The exquisite 6th century mosaics of San Vitale, Ravenna

The exquisite 6th century mosaics of San Vitale, Ravenna

The 6th century mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, have been drawing pilgrims, art historians and lovers of beauty for nearly a millennium and a half. In all my Italian travels, how did I avoid visiting Ravenna for so long?  It was always slightly out of my way, easy to postpone. My art […]

04.03.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Europe, Italy, Spirituality · Tags: , , · 19 Comments »
Art glass inspired by nature in St. Petersburg, Florida

Art glass inspired by nature in St. Petersburg, Florida

Fluid and luminous, art glass seems naturally inspired by ocean waves, sunsets and seashells. St. Petersburg, Florida, is a hotbed of hot glass. Its growing community of glass artists and glass blowing studios offers many opportunities to explore this magical art form. And much of the work is inspired by the area’s natural beauty.   […]

16.02.2013 · Filled under: Art, Destination Guides, Florida, United States · Tags: , , , · 11 Comments »
ArtSmart Roundtable: Iconography of the Buddha

ArtSmart Roundtable: Iconography of the Buddha

  This month’s ArtSmart Roundtable topic is Iconography. Inspired by a new Buddhist temple going up in my neighborhood, I chose to do some research on iconography of the Buddha. When I told a friend, her face lit up and she exclaimed, “Oh, I love Buddha, he’s so cute!” Cute? Surely she wasn’t talking about the great […]

04.02.2013 · Filled under: Art, ArtSmart Roundtable, Spirituality · 6 Comments »
High style at the Bata Shoe Museum

High style at the Bata Shoe Museum

Time for ArtSmart Roundtable, a group of travel bloggers sharing a passion for art and cultural destinations.  This month’s topic is the Best Museum You’ve Never Heard Of. For me that would be the delightful Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. I came of age in Bata shoes. Indigo suede ankle boots with rust stars on the ankles […]

Let it snow! Wintery works by Canadian artists

Let it snow! Wintery works by Canadian artists

  Postcard-pretty weather over the holidays inspired this collection of snow paintings by Canadian artists.  Here are a few of my favorites, past and present: Maud Lewis (1903-1970), Digby County, Nova Scotia.  Despite her disabilities and the primitive conditions in the 4.1 x 3.8 m dwelling she shared with her husband Everett, Maud’s folk art […]

06.01.2013 · Filled under: Art, Canada, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: · 5 Comments »
Welcome to Narnia: The Malvern Hills, England

Welcome to Narnia: The Malvern Hills, England

“It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion.” So author C.S. Lewis explained the inspiration for his epic children’s fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. One of the books’ most memorable images is that of a gas lamp glowing in a snowy wood just beyond the wardrobe that serves as a […]

13.12.2012 · Filled under: Europe, Legendary Landscapes, Myths & Legends · Tags: , , · 4 Comments »
The Staffordshire Potteries, England

The Staffordshire Potteries, England

One of my favorite art and travel experiences was to the Staffordshire Potteries in the UK. The Staffordshire Potteries are centered around Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. Once the industrial heart of England, much of the area now has a rural feel with over 30 pottery-related sites snugged in a pretty landscape. Though I was there in February, my memories are warm: […]

Frida & Diego: Passion, politics and painting at the AGO

Frida & Diego: Passion, politics and painting at the AGO

On now at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting is a rare opportunity to see work by the 20th century’s most legendary artist couple exhibited side by side. The AGO show includes more than 80 works on paper and paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera as well as more than 60 […]

02.12.2012 · Filled under: Art · Tags: , , · 5 Comments »
The most beautiful bookstore in the world

The most beautiful bookstore in the world

Stepping into Boekhandel Dominicanen in Maastricht, Netherlands, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Occupying a Dominican church dating from 1294, the shop well deserves its reputation as the most beautiful bookstore in the world. The medieval church lacked a congregation and was actually being used for public bike storage before undergoing refurbishment for the Selexyz book chain by Dutch architects Merkx […]

14.11.2012 · Filled under: Architecture, Europe, Netherlands · Tags: , , · 13 Comments »
ArtSmart Roundtable: Genre paintings of Holland’s Golden Age

ArtSmart Roundtable: Genre paintings of Holland’s Golden Age

Time again for ArtSmart Roundtable, a group of travel bloggers with a contagious passion for art. Each month, Roundtable members publish a post on a chosen topic; this month is Art Genres. Be sure to scroll down for links to my colleagues’ unique blogs and perspectives. And now, genre paintings of Holland’s Golden Age. A quick check […]

05.11.2012 · Filled under: Art, ArtSmart Roundtable, Europe, Netherlands · Tags: , , · 10 Comments »