ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ENCORE and Other Shows

I am pleased to announce my upcoming solo show, ENCORE, at the St. Jacobs Quilt Gallery, in St. Jacobs, Ontario.  This is the very same site I had my first solo show in 2004.  When asked if I would have another show, I just couldn`t resist doing an encore.  After all this is home country, where I grew up (my first show in 2004 was called "Homegrown").  Although many of my latest works are out at shows elsewhere, every piece in ENCORE will be new since my first show in 2004. ENCORE will hang from July 3 through September 30, 2012.  To view a larger version of the publicity card click on the images below. 

Here are a few other shows I have work in over the summer.

"Red Stool" will be on exhibit at
Lincoln Arts Center, Fort Collins, Colorado
July 3 - September 5, 2012       
Opening Reception: Friday, July 13 at 6:00 p.m.
 (unfortunately I won't be able to attend).

"Days that Remain" will be on exhibit in the
Haliburton, Ontario
June 30 - July 29, 2012.
"Members of the teaching faculty at Fleming College, Haliburton School of The Arts respond to the theme: PUSH PULL with some of their best work. Weekly "Meet N Greet" receptions held Tuesdays from 4:30 - 6 pm. Gallery admission by donation. "

Days That Remain

"End of Days" and "Curtain Call" will be on exhibit with
a juried show of works by Canadian members of Studio Art Quilt Associates
June 7 - July 12, 2012.
Click on publicity card below for more details.

End of Days

Curtian Call

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Italy 2012: The Gardens of Lazio

This final blog post of my Italian adventures focuses on three gardens in Lazio: Villa Lante in Bagnaia (just outside Viterbo), Villa Farnese in Caprarola, and Villa d'Este in Tivoli.  All three gardens are formal Renaissance gardens, and all three were commissioned by Cardinals. 

Of the three gardens, I would have to say that Villa Lante was my favorite.  I found it  peaceful, beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Villa Farnese, on the other hand, was more villa than garden.  The architecture of the central building was impressive though.

Villa d'Este is built upon a series of descending terraces.  There are many levels of stairs to walk until you reach the bottom.  An elevator has been installed for those with mobility issues, but it was not working the day we visited.

These statues represent the mythological story of the founding of Rome.  Even though I took a class on Roman Civilization in my university days, I had to look this up to remember more about it.  It involves two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a she-wolf after being abandoned at birth.  They went on to found the city of Rome, but Romulus murdered Remus, and thus the founding of Rome was based on a fratricide.  I am not too sure who the female figure is, but I believe she represents Rome.

The gardens contain grand statues and even grander fountains.

Complex hydraulics keep the fountains running.  It can get quite noisy with all that water splashing.  I didn't find it to be a very peaceful garden.

This concludes my 2012 tour of Italy.  I have a show to hang in a few days ... more information on that tomorrow.  I just learned today that a fourth class at the Abruzzo School of Creative Art is running this year, so that sounds promising.  I'm scheduled to teach there again next year.  With luck, maybe my class will fill, and I'll get to visit Italy again and see a new region.  That sure would be grand!  In the mean time, back to reality!

If you are interested in photos of last year's trip to Tuscany, here are links to the posts I made at that time.

Italy 2012: The Cats of Umbria and Lazio (and one or two other species)

You knew there would be a post on the Cats of Italy, didnt you?  These cats are not the kind of spoiled cats that yours and mine are.  They are actually quite scrappy, but appear to have lots of character. While some have homes, I think many of them are street cats.  I have occasionally noticed kind ladies bringing food for them.  One day at the Villa Lante I saw a lady drop a bag of sausages on the ground for a group of homeless cats.  Be sure to scroll to the end because we have also allowed a couple of other species into this post.

Meet Horatio.  I think he is a baby Boston Terrier.  We met him one night in a restaurant.  In Italy, and many other European countries, dogs are allowed in restaurants, and all of them seem very well behaved.  The young couple next to us spoke only Italian and we speak only English, but they managed to communicate that this cutie is named Horatio.  To which I replied, like Shakespeare?  The woman nodded affirmatively.

Finally, my husband managed to catch this photo of a pair of pigeons.  I think the colours are stunning.

Tomorrow will conclude my blog tour of Umbria and Lazio.  I have sifted through thousands of photographs this week, and it is time to get back to reality.

Italy 2012: Views and More

Today's post includes views and vistas and a few odds and ends that don't quite fit elsewhere. 

In this photo you can see the beautiful olive groves stretching along the hills below Trevi, Umbria.  Trevi is considered the olive oil capital of Italy.

You will recall this gorgeous poppy photo, taken along the winding roads to Trevi.  I just had to include it again for emphasis!

Spoleto is also an interesting town, although IMHO not as beautiful as some others.  The most interesting landmark is this bridge, the Ponte della Torre, that spans a gorge outside the old town.  It is believed to have been built in the 1300's over an ancient Roman aquaduct.

The bridge leads from a castle to a fortification post.  Once you are on the bridge you can look over one side, but the wall on the other is far too high to see over.

The other attraction in Spoleto is the Duomo (cathedral).  It has a commanding presence and dominates the old town.

That's me in the orange robes walking toward the cathedral.  I almost feel like a Buddhist monk in that colour.  Strangely, on this rainy day I noticed my socks, moneybelt and underwear were turning orange.  Too much information?  It seems the dye in these new jeans, whose colour is actually this year's hot colour, "tangerine tango", was not colourfast.  After washing them when I returned to Ottawa, more than half the colour is gone.  I should have known better than to buy pants with the name Jessica Simpson on them, a woman famous only for being famous, not for any particular talent ;-)).

The cathedral gave me refuge from the rain.  I decided it was too much to carry an umbrella, a cane, a camera, a purse, and a bottle of water, so I sent my husband to scout out the town for "must see" places and I sat down and sketched for a while until the rain stopped.

Todi is another beautiful Umbrian hill-top village, with great views over the Umbrian countryside.

I guess you could say we love hill-top villages, which Italy is full of.  In Corciano I enjoyed this bench, and met up with a group of Americans painting plein air at the edge of the village.

The clouds and rainbow provided a little drama over Corciano.  If you click on the photo you will be able to see the rainbow easier.

The view over Caprarola, where we visited the Villa Farnese, was also a beautiful one.  More on the Villa Farnese and other gardens of Lazio tomorrow.

And finally, here is the view from our hotel room during the second week of our trip.  We stayed just outside Viterbo so we could have access to many gardens in the Lazio region.  A former convent, the Hotel Ora Domus La Quericia, has a beautiful courtyard.  It also offers rooms at reasonable prices.  They are basic, but include a generous breakfast. 

Speaking of prices, I am always amazed at how inexpensive coffee is in Italy.  Forget about Starbucks, there are none, but the coffee is far better.  I paid as little as 1 Euro for an espresso, and mostly about $1.50 for a cappucino.  I was told by a waitress that some North Americans complain about how strong the coffee is.  Well not me, I drank it happily and frequently, and prefer it to the coloured water we often drink here in North America.  Not to mention that you can get fantastic coffee (and food) in the tiniest of villages in Italy, and it is not unusual to have the coffee beans ground fresh just before your coffee is made.

Finally, I include this photo, taken in Orvieto.  You must understand that I am facinated by people who join religious orders.  My university studies were in Anthropology and Religion.