"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Cult of Beauty

I haven't posted about Art in a while as my de Young volunteer days were curtailed when I tore my knee ligament early in December.....  today, though, I spent a wonderful day at the Legion of Honour, where I participated in a Docent Tour called "The Cult of Beauty".The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860–1900 is the first major exhibition to explore the unconventional creativity of the British Aesthetic Movement, tracing the evolution of this movement from a small circle of progressive artists and poets, through the achievements of innovative painters and architects, to its broad impact on fashion and the middle-class home.   The Exhibit features the works of some of my FAVOURITE, MOST BELOVED Artists -  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler,  Edward Burne-Jones and designers E.W. Godwin, William Morris and Christopher Dresser. The Legion of Honor is the only U.S. venue on the world tour that includes the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.  I saw many of these pieces years ago, when I spent a lot of time in England....but to see them
again - now is a delight!

John Spencer Stanhope, Love and the Maiden, 1877. Tempera, gold paint and gold leaf on canvas

 Frederic Leighton, Pavonia (Peacock in Italian) 1858-9, Oil on Canvas

 Edwin William Godwin, Sideboard 1865, Ebonized Mahogany with Silver-Plated Handles and inset panels of embossed leather paper  (Doesn't this look like a Bauhaus piece?)

  Lawrence Alba-Tadema, Armchair, 1884, Mahogany with Ebony and Cedar Veneer, Inlaid wood, Ivory and Abalone

Design for a wallpaper with olives, lemons and pomegranates...sigh, wouldn't this look wonderful as a trim in a dining room?

For you *Lovers of Peacocks*....more stunning wallpaper!

Edward Burne-Jones’s monumental ode to Laus Veneris (1873–1878) sings with rich orange and red tones corresponding to Algernon Charles Swinburne’s heady and sensual poem of the same name.   (I love Swinburne too...)

Fabulous Swan and Rush Wall Paper, Walter Crane, 1865.   I HAD to buy a  print to have framed.....  (I adore and collect all things Swan-related!)

Beautiful, pale ladies with dreamy eyes......

Whistler's *Woman in White*....  he likened this painting to a musical composition... when it was unveiled - it caused a scandal - the woman's unbound red hair, her un-corseted (and unbustled) dress... definitely not of the Victorian standard of Propriety!!! *Shameful*!

Edward Byrne-Jones, St. Cecelia (Patron Saint of Music and the Arts)

The cover of Oscar Wilde's *Salome*....this raised some eyebrows when it was published....and, later raised some more when Richard Strauss converted it into an Opera!

Dante Rossetti's Boca Bactia

Dante Rossetti's Monna Vanna

After I left the Exhibit, I made the *mistake* of wandering into the Gift Shop....where I fell in love with a garnet necklace that has a small carved bone Intaglo (a dove carring an olive branch in its mouth and a large fresh water pearl at the end....)  I HAD to have it....

Attempting my *best*  Pre-Raphaelite Gaze....(Hard to do when you are both the model and the photographer  a-ha-ha! )    But you can see the necklace....and my tapestery in the background...I love this era!


♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, February 23, 2012

AW - One Day Late... Ravens!

Oh Hooray!  I have  been *Blogger Besieged* for two days and could not post!    Amazingly, I *complained*  to Blogger (as did a few others).....and...VOILA!  It works....so here, after further ado is my AW Post!  Enjoy!

Haw!   Thank You *Blogger*!


♥ A Very Happy Robin ♥

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday Hike - *Portals of the Past*


Friday began as a sunny, but cool day.  My friend Carol and I walked to one of my favourite places in Golden Gate Park - the "Portals of the Past". The area has a small rushing waterfall, lake (Lloyd Lake) and this beautiful marble entrance way.  It once graced a mansion atop Nob Hill (owned by a Southern Pacific Railroad milionaire, A. N. Towne).  The home, along with a lot of San Francisco, was destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake. Several years later, Mrs. Towne donated the doorway to Golden Gate Park.  It has proudly stood here for many years.

You KNOW I must explore every angle....and peering waaaay up, discovered this nest.  Suki - is it a Wasp's Nest?  Thankfully, it was quite empty! 

A few weeks ago, while visiting Stow Lake, I encountered a *Muscovy Duck*... well, Carol and I were surprised to find a pair of them, nesting along the lake ....they were a different colour (brown and white) than the blue-black one at Stow Lake - but those red *Face Masks* were undeniably those of the Muscovy.

HAD to photograph this fellow!

A Pine Cone...but covered in two different types of something *weedy*.....love the colours.

Mon *Cousin*, giving me a *Spring is Coming* Greeting!

*Feed Us*!!! 
(We did...we remembered to bring Pita Bread and Crackers!)

Of course, there has to be a *Turtle Sighting*.....  look closely, the rock they are all relaxing on - is, in fact, A Tortoise!!!  So clever!

The small waterfall that *feeds* Lloyd Lake.

By the end of our hike, the skies had greyed, the fog began to drift in....so we left and ended our day.

I hope you enjoyed hiking with me! 

Have a lovely weekend - and remember - Spring IS coming!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Animal Wednesday - Ocean *Creatures* and the Wonderful Mimi

Mimi with her beloved tennis ball! 

I had a lovely *mini-holiday* up North in Santa Rosa....I needed it!  Isn't it amazing how a change of scenery can help one feel better - physically and emotionally?  The weather wasn't particularly great - but it didn't storm...so I was able to walk Mimi  - a lot!  My knee is so much better....still taut, stiff....and it is hard to sit down on the floor (Mimi-level), then get up....but other than that.....I am much better!

Okay - on to AW!  I am combining two different scenarios....  first, a glorious (and warm) day at Crissy Field last week...then my Santa Rosa photos.....off we go..

Mr. Pelican felt like having his photo taken!  Here he is, all *folded up*.

About to *Unfold* and fly off.....

Then, the Seals appeared!!!!

   *Feed Me*!!!!
There actually were three Seals...but it was impossible for me to capture them all together as they kept diving under.....just like *Mermaids*...elusive, mysterious......

The Golden Gate Bridge and a Ship crossing under..

Did you ever wonder who creates the *Rock Sculptures* one sees at the seashore?  I came across this gentlemen, hard at work...

A Blue Egret landed as I was leaving....  trying to get closer..

That's as close as I could get...he was off, soaring above me....but isn't he gorgeous!

On to Santa Rosa...

Come on, Auntie Robin, time for a walk!!!

Can I have a treat?

Misty Mountains...

The Sun decided to come out at the end of my stay..look at these glorious clouds!

And....ultimately, a Rainbow!  The perfect conclusion to a beautiful five days.



♥ Robin ♥