Tag Archives: art

1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die

Although it eventually led to gainful employment, most people looked at me with one eyebrow cocked when I told them I was majoring in Art History in undergrad.  I enjoyed my studies and wouldn’t go back and change it if I could.  If anything, it at least introduced me to the greatest artworks in the world and pushed me to see many of them, even before finding this list. 

For Christmas, I asked for the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die.  In reviewing the list, I must say, I think I’ve done pretty well, considering.  So many pieces are just difficult to see, in hard to get to places (small chapels, private collections, out of the way Museums, etc), so I’ve done well with the “big” ones.  My biggest complaint with this list is that there are far too many modern pieces.

Most of the ones I’ve seen come from an internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and subsequent frequent visits to the nearby MoMA), the National Gallery in DC, and a month long trip to Italy.  I’ve seen 122 or about 12%; ones I’ve seen are in red.

    Pre 1400s:

  • Garden with Pool – Unknown (British Museum, London, UK)
  • Goldsmiths at Work – Unknown (Tomb 181, Valley of the Nobles, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Egypt)
  • Sailing Barge of Amenhotep Huy – Unknown (Tomb of Huy, Qurnet Murai, Thebes, Egypt)
  • Sethos I Before Horus – Unknown (Temple of Sethos I, Abydos, Egypt)
  • Etruscan Erotic Scene – Unknown (Tomb of the Bulls, Monterozzi Necropolis, Tarquinia, Italy)
  • Painting from the Tomb of the Diver – Unknown (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, Italy)
  • The Startled Woman – Unknown (Villa dei Misteri, North Wall, Pompeii, Italy)
  • Europa on a Bull – Unknown (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, Italy)
  • Pan and Hermaphordite – Unknown (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, Italy)
  • Sacrifice of Conon – Unknown (National Museum, Damascus, Syria)
  • Theseus Freeing Children from the Minotaur – Unknown (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, Italy)
  • Portrait of a Woman – Unknown (Louvre, Paris, France)
  • The Good Shepherd – Unknown (Catacombs of Priscilla, Cubiculum of the Good Shepherd, Rome, Italy)
  • Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides – Unknown (Catacombs of the Via Latina, Rome, Italy)
  • Bodhisattva Padmapani – Unknown (Ajanta Cave 1, Lenapur Village, near Aurangabad, India)
  • Mayan Procession Scene – Unknown (Temple of Frescoes, Bonampak, Mexico)
  • Kichijoten – Unknown (Yakushi-ji Temple, Nara, Japan)
  • Mansions in the Mountains – Tung Yuan (National Palace Museum, Taiwan)
  • Boson de Rochechouart – Unknown (Les Salles Lavauguyon, Haute Vienne, France)
  • Archangel Gabriel – Unknown (State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Eldrad Leaving for Santiago de Compostela – Unknown (Chapel of St. Eldrad and St. Nicholas, Abbey of Novalesa, Piedmont, Italy)
  • Maiestas Domini, San Clemente de Tahull – Unknown (Museu d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
  • Rucellai Madonna – Duccio di Buoninsegna (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Crucifix – Cimabue (Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, Italy)
  • The Last Judgement – Pietro Cavallini (Church of Santa Cecilia, Rome, Italy)
  • St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata – Giotto (San Francesco, Assisi, Italy)
  • Legend of the Three Dead and the Three Living – Unknown (St. Benedict Sacro Speco, Subiaco, Italy)
  • Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple – Giotto (Capella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Italy)
  • The Meeting at the Golden Gate – Giotto (Capella degli Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua, Italy)
  • Noli Me Tangere – Giotto (Capella degli Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua, Italy)
  • The Betrayal of Christ – Giotto (Capella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Italy)
  • The Marriage Feast at Cana – Duccio di Buoninsegna (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena, Italy)
  • Miacles of St. Nicholas – Ambrogio Lorenzetti (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • The Scourging of Christ – Ferrer Bassa (Monasterio de Pedralbes, Barcelona, Spain)
  • The Annunciation with Two Saints – Simone Martini (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • The Effects of Good Government in the City – Ambrogio Lorenzetti – Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, Italy)
  • Christ on the Cross – Simone Martini (Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
  • Beata Umiltà Altarpiece – Pietro Lorenzetti (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Scenes from the Life of Magdalene – Giovanni da Milano (Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence, Italy)
  • Annunciation – Giusto de’Menabuoi (Baptistery, Padua, Italy)
  • Descent into Hell – Jaime Serra (Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain)
  • Dormition of the Virgin – Theophanes the Greek (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia)
  • Humay at the Gate of Humayun’s Castle – Junayd Baghdadi (British Library, London, UK)
  • The Wilton Diptych – Unknown (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • 1400s:

  • The Old Testament Trinity – Andrei Rublev (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia)
  • Entombment Triptych – Robert Campin (Courtauld Institute, London, UK)
  • Christine de Pizan – Unknown (British Library, London, UK)
  • Quaratesi Polyptych – Gentile de Fabriano (Vatican Pinacoteca, Vatican City, Italy)
  • St. Anthony Beaten by Devils – Sassetta (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena, Italy)
  • Temptation of Adam and Eve – Masolino da Panicale (Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy)
  • Tribute Money – Masaccio (Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy)
  • Virgin and Child – Masaccio (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • The Trinity – Masaccio (Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy)
  • Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew – Stefan Lochner (Vatican Pinacoteca, Vatican City, Italy)
  • Queen Trishala on Her Bed – Unknown (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Ghent Altarpiece – Jan van Eyck (Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium)
  • Man in a Red Turban – Jan van Eyck (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • The Annunciation – Fra Angelico (Museo Diocesano, Cortona, Italy)
  • The Decapitation of St. George – Bernardo Martorell (Louvre, Paris, France)
  • Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife – Jan van Eyck (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Saints – Fra Angelico (Museo Diocesano, Cortona, Italy)
  • The Annunciation – Robert Campin (Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)
  • Deposition – Rogier van der Weyden (Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)
  • The Annunciation with Two Kneeling Donors – Fra Filippo Lippi (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome, Italy)
  • The Battle of San Romano – Paolo Uccello (National Gallery, London, UK; Uffizi, Florence, Italy; Louvre, Paris, France)
  • Noli Me Tangere – Fra Angelico (Museo di San Marco dell’Angelico, Florence, Italy)
  • Portrait of Leonello d’Este – Pisanello (Galleria Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Italy)
  • Dome of the Zodiac – Pesello (Old Sacristy, Basilica of St. Lawrence, Florence, Italy)
  • Adoration of Christ – Stefan Lochner (Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany)
  • The Flood – Paolo Uccello (Chiostro Verde, Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy)
  • Saint John in the Desert – Domenico Veneziano (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA)
  • Boccaccio – Andrea del Castagno (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Triumph of Death – Unknown (Galleria Regionale, Palazzo Abbatellis, Palermo, Sicily, Italy)
  • The Melun Madonna – Jean Fouquet (Koninklijk Museum, Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Scenes from the Life of St. John the Baptist: Herod’s Feast – Fra Filippo Lippi (Santa Stefano Cathedral, Prato, Italy)
  • The Virgin Appears to Pope Callistus III – Sano di Pietro (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena, Italy)
  • The Flagellation of Christ – Jaume Huguet (Louvre, Paris, France)
  • The Flagellation of Christ – Piero della Francesca (Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino, Italy)
  • Journey of the Magi to Bethlehem – Benozzo Gozzoli (Chapel of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, Italy)
  • Adoration of the Child with St. Bernard – Fra Filippo Lippi (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • The Resurrection of Christ – Piero della Francesca (Pinacoteca Civica, Sansepolcro, Italy)
  • Portraits of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza – Piero della Francesca (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Last Supper Altarpiece – Dierec Bouts (Church of Saint Peter, Leuven, Belgium)
  • St. George and the Dragon – Sano di Pietro (Museo Diocesano, Siena, Italy)
  • The Hunt in the Forest – Paolo Uccello (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK)
  • Portrait of an Old Woman – Hans Memling (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA)
  • St. George and the Drago – Paolo Uccello (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • Winter Landscape – Sesshu (Tokyo National Museum, Japan)
  • The Holy Family – Martin Schongauer (Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany)
  • Brera Madonna – Piero della Francesca (Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy)
  • The Annunciation – Leonardo da Vinci (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Portrait of a Man – Antonello da Messina (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • Condottiero – Antonello da Messina (Louvre, Paris, France)
  • Portinari Altarpiece – Hugo van der Goes (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Martyrdom of St. Sebastian – Antonio and Piero del Pollaiuolo (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • Virgin and Child Enthroned – Cosimo Tura (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • La Primavera – Sandro Botticelli (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • St. Francis in Ecstasy – Giovanni Bellini (Frick Collection, New York, NY, USA)
  • The Sultan Mehmet II – Gentile Bellini (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • St. Job Altarpiece – Giovanni Bellini (Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy)
  • The Donne Triptych – Hans Memling (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter – Pietro Perugino (Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Italy)
  • Altarpiece of the Church Fathers – Michael Pacher (Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany)
  • Adoration of the Child – Filippino Lippi (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Birth of Venus – Sandro Botticelli (Uffizi, Florence, Italy) (When I was visiting, The Birth of Venus was in Russia)
  • The Annunciation, with St. Emidius – Carlo Crivelli (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • Francesco Sassetti and His Son Teodoro – Domenico Ghirlandaio (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA)
  • The Vision of the Blessed Gabriele – Carlo Crivelli (National Gallery, London, UK)
  • Old Man with a Young Boy – Domenico Ghirlandaio (Louvre, Paris, France)
  • Battle of Mailberg – Hans Part (Klosterneuberg Monastery, Austria)
  • St. Augustine in the Cell – Sandro Botticelli (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Calumny of Apelles – Sandro Botticelli (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Pietà – Piero Perugino (Uffizi, Florence, Italy)
  • Dream of St. Ursula – Vittore Carpaccio (Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy)
  • The Last Supper – Leonardo da Vinci (Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan, Italy)
  • Self Portrait with Gloves – Albrecht Dürer (Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)
  • The Judgement of Cambyses – Gerard David (Groeninge Museum, Bruges, Belgium)

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Thing to Do #100: Reach 100 Years of Age-My 20s

Age 22 (Do I look much different?)

One thing I’ve always liked about my birth year is that it synchs up nicely with the decades.  I turned 20 in the year 2000.  Therefore, bidding good-bye to the aughts also means saying adios to my 20s.  In the book, it suggests that I make a timeline, recording all the major events in my life leading up to my 100th birthday, so I decided to do a little recap.  Looking back, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished in my 20s; all of the major life goals I set for myself, I had accomplished by 2006-which mostly just illustrates that I did not have very lofty goals. 

In re-examining my life thus far, the only major change I would like to make is to actually endeavor to make money.  Although it seems to be a high priority for most, it’s just never occurred to me, but I’m beginning more and more to see the benefit.  Going into my 30s, I’ve finally decided that I’m tired of working harder than everyone else.  I’m very good at what I do and people with far less ability and intelligence easily make 3 times more than what I make.  Plus, if I want to travel, I gots to fund these trips!

Highlights from My Roaring Twenties:

2000:  Sophomore year at Hollins.  Internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  Got engaged.  Internship at the North Carolina Museum of History.

2001:  Junior year at Hollins.  Spent January in ItalyNipple pierced (and removed in 6 months).  Won the Frances Niederer Scholarship.

2002:  Senior year at Hollins.  Internship at the Southwestern Virginia Museum of Art.  Spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square, NYC.  Internship with the Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project.  Graduated from Hollins.  Traveled through New England to visit New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.  Got married.  Went to Disney World.

2003:  Began my first real grown up job (with benefits).  Visit Atlantic City.

2004:  Quit first real grown up job.  Started grad school at Campbell University.  Began teaching.

2005:  Began working as Executive Director of the Johnston County Arts Council.  Completed my Non-Profit Management Certification from Duke University.  Left my husband.  Bought my house.

2006:  Completed my grad degree from Campbell.

2007:  Visited Miami (swam with dolphins and bet on the ponies).  Took cruise to Grand Cayman, Cozumel/Tulum, Belize, and Honduras.

2008:  Visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  Got engaged.  Went to Playa del Carmen (swam with Whale Sharks).  Went White Water Rafting.  Began my job at NBC 17.

2009:  Got laid off from NBC 17.  Became Executive Director of Ava Gardner Museum.  Got married in Vegas.  Traveled to Ohio to ride Top Thrill Dragster.  Got a piece of art in an exhibition.

What did you accomplish during the “Aughts?”

Final Report for 2009

I posted my Things to Do for 2009 in the beginning of January and did  follow ups throughout the year.  We’re still a few days from the end of the year but I figured I could go ahead and post my final report:

#12 Get a piece of art into an exhibition – Completed!

#14 Ride the World’s Biggest Rollercoasters – Rode the Top Thrill Dragster but Son of Beast was closed.

#22 Go Up in a Hot Air Balloon – FAIL!

#28 Sky Dive – FAIL! (Although when I went to New Hampshire in April, I went Indoor Skydiving.  I’m working my way up…)

#37 Make fire without matches – FAIL!

#52 Read the All-Time Greatest Books – Completed my goal of reading 8 (Asterix and the Golden Sickle, The Day of the Triffids, Atomised, The Buddha of Suburbia, The Lost Estate, An Artist of the Floating World, The New York Trilogy, and Stupid White Men)  Even went above an beyond and succeeded on my third try of The Grapes of Wrath.  Also read Winter’s Tale, Earthly Powers, and The End of the Affair.  Of course, these are the books that are on THE OFFICIAL LIST, but I also read: Ava: My Story, Grabtown Girl, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The Little Prince, Revolutionary Road and the first four of the Sookie Stackhouse books (almost all brain candy :)

#88 Get Married Unusually – Completed June 6, 2009.  Vegas, Baby!

#99 Confess –  FAIL!

So this is where I am on the original goals for 2009.  However, I also manged to be a part of a flash mob during the No-Pants Subway Ride, went snow sledding for the first time in my life, saw a Bald Eaglemilked a cow, and started toward trying to get my name in the ring of honor at Flying Saucer.  As of right now, I have drank 54 of my 200 beers . 

How did you do on your New Year’s Resolutions/goals for 2009?

Update to THE List

Since I first bought the 101 Things to Do Before You Die, I knew there were items on the list that I would never want to do.  Instead, I have other items that I would like substitute for these.  Thus far, I have completed 28 and have partially completed 10. 

So (drum roll please) I unveil…THE updated List:

1     Write a Best-Seller                                                            

2     Swim With… (Dolphins, Whales, Sharks) – COMPLETED                                                                      

3     Win an Award, Trophy, or Prize – COMPLETED                                                        

4     Catch A Fish With Your Bare Hands                                 

5     Make a Discovery                                                             

6     Throw A House Party When Your Parents Are Out – COMPLETED    

7     Eat Chocolate Covered Ants                                                  

8     Realize Your Childhood Dream                                

9     Learn that instrument – COMPLETED

10   Leave your mark in graffiti – COMPLETED

11   Storm Chase A Tornado Visit Every State – PARTIALLY                   

12   Get A Piece of Art into a Exhibition – COMPLETED                                  

13   Meet someone with your own name – COMPLETED

14   Ride the World’s Biggest Rollercoasters – PARTIALLY

15   Stage Dive or Crowd Surf                                                 

16   Get into the Guinness Book of World Records                 

17   Own a Pointless Collection – COMPLETED

18   Study the Kama Sutra and Put Theory Into Practice  – PARTIALLY

19   Master Poker and Win Big in a Casino                              

20   Get backstage and hang out with a Rock God – COMPLETED

21   Be a Human Guinea Pig  – COMPLETED     

22   Go Up in a Hot Air Balloon                                               

23   Get Arrested Ride in a Sleeper Car on a Train                  

24   See a Space Shuttle Launch                                              

25   Capture the Moment in an Award-winning Photograph      

26   Bungee Jump                                                                    

27   See an Erupting Volcano                                                   

28   Sky Dive                                                                           

29   Meet Your Idol                                                                 

30   Stay in the Best Suite in a Five Star Hotel                          

31   Experience Weightlessness                                                

32   See the Aurora Borealis                                                    

33   Get to Score a Hole in One                                               

34   Design your own cocktail – COMPLETED                                                              

35   Play a Part in Your Favorite TV Show                             

36   Visit Every Country – PARTIALLY                           

37   Make Fire Without Matches     

38   See These Animals in the Wild – PARTIALLY

39   Bet on a horse/dog/etc race – COMPLETED

40   Get a Free Upgrade on a Plane                                         

41   Be Friends with your ex – COMPLETED                                                  

42   Go Target Shooting – COMPLETED                                    

43   Throw a Dart into a Map and Travel to Where it Lands     

44   Attend a Film Premiere – COMPLETED

45   Do a Runner From a Fancy Restaurant                              

46   Scuba Dive           

47   Milk a Cow                                                                      

48   Be Present When Your Country Wins the World Cup  Be Present When UNC Wins the National Championship, Redskins Win the Super Bowl, or Hurricanes Win the Stanley Cup                                              

49   See Both Solar and Lunar Eclipses – PARTIALLY                                   

50   Write Your Name Over a Star on the Walk of Fame         

51   Learn Another Language                                                   

52   Read the Greatest Books Ever Written – PARTIALLY                             

53   Complete a Coast to Coast Road Trip Across America     

54   Make at least one huge purchase you can’t afford – COMPLETED

55   Score the Winning Try/Goal/Basket – COMPLETED                                   

56   Gatecrash A Fancy Party                                                  

57   See the All-Time Greatest Films – COMPLETED

58   Live in the Place You Love                                                

59   Leave a Job You Hate – COMPLETED                                                

60   Take Part in a Police Line-up                                            

61   Get Away with the Perfect Practical Joke or Hoax             

62   Join the Mile High Club                                                     

63   Make the Front Page of a National Newspaper                 

64   Drive a Car at Top Speed                                                 

65   Shout ‘Drinks Are on Me!’ in a Pub or Bar                        

66   Be Part of a Flash Mob – COMPLETED                                                     

67   Visit (This is a list of iconic places around the world, so far I’ve only visited the Roman Coliseum). – PARTIALLY         

68   Save Someones Life                                                          

69   In Various Languages, Learn to say…(please, thank you, your welcome, I’d like a beer, swear, etc) – COMPLETED

70   Invent a Word That Makes it into the Dictionary

71   Have Adventurous Sex (in different places) – PARTIALLY

72   Have Enough Money to Do All the Things on This List

73   Stand on the International Date Line

74   Learn to Fly a Plane

75   Get a tattoo and/or piercing – COMPLETED

76   Invent Something

77   Learn Astronomy and Read the Night Sky

78   Drink a Vintage Wine

79   Answer a Personal Ad – COMPLETED

80   Spend Christmas on the Beach

81   Get Barred From a Pub or Bar

82   Build Your Own House

83   Skinny Dip a Midnight – COMPLETED

84   Sell all Your Junk on eBay and Make a Profit Learn How to Ski

85   Visit the World’s Tallest Buildings – PARTIALLY

86   Run a Marathon

87   Conquer Your Fear

88   Get Married Unusually – COMPLETED

89   Learn to Cook

90   Join the 16-Mile High Club  Go White Water Rafting – COMPLETED

91   Publish a Cult Website
92   Own an Original Work of Art – COMPLETED

93   Complete the Monopoly Board Pub Crawl

93.5  Get Your Name in the Ring of Honor at Flying Saucer – PARTIALLY

94   Get Something Named After You

95   Get Revenge

96   Be an Extra in a Film

97   Live Out of a Van Attend Mardi Gras – COMPLETED

98   Go On a Demonstration

99   Confess

100 Reach 100 Years of Age

101 Continue Your Gene Pool

Thing to Do #12: Get A Piece of Art into a Exhibition

100_0525100_0521As long as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist.  However, I decided in high school this may not be the most practical career choice and decided to alter my path slightly.  And although I have taken several art classes, I’ve never tried to get a piece of art into an competition/ exhibition/show.  (Not unless you count the exhibit I was in when I was in third grade and my snowman was chosen to represent Johnston County in a state-wide exhibit at the State Capitol.)

A local art group called Clayton Visual Arts hosts an annual competition that is open to all artists.  I decided to enter one of my monotypes, sent in my $20 entry fee, and had a friend drop off the work for me as I was in Ohio riding roller coasters the day I was supposed to drop it off.

The piece that I entered was a small monotype that was actually completed my senior year of college.  Its part of the series I did for my final project, all quick studies of a nude.  The images are rather abstracted and I was worried when a piece was taken from the series whether the viewer could even determine what it was supposed to be.  Interestingly, I really didn’t like monotype at first and, suffering from Senioritis, was well on my way to getting my first “C” half way through the semester (apparently you CAN get something less than an “A” in a Studio Art Class), but after doing quick studies with the nude, something finally clicked and I began to really enjoy the medium.  I really haven’t created much since college, which leads me to believe that I may need the pressure of deadlines of a class to create.

The reception for the competition was last Thursday and I attended to get a photo of myself with my work, proof that I had been included in an art exhibit.  Several people remarked on the low price I had set ($75) but having spent 5 minutes on the piece and getting a cheap aluminum frame from Dick Blick, I don’t have much time or money invested in it to try to sell it for big bucks.

So who out there has had a piece of art in an exhibition?  Win prize money?  Sell your art?

Thing to Do #44: Attend a Film Premiere

Jack of all tradesMuch like Owning a Piece of Original Art, this Thing to Do is also easily accomplished.  I think people typically think of Hollywood premieres for this one, but there are LOTS of film festivals all over the world.

For this Thing to Do, I count attending the film premiere of my good friend Sumner’s film Jack of All Trades at the Blue Ridge Film Festival in Roanoke, VA in 2003.  To complete her graduate degree in Film from American University, Sumner chose our other good friend Courtney as the subject for her final student film.  (We all three met at Hollins).

The original premise of the film set out to examine a contradiction in terms: a female fire fighter who was also an artist.  Through the course of the film, Sumner and Courtney are interviewed about their friendship, and evolves into a film that also considers their relationship when they are seemingly from different worlds. 

Behind the scenes, Sumner traveled from DC to Southwest Virginia numerous times to capture different moments, including a Bluegrass Convention , Courtney painting a mural, and multiple attempts at answering a fire call (they never managed to get a fire call on tape, although Courtney’s mad dash to the fire station attempting to catch the trucks is peppered with some colorful language everyone in the audience enjoyed).  The stories from behind the scenes were just as entertaining as the film itself.

The film screened late on a Saturday evening and there were a good number in the audience, many friends and family of both The Star and The Director attending.  Afterwards we held an impromptu “post-screening” party at the nearby TGIFridays (classy, I know, but it was a regular hang out when we were in college).

While this was my first film premiere, I’ve been to several since at local film festivals.  Here in North Carolina, there are many.  Have you ever been to a film premiere?  A big-time Hollywood premiere?

Charlotte Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
September 25-28, 2008

Real to Reel Film Festival
Kings Mountain, NC
July 22-25, 2009

NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Durham, NC
August 14-17, 2008

That’s Not Mine! Film Festival
Durham, NC
February 20-21, 2009

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Durham, NC
April 2-5, 2009

Nevermore Film Festival
Presented by Carolina Theatre
Durham, NC
February 20-22, 2009

Blu Moon Film Festival
Greenville, NC
April 28 – May 2, 2009

ECU Film Festival
Greenville, NC
April 24 – 25, 2009 

Carolina Film & Video Festival
Presented by UNC-Greensboro
Greensboro, NC
February 25-28, 2009

RiverRun International Film Festival
Winston-Salem, NC
April 26-29, 2009

Cape Fear Independent Film Festival
Wilmington, NC
May 1-3, 2009

Cucalorus Independent Film Festival
Wilmington, NC
November 12-15, 2008

Asheville Film Festival
Asheville, NC
November 6-9, 2008

“Asheville Rejects” Film Festival
Asheville, NC
November 6-9, 2008

Thing to Do #92: Own an Original Piece of Art


100_0497 Geisha painting by Courtney 

This Thing to Do should be one of the easiest items to complete.  I may be biased as I majored in Art History, have friends that are artists, and was the director of an Arts Council, but owning original art is easier than you may think.

I’m not above buying prints and other mass-produced decorative pieces from Target or Pier 1.  My house is completely furnished by Pier 1 and I have several pieces on my wall that were “Made in China.”  However, I have even more that is original art…and I never paid more than $90.

My friend Courtney gave me a painting of a geisha for my birthday one year that hangs in my living room.  An diminutive painting of cherry blossoms hangs across from it; I purchased it at an art fair for $20.  One of my favorite paintings hangs in my hallway.  It was submitted during an artist’s application into an art fair I was judging and immediately fell in love with it.  When I saw it in person and saw that the artist was only asking $45, I couldn’t walk away, although I felt bad that she only charged me that much, as its pretty sizeable and obviously took some time to create. 

In the guest bedroom, we have a nice black and white photograph from Alex’s aunt and a fun screenprinted painting I bought for $25 after seeing it in a friend’s studio.  At the end of the hallway is small print that I purchased for $10.  I have a couple of pieces that aren’t even on display right now.

If you have never purchased an original piece of art, here are a few thoughts:

  1. Don’t worry about what is the “right” kind of art.  What you like is right. 
  2. There have been some pieces that I bought that were “impulse” buys and soon got rotated off my walls, replaced by others I liked more.  However, there have been several that I saw, and only after some thought, purchased.  And these often have become my favorites. 
  3. You can find small pieces that are affordable, or, if you are in the market for a larger piece, you can still get it without spending a fortune. 

Share your story of owning art and supporting local artists!

Thing to Do #36: Visit Every Country-Italy

I’m pretty pathetic when it comes to completing this Thing to Do, although of all of the Things to Do, this is the one I’d really like to do the most.  Unfortunately, it costs money to travel all over the world; I’ll just have to save up and wait until I retire!

So far on this list, I have visited:

  • Italy
  • Cayman Islands
  • Mexico
  • Belize
  • Honduras

Sad.  I haven’t even visited Canadia.

My first international experience didn’t occur until I was a junior in college.  I was lucky enough to take advantage of a college sponsored trip during our January Short Term and spend an entire month in Italy, with a focus on art museums and time in the studio.  Heaven.

Todi Todi 

I should say now that not only was this my first international trip, it was also my first time on a plane.  My very first plane trip was an 8 hour red-eye across Atlantic.  We flew into Rome and then took a bus trip 2 hours to a small town called Todi, in the Umbria region of Italy.  We were to stay in a converted 12th Century Monastery, and I was lucky enough to have a good friend, Courtney on the trip with me;  she and I were roommates for the month.  Each day we were supposed to spend working on our art, either on location or in the studio.  Each evening we spent in the studio working with a live model. 

However, I mostly just wandered through town, exploring the area, trying to learn Italian.  At the end of the month, I had completed two watercolors and one sculpture.  Also, at the time of this trip I was 20, and would turn 21 in April of the same year.  No drinking age in Italy.  Needless to say, I decided to take advantage of this the first weekend we were there.  I proceeded to get stupid drunk and, with Courtney and some other girls, got in the car with some Italian guys to go to the nearby city of Perugia (the capital city of Umbria, but also where they make the yummy Ferraro Rocher!-called Baci there).  In Perugia, we went to a discoteque, where Courtney was stuck with the responsibility of looking after me.  I was so (embarrassingly) drunk that I couldn’t stand up and ended up sitting in the corner on the disgusting floor of the discoteque while Courtney stood in front of me to make sure no one stepped on me.  I also managed to leave my passport in the guy’s car when they dropped us off later that night.  Luckily, the guys were trying to make it with two of our friends and they returned the next day to return my passport and also ask the girls out.

Duomo Duomo 

There were also lots of trips.  We first went to Florence, which was about an hour and half north of Todi.  I immediately fell in love with Florence, and outside of New York City, it is my favorite city in the world.  Courtney and I quickly found the San Lorenzo Street Market and began taking advantage of all of the cheap shopping.  This was back in 2001, back when the US economy wasn’t in complete shambles and Italy was not yet on the Euro, but instead on the Lire; exchange rates were good.  Courtney and I both bought leather boots, and I bought a leather skirt that I have never worn in public.

We also did a little of what we were supposed to do, visiting the Galleria dell’ Accademia to see the David, viewing the Medici house, seeing the Duomo and Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (which had one of my favorites Mary Magdalene by Donatello) and finally finishing our day at the Uffizi.  One of the most famous pieces of art housed at the Uffizi is the Birth of Venus by Botticelli.  Unfortunately, it was on loan to a museum in Russia, so I missed it.

Vatican City Vatican City 
Pantheon Pantheon 
Trivoli Fountain Trevi Fountain 

On another day we visited Rome; some students opted to just do one day but Courtney and I, with a few other girls, stayed overnight for one more day.  While in Rome, we visited Vatican City and saw the Sistine Chapel.  We also visited the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain (A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome), the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum and the Roman Forum.  I wasn’t as big of a fan of Rome because while Florence had kept much of its medieval/renaissance charm with cobblestone streets and centuries old buildings, Rome is mostly a modern city.  Few things differentiated it from any city you’d see here in America.  It was especially disturbing to stand in the Roman Forum and look back to see skyscrapers and other modern buildings so near ancient ruins.

We didn’t go any further south than Rome; the Southern part of Italy has a bad reputation for being a bit more dangerous.  I was disappointed as I definitely wanted to visit Pompeii but we were a group of all women, with only one male chaperone, and he was not comfortable with us visiting the area around Naples.

Assisi Asissi 

We did go further North, to Asissi, Sienna and Padua.  Mostly here we looked at small chapels including the Scrovegni Chapel with the famous frescoes by Giotto.  I do have to tell this story from the Scrovegni Chapel.  The frescoes are very susceptible to climate/moisture and the environment is controlled by only permitting visitors into an exterior room first.  Visitors would remain here for 10 minutes while the outside air was purified of damaging effects.  We were then allowed into the Chapel, given 15 minutes to view the frescoes.  While inside, one of the guards stepped outside to smoke using a side door.  There was no climate control room outside this door.  What was the point of sitting in that other room for 10 minutes if this guy was just going to step outside AND probably allow cigarette smoke inside?  

While we were in Sienna, some students were given the option of continuing on to Venice; Courtney and I chose not to, as January was the rainy season and Venice was flooded.  I know what you are thinking: Venice is always flooded.  Apparently, when Venice is truly flooded, this means sewage is running through the canals and the streets.  We decided we’d just wait to see Venice the next time we visited Italy.

The month flew by, as all surreal moments in time tend to do.  I felt like I really didn’t take advantage of my opportunity while there, treating it more as a vacation than a life changing experience.  I was awfully homesick (as much as I love traveling, I get homesick easily) and whenever we were in an urban area, Courtney and I would seek out McDonalds to eat!

Some random things about Italy:

  • Apparently, Italians tend to eat the foods that are traditional to their regions.  This means that the food we ate while in Todi was mostly vegetables, with some chicken or pork; historically, Umbria was an impoverished region of Italy.  I mean, wouldn’t you expect pasta every day?  I really don’t remember eating any pasta the whole time I was there. 
  • They also fry way more food than I ever thought Italians would-they fry more stuff than we do here in the South!  One night, I swear, the entire meal was fried-fried pork, fried carrots, fried potatoes, etc. 
  • I actually lost weight while I was there because they don’t eat much for breakfast (typically just coffee and a croissant), lunch isn’t until 2pm, and then dinner wasn’t until 9pm.  I did discover coffee and was sorely disappointed when I returned to the US and discovered that not all coffee is the same. 
  • Courtney and I did grow quite fond of the pizza and I discovered that I LOVE European Coke-I think its sweeter.  We also discovered the chocolate brand Kinder and I still get super excited when I find it in specialty stores. 

Even back in 2001, Italians were ahead of us in a couple of ways. 

  • First of all, EVERYONE in Italy had a cell phone and they were on it all the time.  Here in the US, we had cell phones, and probably some people were using them a good bit, but back in 2001, the mobile phone I had stayed in my car and was meant for emergencies. 
  • I quickly realized I needed to bring my own bags to the grocery store or else be charged the equivalent of 10 cents per plastic bag used.

Italians operate on a very loose sense of time. 

  • First of all, they work to live, not the other way around.  You may go to a store and they’ve stepped out for an hour, but the posted time of return was two hours ago.  Or the store is just closed with no notice. 
  • Train schedules aren’t worth the paper they are printed on-they make up the schedule as they go.  Its not just an issue of late trains; maybe they flat out just aren’t running that line that day.  This way of approaching time was very stressful for me.

Other bits and pieces:

  • The communist party is alive and well and its not seen as a negative thing.  It has a lot of support throughout Italy and makes up about a third of the political leanings of the population.
  • It continued to impress me that everywhere we went, there were frescoes, murals, sculptures, and other forms of art; it was a part of Italians’ every day lives.

I’ll post later on my other visits to other countries.  What countries have you visited?  Your favorite?

Second Quarterly Report

I posted my Things to Do for 2009 in the beginning of January and did a follow up in my Quarterly Report in March.  Here is where I am on these goals:

#12 Get a piece of art into an exhibition – There is an annual art exhibition in Clayton in September.  I have purchased the frame and have completed the piece of art.  I just have to wait until September to enter it in the exhibition!

#14 Ride the World’s Biggest Rollercoasters – Alex and I are traveling to Ohio in August with my friends Steve and Lydia to ride the Top Thrill Dragster and Son of Beast, two on the list of six.

#22 Go Up in a Hot Air Balloon – So far no plans on this one and I may have to move this one off the list for this year.

#28 Sky Dive – Again, no plans for this one, although when I went to New Hampshire in April, I went Indoor Skydiving.  I’m working my way up…

#37 Make fire without matches – I’ve got the magnifying glass but with the 100 degree temperatures lately, I may just spontaneously combust.

#52 Read the All-Time Greatest Books – Have read 4 of my proposed goal of 8

#88 Get Married Unusually – Completed June 6, 2009.  Vegas, Baby!

#99 Confess – I keep putting this one off.  All the churches around here have theirs at 4pm on Saturdays.  Just got to get up the nerve!

So this is where I am on the original goals.   However, I also manged to be a part of a flash mob during the No-Pants Subway Ride, went snow sledding for the first time in my life, saw a Bald Eagle, and started toward trying to get my name in the ring of honor at Flying Saucer (as of right now, I have drank 28 of my 200 beers!). 

I could be more productive, especially on the confession and fire without matches fronts, but I’ve still got half a year to go!

How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions/goals for 2009?

Thing to Do #8: Realize Your Childhood Dream

paletteThe earliest that I can remember wanting to be an artist was at age 8.  Many children enjoy drawing, but I won several art awards when I was in Elementary and Middle School, which meant to me that I was good.  Continuing even up to my junior year of high school, I continued to plan to be an artist when I grew up.  However, it was in that year that I applied to get into the North Carolina Governor’s School for Art and didn’t get in.  It was at this point that I considered perhaps I was not cut out to make a living at being an artist.  Instead, it was at that time that I decided that perhaps I would major in Art History, therefore still working in the art world and just making money off of other artists!

That is how it came to be that at 16 years of age, I chose my college major and 6 years later graduated from Hollins University with a B.A. in Art History.  How many people do you know that pick their college major in high school and actually stick with it?  Even better, how many art history majors do you know that actually used it in their career?  I was lucky enough to become the Executive Director of the Johnston County Arts Council for four years, which I enjoyed immensely.  Unfortunately, I did not enjoy fundraising and came to NBC 17 to work in the community department.

I say all of that to say that while I think its unique that I actually did study art and work in the arts field, my childhood dream was to become an artist.  I think to complete this one (for me), I will have to sell at least one piece of art.  Of course, to do that, I need to create!

What did you want to be when you grew up?  A doctor?  A lawyer?  The president?  Space Cowboy?


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