Category Archives: Art

Inspiration From Portuguese Artists at the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon

Prudencia by Domingos Rego 2000

I know who I am. When I look in the mirror, I see me. -Tracy Morgan

Family by Sarah Affonso 1937

Families are messy.- Rick Riordan

The Boy’s Lunch by Julio Pomar- 1926

The best inheritance a parent can give their children is a few minutes of their time each day.— Orlando Battista

Untitled by Jorge Barradas 1920

Accept your burden and carry it, with joy. ― John Ajvide Lindqvist

Maternity by José Sobral de Almada Negreiros- 1935

Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. – Sophocles

The Homecoming by Paulo Ferreira- 1935

Home is people. Not a place. – Robin Hobb

Encounter of  Natalie Correia (poet), Fernado Botelho (novelist) and Maria Joao Pires( pianist) -by Nikias Skapinakis- 1974

Anytime women come together with a collective intent it is a powerful thing. -Phylicia Rashad

Cramped by Hunger by Marcelino Vespeira -1945

We can end global poverty and hunger within our lifetimes. – Barack Obama

No Saying Yes by Rui Toscano -1970
(34 radio/music players each with a voice saying “yes” at different times)

The oldest, shortest words- yes and no– are those which require the most thought.- Pythagoras

Evolution of a Square in a Logarithmic Mesh by Artur Rosa 1926

The human heart likes a little disorder in its geometry.- Louis de Bernieres

Other posts…….

Inspiration at The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

Hawaiian Inspiration

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Such Beauty Beneath Your Feet

Almost all the streets and sidewalks in Portugal are made of cobblestone.  

Cobblestones littered with cigarette butts because it seems everyone in Portugal smokes

In many areas the stone pathways are plain and pedistrian like the ones in the picture above……but others called calçada Portuguesa are true works of art done by workers called calceteiros who painstakingly make mosaics with the small stones. Apparently the practice is in jeopardy because the calceteiros do not earn high wages and must work long hours so fewer and fewer young people are interested in learning the craft as apprentices.  This unique kind of cobblestone art is thought to have originated in Mesopotamia and was brought to Portugal by the Romans who occupied the country during the 3rd and 4th centuries.

Many of the patterns like these waves have some kind of reference to the sea because Portugal’s economy was once so closely tied to ocean exploration and the fishing industry

The cobblestones are more expensive than ordinary pavement to install, are very slippery when wet and wear out more easily. Many accidents are caused each year by people who stumble and trip because of loose or missing cobblestones. The cobblestones are also much harder to traverse in high heels, with a stroller or wheelchair, or as we found out, your luggage on wheels.  Although some say the cobblestones should all be replaced there is a move afoot to have them protected by asking them to be granted UNESCO classification as a world heritage item.  Hopefully a way will be found to make these cobblestones safer without destroying them because they are truly a thing of beauty. I have my eye out for them everywhere we go in Portugal and have not yet grown tired of recording new patterns with my camera. 

Other posts………

Seeing the Movie The Post in Lisbon

A Fascinating Conversation in a Little Wine Shop in Lisbon

Lisbon by Design

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Why Did You Take A Picture of That?

Just a few years ago  you couldn’t take photos in art galleries.  Now that you can, I sometimes have trouble deciding what I should take pictures of. At Lisbon’s Museu Coleção Berardo I was charmed by all the interesting work. Here are some pieces I photographed and the reasons I chose to. 

White Aphrodisiac Telephone by Salvador Dali 1936

I noticed this piece because I recognized its creator Salvador Dali immediately. I learned so much about Salvador Dali when I  toured the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida in the winter of 2014 and then led related art activies and gave tours of an extremely popular exhibit of Dali’s work at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in the fall of that same year. 

One and Three Plants by Joseph Kosuth

I photographed this installation because it reminded me of Arizona where we lived for a year. Kosuth’s artwork made me think about what exactly a plant is. Is it the solid object we see?  Is a plant a plant because it fits the dictionary definition of a plant? When two people hear the word plant they may think of entirely different things. Why did Kosuth choose a cactus to represent plants? Interestingly I found out Kosuth has made many similar installations including One and Three Chairs, One and Three Shovels and One and Three Hats.

Untitled by Alexander Calder

This piece outside the Museu Coleção Berardo caught my eye because I had seen Calder’s work before in several different galleries, including the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and because the color and material also reminded me of a huge sculpture I had seen outside the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. The Museu Coleção Berardo also had this piece by Alex Calder.  It is called Black Spray.

Ten Foot Flowers by Andy Warhol

I was drawn to this work of Andy Warhol’s because it seemed so different than lots of his stuff.  They also have more traditional pieces by Warhol in the Lisbon Gallery like……….

Judy Garland by Andy Warhol -1979

Campbell’s Soup by Andy Warhol -1965

Brillo Box Andy Warhol -1964-1968

But the flowers were my favourite!

I’ll end with this piece that I chose to photograph because it kind of creeped me out!

The Giant Mantis by Germaine Richier

We spent hours in the Museu Coleção Berardo and there were many other artworks I wanted to explore further.  Maybe some day I will. 

Other posts…………

Getting To Know the Southwest With Art

Art in the Airport

Art From All Kinds of Things



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Lisbon By Design

Dave and I enjoy watching Sunday Morning on CBS. They have an annual show called By Design and each year it is based in a different city.  Last year it was in Amsterdam. As I took in the sights of Lisbon I decided to put together a blog post called Lisbon-By Design. 

Broken Jug by Frank Stella at Museu Coleção Berardo

Tree roots on the sidewalk in the Alfama district

Pottery in a shop window near Largo Chiado

Statue of King Jose trampling snakes in the Praça do Comércio

Graffiti in the Baixa District

Cobblestone sidewalk outside the Teatro Nacional De Sao Carlos

Tile panels from 16th century Turkey at the Gulbenkian

Handle on the door of our apartment on Corvos Street

Grasses in a park near the San Sebastian Metro Station

Fridge magnets for sale in a shop in Belém

Apple butternut squash soup at The Cellar on Rua dos Remedios

Bicycle on the wall near the Santa Apolonia Metro Station

Orient IV by Bridget Riley at the Museu Coleção Berardo

Other posts……..
By Design
Mennonite Floor Art

Build Your Own Inukshuk


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I Recline With Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure at Lisbon’s Museu Coleção Berardo and Connect With the Winnipeg Art Gallery

“It’s a Henry Moore.  I am certain,” I said as I approached a sculpture on the grounds of Lisbon’s Museu Coleção Berardo.  “How do you know?” my husband was skeptical.  “We have a Henry Moore sculpture on display on the roof top of the Winnipeg Art Gallery every summer,” I said.  It’s called Reclining Figure . I always get the kids on my tours to lie down and try to copy the statue’s form with their own bodies. “

Sure enough when I showed my husband the didactic panel on the sculpture at Lisbon’s modern art gallery it was a Henry Moore and it was called Reclining Figure too.  My husband insisted on taking photos of me with the Moore sculpture his way!

I told Dave there was a Kent Monkman painting currently on display as part of the Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit at the Winnipeg gallery that includes a reference to Henry Moore.  

Death of The Female by Kent Monkman- Notice the reclining figure like Henry Moore’s on the front yard of a house in Winnipeg’s north end

Inside the Lisbon art gallery I found another Henry Moore piece. 

Stringed Figure by Henry Moore

The Henry Moore connection was just one tantalizing tidbit of the absolutely wonderful afternoon we spent at Lisbon’s Museu Coleção Berardo. It holds such a rich cache of modern art and on weekends which is when we visited it was FREE!  I’ll share more in future blog posts.

Other posts……..

Matching- The Winnipeg Art Gallery and The Nelson Atkins Museum

Whale Bone Sculptures

Kirchner- Finding An Old Friend


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Filed under Art, Portugal, WInnipeg Art Gallery

She’s Making Jingles

barry ace winnipeg art galleryA jingle dress is featured in an artwork by Barry Ace in the current Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  As I’ve been touring groups through the exhibit I have had quite a number of indigenous young women tell me they own a jingle dress.  One of them said she and her mother were just in the process of making hers.  I asked her where they got the jingles that adorn the dresses. She said shops in Winnipeg sold them. The jingles are metal cones that make a distinctive sound as the dancer moves. A typical jingle dress can have 300-400 of them. 

creative commons jingles on a dress at the glenbow museum in calgary

Jingles on a dress at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary

I was keenly interested in a CBC news story last week that featured a 17 year old  high school student from the Swan Lake First Nation in southern Manitoba named Émilie McKinney.  Émilie is an accomplished hoop and jingle dancer who has toured North America. While making a jingle dress for herself she found out the jingles sold in Winnipeg were very expensive and were manufactured in Taiwan.  Émilie thought the jingles should be more reasonably priced and should be made by indigenous people right here in Canada.  So she decided to open a business that did just that. She hand rolls the jingles and stamps them with an emblem she designed herself that features a teepee, a feather, a medicine wheel and an open door.  Émilie’s jingles are already being sold in five different stores and online.  You can read more about her story here. 

Other posts……..

Ojibwa in Paris

That Looks Familiar

Gone But Not Forgotten


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Filed under Art, WInnipeg Art Gallery

She Started To Cry

Hustle & Bustle /Downriver House by Bruno Canadien is one of the pieces currently on display in the Insurgence Resurgence exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  Bruno Canadien lives in Alberta and is a member of a northern Dene First Nation in the Deh Gah Got’ı́é Kǫ́ę́, Deh Cho Region. His artwork contains images of his northern home.  There are flowers, forests, caribou, fishermen, oil wells and smoke stacks. 

hustle bustle Downriver House by Bruno CanadienOne of the activities we do with gallery visitors after we look at Bruno’s artwork is have them make a similar collage about their home.  They choose objects from trays we provide and place them on a colored paper in ways that represent home to them. 

Last week I did the activity with group of international students that included a young woman from China. One item she chose for her collage was a picture of a phone.  She told us in China she had wanted to be independent from her parents and resented having to still live in the same house with them.  But now that she is far away in Canada she starts to cry whenever she talks to her parents on the phone because she misses them so much. As she told us this she started to cry and I had to reach out and give her a comforting hug. 

I loved the way a young woman from Beijing was inspired to share her personal feelings, thanks to a painting by a Canadian indigenous artist. Art is truly a universal language.

Other posts……….. 

Mennonite Floor Art

A Very Personal Story

Are You Confused Yet?

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Filed under Art, China, Family, WInnipeg Art Gallery