Monday, September 11, 2017


 First it was Harvey and now Irma which have brought chaos and destruction to so many.  Water can create a lot more damage than folks realize. In fact, just seeing the photos remind me of the past devastation a 500 yr and 100 yr flood our region endured, and even more recently a mid July flooding which almost took our mile long drive again.  
Please know that our hearts are with all whose lives have been interrupted. May your losses not be too great to bear and may your recovery be in a timely fashion. 

Personally I can pack my bag another time and wait for a better time to visit my new grandbaby in Georgia...  

This blogger will also take a break from blogging for a bit. Besides, who can think/ talk about anything but climate change?

Friday, September 8, 2017


FOTO FRIDAY this week is a different kind of vogue than last week's FOTO FRIDAY. This one is  from one of our late afternoon Miata jaunts through the Coulee. 

Our area's claim to fame is the company who is the leading seller of organically grown food, Organic Valley. Many farmers have gone organic but this particular farm in Harmony Valley has been organic long before it was in vogue. 

There's nothing like the beauty of a freshly plowed field. You don't call it dirt, this is soil, organic soil. The damp earthy smell is in the air.

This late summer plowing is for a cool weather crop. 

Do you have a seasonal photo to share? Don't be shy. We all love seeing your photos.

Hope you didn't miss last week's  PARISIAN CHIC.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


The Musee de l'Orangerie's second exhibit downstairs was entitled Jean Walter & Paul Guillame Collection.  Actually this 145 painting exhibit was compiled by the art dealer Paul Guillame's widow Domenica of his collection from 1912 until his death in 1934. (BTW Jean Walter, an architect and industrialist was her second husband.)

Can you imagine having your apartment's walls filled with the famous works of artists like Rousseau?  


Modigliani ,



Guillame did not represent Picasso but they shared an interest in primitive art of which Guillame had an extensive collection but he did hold a show for both Matisse and Picasso in his gallery. Guillame's artists thought highly of his endeavors on their behalf. 

I was enthralled with the miniature models of the Guillames's dining room ... Take a close look . 

and his study...

Paul Guillame's widow Domenica sold off his extensive African sculpture collections

Can one even guess what this collection must be worth? Guillame had been poor growing up but he certainly didn't die poor at age 43.

Although Guillame died before his dream of creating a museum could come to fruition, rumor has it his premature death was suspicious. Domenica somehow was cleared of all the charges after donating his collection to the state which has been on permanent display here in the Musee de l'Orangerie since 1984. 

Très intéressant, non?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Truth be told I must admit guilt posting my escapism from the chaos surrounding us during this time of climate catastrophes of flooding,hurricanes, fires, disastrous immigration reform, racism, privatization of schools, parks, etc. But that's the thing about art as it can serve many purposes.

We might as well benefit from the wealthy and one small way they can give back to society whether it truly is philanthropy/our manmade laws as their acquisitions can sometimes benefit us, the masses. You know their extensive art acquisitions can eventually be made public. Such was the case of two exhibits downstairs in the Musee de l'Orangerie one owned by a very savvy, wealthy Japanese businessman, Shojiro Ishibashi (translated Bridgestone, yep the rubber baron) who eventually created a museum in 1952 for his extensive collection and also a foundation in Tokyo. The exhibit is appropriately named TOKYO PARIS.

We know Japanese art was popular in Europe in the late 19th century and on the flip side Impressionism /Western Art was popular and collected in Japan. Ishibashi favored before and after Impressionism so he owned 6 Monets,  added Cezanne and Gauguin in the late 50's and 60's respectively. 


Then he moved on to Classic Modern Art ...

and eventually  Post war and Abstract. ie Pollack.

There's still another exhibit to be shared in the next entry ... But keep in mind if you are in Paris you can easily visit the Musee de l' Orangerie in a couple hours.  

More importantly many museums ,no matter where you live, may have free days open to the public. You just have to check and plan accordingly... 


Where else could you find orange trees ? 

In the Orangerie, of course.

Actually the Orangerie is where the King's gardeners would keep the fruit trees in the winter, a very large greenhouse although today it is Musée de l'Orangerie, home to the Impressionist artist Monet's  large wall murals.

Claude Monet  left quite a legacy and you can visit these murals specifically in the Orangerie inside of the Tuilerie Garden, a perfect space considering Monet built his own gardens in Giverny. His gardens not only gave him pleasure but served as his art's subject matter. 

In the oval shaped rooms light is actually diffused by large fabric screens hanging overhead. These protect Monet's masterpieces which he assembled on site. 

The murals wrap the room in serene natural splendor.  

Pictured are his famed water lily murals of his Japanese garden

The closer you get, you see how intricate the mural is...

Brother and Sister, Jim and Sally my traveling companions have the perfect backdrop 

If you haven't read about Monet's Giverny, do click on BREATH OF FRESH AIR)
Besides Monet's murals downstairs in the museum you will find an amazing collection by Fumio Asakura. More on his collection and   Jean Walter's & Paul Guillame's collection containing Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, Picasso and Utrillo next.  

Stay tuned for this week's entry as the Grand Palais is not to be missed...

Friday, September 1, 2017


FOTO FRIDAY this week is back to my series of catching Parisians in their daily lives... 

One predominant cultural difference I presumed to encounter in France would be couture. Seriously, I'm from a small college university town in Wisconsin where jeans, baggy/ tight and leggings dominate. Anxiously, I  awaited the knockout Parisian style. Specifically the women. 

But, actually it was the men with scarves, tight fitting narrow legged pants accompanied by great socks and leather shoes/ boots which grabbed my attention. Granted it was summer and hot. It wasn't until Montmartre and saw this young couple epitomizing Parisian chic that ooh la la called for a Kodak moment. 

Perfection and he was even on his phone!

Do you have any fashion photos to share? Please do. They always make FOTO FRIDAY more interesting. 

Last week it was my FIELD OF SUNSHINE with all those magnificent sunflowers.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


TBT: Mississippi Mayhem Cruise Night's kick off for bombs and beers at Rudy's Drive-in had a perfect evening to show off all the classic cars/bikes in the area and their owners could even pre-register for the Sept 8-9th event. 

Tuesday night at Rudy's there was also face painting and giveaways. YEA.

We certainly enjoyed our free Root Beer Float in the Miata and seeing all the beautiful "rides." 

Here are a couple of the twenty 2017 Mayhem Pageant contestants enjoying and let me add 'accessorizing' the Classics. 

The Mayhem Pageant'll be held on stage September 9th
at 1pm in West Salem.

These gals's outfits were awfully colorful but as we were going back in time it seemed more appropriate to share them in black and white, don't you agree?

Jump in...

A good time was had by all... And I can honestly say I'm glad I don't have to try to parallel park some of those classics!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


The highlight of our 5th day in Paris was to head to Montmartre, in the northern section of the city where Impressionist artists and bohemians were attracted at the turn of the century. Atop its hill is Sacré Coeur (Sacred Head) Church which has the best panoramic view of the city. 

The view definitely was not disappointing.  

Our transportation modes added a new one since after the metro in order not to have some energy left we took a new form of transportation for us, the funicular, a tram like car which runs along rails to reach the top of Montmartre's hill due to the steep incline and numerous stairs. It's worth the metro ticket!

Our job was also to find the Salvador Dali Exhibit and obviously we were on the right track but enroute we found the marketplace with dozens of artists selling their wares and painting portraits.

So poised at 13
The artist in the beret sketched this young lady next to us at her dinner table for $20 no less. 

Espace d' Dalí was beyond expectations as this little museum houses the largest collection in France by Dalí.

The surrealist Dalí (1934-1987) insisted he was not a sculptor but claimed it was his transformation of his ideas into three dimensional forms that differentiated him from other artists using a lost wax process . 

This Spaniard's creative works speak for themselves as his ideas become reality combining whimsy and fantasy. 

His bronze sculptures and graphic artworks illustrate he was an artist ahead of his times.  

Twisting religious symbolism is one of his common themes...

The metal piece reflects the lower drawing not as an insect but as a face
Infamous melting clock...

Dalí's career was bolstered by a love. His love story of Gala, his Russian born muse ten years his senior also was his agent. Married when she met Dalí at the beginning of his career in '29 began a menage a trois and did eventually marry him in '34. Gala had a strong sexual drive continuing extramarital affairs throughout their marriage. They had an agreement that he must write her and get permission before coming home. Fascinating to say the least.   Perhaps the saying "Behind every great man is a great woman." Gala certainly brought out the passion in Dalí. And we can today savor that art.

So Montmartre's definitely a must if you want both a terrific city view and art. Numerous restaurants and gift shops await you.