Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Drawing from the Very Beginning Part #1

As I stated in my post to the the Geeky Adventure link up, I was planning to take some drawing classes in March. Cincinnati is proud to have the Art Academy of Cincinnati and their incredible Community Education program, art classes open to the public. I enrolled in the Drawing from the Very Beginning class at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center and had my first class two weeks ago.

I was inspired to learn to draw after our trip to Europe last November, because no matter how good at photography I get, you will most likely be able to find a very similar/better picture on Google but a drawing, my drawing would be unique. It would be my own personal recollection of the event or scene and then my translation of that into a one of a kind drawing. That is what got be excited about learning to draw, giving my unique spin to what I see in my travels and daily life.

The other reason for wanting to learn to draw is that I had a deep desire to learn a new skill. I have a life long need to learn and lately I had spent way too much time binging on Netflix. It feels good to wake up on Saturday morning with a purpose, I go to bed on Friday nights excited because I know I have art class early the next morning. I must be really excited because I'm not normally not so happy at eight on a Saturday morning.

I'm two classes in and so far, so good. We've did some still life drawing on our first class and learned about one point perspective at the second class. We also did a bit of free form drawing of a paper bag at the end of the second class.

Monday, March 9, 2015

24 Hours in Bruges

Let's start by stating that we LOVED Bruges. As in, currently Tomas looking into retiring in the city. What's not to love about it! Medieval architecture, great Belgium beer, pomme frites and Belgium waffles!

We arrived in Bruges around nine pm on Friday night and walked about ten minutes to our hotel. We lucked out because I hadn't realized that the front desk was only open until ten pm at which time the locked the front door!

We dropped our bags in the room and quickly headed out to explore the city since it would be our only chance to see it at night (We were only there until six pm the next day). We walked about 10 minutes on totally deserted streets, making our way in the general direction of the Markt Square. When we arrived there were lines of wooden shacks for the Christmas market. All but one of which was closed and of course it was the booth selling alcohol and surrounded by a couple dozen locals. We drank some local brews with some new friends and wandered around the square.

We were out and about before eight the next morning, wanting to make the best of our remaining hours in the city. We made our way around the alleys, as shopkeepers opened their stores for the day.

Provincial Court @ Markt Square

The Belfry

City Hall
Burg Square

Christmas Market in full swing

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Probably the BEST thing we ate on our two week trip of Europe were the amazing Belgium waffles in Bruges. We tried them plain and piled high with yummy toppings, my favorite combination shown below(dark Belgium chocolate, strawberries and cream).

 We arrived at the Basilica just in time to participate in a ceremony in which the relic of the Holy Blood (phial said to contain a cloth with blood of Jesus Christ) is displayed.

Bruges is dotted with canals which along with other cities, made it gain it's name as a "Venice of the North". These canals add greatly to the beauty, elegance and sense of romance the city has.

As part of our day in the city we, took a short boat ride (30 min)  around the main canals of the city, affording us wonderful views of the medieval architecture around the city.

After the boat ride we walked around the city some more, focusing on the the areas further away from the city center.

We headed to the train station around five pm, after a quick stop at the hotel to pick up our bags, and then hopped on the six pm train to Amsterdam. Bruges was a detour off of our original itinerary, but I saw some pictures of the city on Pinterest and knew I needed to visit this place. It was more than worth it! Bruges is definitively one of my favorite cities and I really hope to go back some day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Quatrième Partie

On our last day in Paris, we woke up early and made our way to the Montmartre area of Paris for a visit to Sacre Coeur. It was in this little neighboorhood that I felt in love with the city, those few hours we walked the streets of Montmarte were my favorite and are the one I remember most fondly. They was just something intimate and romantic of the area, starting with the church. Sacre Coeur ended up being my favorite church in Paris, maybe it was that it was the fact that it was very quiet inside or that pictures weren't allowed but it was was a very beautiful, serene and spiritual place.

The view from the steps of Sacre Coeur is amazing! The sun peaked through the clouds for the first time on our trip. 
 We followed Rick Steve's Montmartre walk starting from Sacre Coeur and walked unto Place du Tertre. Dozens of artists had set up camp there for the day and it was early enough for the place to not be swamped with tourists, so we got to enjoy the place in relative peace and quiet.

Yummy frenh pastries!

After a day of walking around Montmartre, we headed our last stop in Paris, Musée d'Orsay. It's a beautiful museum and the art was very different from anything we had seen in Paris.

After finishing Rick Steve's Orsay guided walk, we left the museum,  grabbed our bags from the hotel and hopped on a train to Bruges, Belgium.

Read about the rest of our time in Paris:
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Première Partie - Arc de Triomphe & Champs Elysee
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Deuxième Partie - Versailles & the Louvre
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Troisième Partie - Old Paris, Les Invalides & the Eiffel Tower