Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Miró and tapas….

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Before getting to enjoy the balcony with double pillars in the front of the Palau de la Musica Catalana, we were treated with a small exhibit of the work of Joan Miró.

From the website describing the show…

The interview Miró granted to Georges Charbonnier in 1951 gives us a few key clues to understanding the essence of his work. To the question of whether the artist “has to put down roots”, Miró replied, “The roots of the land. The roots of the earth. Without in any way taking the earth to mean the motherland. I am talking about the earth that makes trees, a flower, a vegetable grow.” This point of view meant he attached great importance to popular art: “A plate made by peasants, a pot to eat soup from, are for me as wonderful as a piece of classical Japanese porcelain displayed in a case in a museum.” And from a taste for objects to sculpture is only a small step: the artist is driven to sculpt “for the direct contact with the earth, with stones, with a tree. When I stay in the countryside, I never think about painting. On the contrary, sculpture is what interests me.”

The pieces on display in this room, from the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, are these words made solid; both the photographs by Joaquim Gomis, taken in the studio on the Passatge del Crèdit in Barcelona and at the Mas Miró in Mont-roig, and the sculptures by the artist himself. The former because they are visual testimony to Miró’s love for the elements of nature and for everyday objects, and also to his first pottery and sculptures, created from 1944-1946 onwards. And the latter, the sculptures, because a decade later Miró started out once again from objets trouvés to construct, by casting them in bronze, what are in fact assemblages of the objects he gathered and collected with such passion.

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Then our group was led out onto the balcony and, when I looked over the side, I could spot the restaurant where we had eaten lunch. They have a very good deal and excellent food…so, here come my pictures of food!

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Tosca seems to serve just about all day long, but for lunch they have a fixed priced meal where you get to choose three choices from their tapas menu and since there were two of us that meant six tapas to share, plus drinks.

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Calimari

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Patatas Bravas

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Salad

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Empanadas

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Pork

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Seafood Risotto

Really, I am only going to make one post about food…but since the topic is Miró, it brings me to my memory of strolling down La Ramble to one of the Barcelona markets (there are markets all over the city, but this was our destination walk to possibly the most famous). Just outside of the market in the middle of the walk way  is a large mosaic in the street done by Miró.

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(Plus, there was this really cool building that contained remnants of when it was built. Originally, it was a store to buy umbrellas and it still contains umbrellas and a dragon on its facade…mosaic, of course). A pause in our stroll for the umbrellas:

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The entrance to the Mercat de la Boqueria:

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Yes, there was quite a hustle and bustle and we were even there early. We made our way toward the back (Rick Steves says the food stalls at the back are less expensive than the ones near the entrance.) We found two stools so we could slide up to the bar and started to order. Lots of chaos around us, good service, and lots of fun.

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The menu above where they are preparing the food.

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Our waiter

Albondingas

Albondingas

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Croquettas

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Another day, another order of calamari, this time with a caprese salad

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I loved the food in Spain, but being at home I am having a difficult time going back to no starches. While in Spain the starches were balanced by all the walking so there was no discernible damage. Unfortunately, at home it doesn’t quite work that way…Miró and tapas are not really connected, but if you are in Spain it is hard not to experience both repeatedly.


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Gubbio…

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We were in Gubbio on a quiet day. Only the market had a bustle of activity. (You should also look at the photos on this blog of the big candle race that occurs in Gubbio each year because evidently there can be a lot of festivities going on). We missed them, though, but still had the benefit of the beautiful buildings and panoramic views. The sky wasn’t too shabby, either, as it gathered itself to rain. We started in the market at the foot of the town. Named the Piazza Quaranta Martiri after forty citizens murdered by the Nazis in 1944 as a reprisal for attacks by partisans in the hills. San Francesco is the Gothic church and everything is watched over by the Palazzo dei Consoli up on the hill. The long building with arches is the Loggia dei Tiratori. Wool was stretched out in the shade to dry and shrink evenly so it was not in the sun. Built in the fourteenth century, very few of this type of building still exists in Italy.

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We started walking up hill to the next level, past multiple ceramic stores.

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We got ourselves to the level of the Palazza dei Consoli. I am not sure if it is considered a square because one side is totally open to a panoramic view of the valley below. The Palazza dei Consoli is on one side and the opposite side is the Palazzo Pretorio. The fourth side is a line of commercial and residential buildings.

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The Rough Guide says that these triple-paired windows are unique to Gubbio. The Museo Civico is in this building.

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We went up even further to the level of the Duomo. (We took an elevator.) More great views and skies.

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One last look over the side of level two…

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The skies put on a show all the way home and then they opened up…thunder and lightening…

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Good News From the Farmer’s Market

At last (I have been asking for weeks when their arrival would be), blood oranges were at the market this morning. Looking forward to a green salad with them plus fennel and a citrusy-vinaigrette. Plus roasted beets, I think.

And, what is this, with its sweet blush?

A watermelon radish and it looks like this inside:

And on good authority, (the person selling it) it is great on a salad. Splendid!