benefactors did not intend that the works should only be accessible to the wealthy?

That caveat aside, here are some things that struck me especially this time-

Velázquez, Portrait of a man, ca. 1630–35

Velázquez, Cardinal Camillo Astalli-Pamphili, ca. 1650

Titian, Filippo Archinto, 1550s

Hans Memling, Portrait of an old Man, 1475

These renaissance portraits struck me with their combination of perceptiveness and gentleness.

Titian, Venus and the Lute Player, 1565-70

Rubens, A Forest at Dawn with a Deer Hunt, c. 1635

The falling tree is a visual metaphor for the prospects of the deer, I suppose. 

Conversation, Vuillard, 1897-8

I found the aspect of visual puzzle above enjoyable.

Still life with Ham, Philippe Rousseau, 1870s

The handling of paint and tonal control in this still life are so assured that this painting transfixes.


I was very taken by these detailed and elegant designed woodblock prints by Kitagawa Utamaro  from the Picture Book of Crawling Creatures,1788,  26.7 x 18.4 cm

Cone-headed Grasshopper or Locust; Praying Mantis



Ariadne, Giorgio de Chirico,1913

View of Collioure. Henri Matisse, 1907


Ceremomial Banner (Roto), Toraja people
 Indonesia, Sulawesi, Ronkong, late 19th century


Bis Pole. Wood, fibre paint, Indonesia, Papua Province
 Asmat People, 1950s

This tall, fantastical Indonisal sculptures are quite delightful. Their scale and effect aren`t conveyed in the photos I could find, alas. You have to visit...