From beautiful Boise to the bright lights of the Big Apple (and a bit of back home)
…as you can see, I’m a huge fan of alliteration.
Hi everyone! I’m writing this from New York city, where I’ve taken a bit of a breather in order to fill you in on what I’ve been up to recently. This post is dedicated to all the fabulous people in Boise, Idaho, who I met whilst visiting my brother as he embarks on his final year of college. I made some great new friends, including (but not limited to) the Roger Federer of Beer Pong, a little gymnast with the best somersaults off a rope swing I’ve ever seen, a Kiwi with impeccable taste in baseball caps, a proud owner of three talking tummies, and ace barbecuer Ron Featherstone in possession of some great campfire conversation. These guys and girls (and all the others I haven’t mentioned, but haven’t forgotten) showed me a truly wonderful time. I didn’t get a chance to explore the local art scene (aside from aforementioned Beer Pong expert’s game) but the scenery was beautiful despite being clouded with smoke from nearby forest fires. I also got to see Chris Young perform at the Idaho County Fair which was a great way to finish my trip.
I was sad to leave, but picked myself up a Boise State cap- quite possibly so I can delude myself into thinking I’m still at university too and not steamrolling my way to *gasp*…25. I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to visit again soon when my brother graduates- but apparently he needs to pass Stats first. Unfortunately maths is not a dominant gene in our family, so good luck Scotty.
And now that I’m in New York, the first stop on my (shamefully predictable) tour was the Museum of Modern Art. In all the years I’ve been visiting NYC I’ve never been to MoMA, so I knew it was a must, regardless of how much modern art terrifies me. Amongst a field of pieces that I’m afraid I struggled to comprehend, I picked out some old faithfuls and a couple of new favourites:
I loved these lacquered paintbrushes although I’m ashamed to say I lost track of who they were by. I elbowed my way through the crowds and caught a glimpse of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which instantly transported me back to A Level art and all that is associated with it:
One of my favourite pieces was Boccioni’s Dynamism of a Soccer Player. I know little of Futurist painting but felt that for something that was produced in 1913, this so beautifully and effectively captures the intensity of sport in the present day:
I confess it took a while for me to decide how I felt about this piece, but once someone pointed out the calf in the centre of the image it suddenly took on an unusual clarity. Note: that is “calf” of the anatomical, not the bovine variety. If you are searching for a cow in this picture then I really can’t help and suggest you jump down a couple of paragraphs to where I am going to talk about cake. I’ve actually been commissioned to paint a Swiss cow soon though, so you may enjoy that.
Joking aside, for a GCSE exam about 10 years ago I produced a Warhol-inspired print of three dairy cows on a 5ft piece of cardboard, which currently hangs in my aunt’s apartment in Istanbul (I promise this is going somewhere). I loved studying Pop Art at school; possibly because it delivers such a loud message in a way that we as teenagers could relate to. With all the movement’s links to New York it was nice to get the opportunity to see a few pieces, including Warhol’s golden Marilyn, which I actually found quite heartbreaking up close:
I couldn’t resist getting my picture taken with Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture, that sits next door to MoMA on 6th avenue:
I also made my annual pilgrimage to Magnolia Bakery (less artistic, but no less important). Their red velvet cupcakes are a thing of beauty, although until they start customising them with Maggie and Rusty’s faces on, they won’t be quite as good as Nicole’s.
Another thing I love about the Big Apple is the pavement philosophy lining the streets to the library:
After three years of a Literature degree it was quite refreshing to walk all over Virginia Woolf.
I’m of course missing my dogs, but they are making their presence known from across the Atlantic; every time I pull on a pair of jeans I’m greeted with dog biscuits stuck in the back pockets. Plus I have my surrogate dog-from-home keeping me company out here…this morning Cooper and I were picnicking in Central Park:
He is such an amazing little chap, although he has a strong dislike for skateboards and scooters- which makes things a tad awkward with passing children.
Whilst on the subject of cute dogs, I found this print in a gift shop in Gloucestershire when I was visiting recently-
I’d seen some of Alex Clark’s gift cards before but seeing as Border Terriers and Aga cookers are right up there on my list of favourite things, I thought it would be rude not to bring this home. I also found a set of four Cecil Aldin terrier prints in a Lewes antique shop last month. Trying to hang them was a test to my aforementioned, non-existent arithmetic abilities and took far longer than I care to admit. You can catch a glimpse of them in the back of this picture:
In the foreground is actually the Olympic bouquet- it was so beautiful I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away so I dried it in the airing cupboard and now have it hanging in the office.
Painting-wise, my latest is Riley the cocker spaniel:
On the agenda for the next month or so is a cat, the labradoodles, another labrador and the cow. I’ll try and keep you posted but for now I’ve got really important things to do like tasting cupcakes and Beer Pong practice for my next trip to Boise. Although next time I’ll request that we play with the frozen Cosmopolitans that they’re currently serving at the US Open…