Niki in the Garden

Antonio Gaudi’s Park Güell in Barcelona (see previous posts) has inspired many, including French-American artist Niki Saint Phalle, who created her own interactive gardens of art, combining both artistic and natural elements. Several years ago I took my daughters to see a traveling exhibit of her wonderfully whimsical mosaics at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. They enjoyed exploring and interacting with the sculptures, while identifying the wide array of textures and colorful materials, including ceramics, glass, mirrors and stones.

Currently, many of the works seen in Chicago are on display in the New York public art exhibit Niki de Saint Phalle on Park Avenue.


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Flowers of Park Güell

I visited Antoni Gaudi’s Park Güell twice while I was in Barcelona, so that I could have time to fully enjoy all aspects of its beauty.  The mosaics (see last post), architecture, and landscape of this park are amazing. Gaudi incorporated natural forms in all aspects of the design. Cascades of blossoms among the structures and a lush field of flowers are among the many natural treasures to enjoy while strolling the grounds.

Mosaics of Park Güell

Park Güell was the last private commission of Antoni Gaudi, which he worked on from 1900 -1914, prior to his beginning La Sagrada Familia (see last post). Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudi  to design the entry and park grounds for an exclusive development for Barcelona’s aristocracy. Though the development failed, it is now a public park for all to enjoy. Here is  just a small sample of the variety of beautiful colorful mosaics I discovered on the grounds of Park Güell.


La Sagrada Familia – Color, Pattern and Texture

During my recent visit to Barcelona, I visited La Sagrada Familia, a cathedral and master piece of design and architecture. Designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1883 and funded solely by donations, La Sagrada Familia has had ongoing construction for over a hundred years (projected finish in 2026–100 years after Gaudi’s death). The beauty of the church is incredible; everywhere you look there is something to inspire. You can enjoy a virtual tour by visiting Sagrada Familia tour, but here are just a few of the images of the colors, patterns, and textures that captured my attention.


Patterns in the Walls of Time

My daughters have learned that when you travel with Mom you’re not only going to see major attractions, but a lot of little things that are off most people’s radars. Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing the beauty, art, and architecture of Barcelona, Spain and the surrounding areas with my husband. Together, we discovered things beyond the usual tourist points of interest, including stone walls that have endured and merged over the centuries. The varied  textures, patterns, and history within these walls in the city of Gerona were among my finds.

Transparent Beauty

Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to see the Jellies exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  Sea jellies are amazing creatures that are composed of 95% water and have no brains, blood, or bones. I could have spent hours observing these beautifully mesmerizing, translucent creatures.

Because of their varied layers of transparency, shapes, and textures, these are a few of my favorite jellies:



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living and Breathing Mosaics

The Deep Sea              by Ilana Shafir
The Deep Sea by Ilana Shafir
Awakening by Sophie Drouin

Last week I spent four incredible days at the annual Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) conference. I was able to totally immerse myself in mosaics by participating in workshops, attending lectures, interacting with other mosaic artists, and viewing a wide range of mosaic artworks.

The above mosaics created by Ilana Shafir and Sophie Drouin, artists that I have had the privilege of taking workshops with,  have wonderful texture and beautifully utilize stone,  my favorite material. These pieces and many other amazing mosaics are currently on exhibit in the  Mosaic Arts International 2012 exhibition at the Lexington Center Museum & Gallery through April 27, 2012.

More Lichen Beauty

“Lichen Rainbow”, Red Canyon, Utah photo by  Alan Grinberg

Lichens, Burgess Lake  from Montana Outdoors

Lichen Fields, California photo by Sylvia Sharnoff

I was so inspired by the color and texture of the lichen that I discovered last week  on National Geographic, I felt compelled to do more research. These are my newest additions to my inspiration library. I hope they will inspire you too.

Lichen Beauty

Lichen on Slate Photograph by Sylvia Sharnoff

While  searching for inspiration in rock formations, I came across this amazing image of lichen on slate featured on National Geographic.  The colors and textures are amazing. Lichen is my newest addition to my list of nature’s artistry.