Last weekend we flew to Chicago for the Frank Lloyd Wright tour of homes in the neighborhood of Oak Park. Every May the Wright Foundation organizes this tour that brings you into private homes designed either by Frank Lloyd Wright or his contemporaries and students in Oak Park. It is a beautiful neighborhood and simply walking past the houses is a wonderful experience. The weather interspersed glorious sunshine with crazy thunderstorms with temperatures ranging from the 40’s to 80’s, but despite it all, we had an amazing time. Per usual, I had my sketchbook out to quickly capture the details and jot down a few notes about the history before being gently encouraged to move along! It also came in handy while waiting in line to enter the houses. We only toured a few of the many houses, but Sunday morning we participated in worship at he Unity Temple also designed by Wright. It was the perfect culmination of the weekend!
In January we had the amazing opportunity to spend a week in Barcelona! One of my favorite cities, I had not visited in 12 years. We spent our time enjoying the art and architecture, from Gaudi to Picasso and Miro, as well as the amazing food! Of course, I sketched throughout our trip. I was so inspired by Gaudi’s architecture - the organic shapes and forms, the beautiful stained glass and colored tiles juxtaposed with warm wood. It was especially exciting to see the interior of Sagrada Familia - 12 years ago it was in progress, now the inside is complete, glowing with light through stained-glass. The columns feel like trees rising above you, the branches outstretched.
We also ate such delicious food, from tapas to paella, everything we tried was fantastic! We also loved exploring the Gothic neighborhood, finding the places that are tucked away and off the beaten track.
Our last day we decided to venture outside of the city to Montserrat. We took a train from Barcelona and the gondola up to the top where we saw the monastery and gorgeous views. We were able to hike up a path further up to a chapel and a lookout point that allowed for views of the unusual finger-like mountain-top and the monastery. It was the perfect ending to a spectacular trip!
Last week I visited Michigan for the first time. A family vacation, we took the kids, visiting the in-laws in Ohio first (I got to see the Cleveland Museum of Art - such a wonderful collection!) before renting a car and driving up to Michigan. My husband grew up in Michigan and was glad to get back to the cooler temperatures! As a native Atlantan, it was a bit odd to wear a sweater in June, but I tried to roll with it! We had a truly lovely time, biking around Mackinac Island and sampling fudge with the other "fudgies", combing the shores of Lake Michigan for Petosky stones, marveling at the "mushroom houses" in Charlevoix, driving through the Tunnel of Trees, or simply relaxing at the sweet cabin we rented on Black Lake (by the fire pit and eating s'mores). Below are the sketches from my sketchbook (mostly on Mackinac Island, although I have a sketch and a watercolor from Black Lake), including a time-lapse video of my watercolor of the Grand Hotel. Enjoy!