weekend in milwaukee
I packed a lot into two days...Saturday afternoon was my friend Mark Horton's opening
at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee. It was a beautiful show--as always, no matter how many times I have seen Mark's paintings in progress in the studio they astonish me when I see them finished in the gallery setting, under lights and varnished--their rich colors glow and the paint is practically edible in its lushness. And actually these days I don't often get to see them in the studio, since Mark moved from Eau Claire (nearby) to St. Louis (a nine-hour drive) last summer. I did get to see this body of work just before he delivered it to the gallery, though--when I was in St. Louis last week--and I knew then it would be a great exhibit.
I stayed in Milwaukee with my painter friend Marina Broere
and her husband, Cor, and after the opening she and I went over to her studio/gallery in the Fifth Ward. (see photo above, taken as we relaxed and talked over tea, with several of her works in the background.) It was wonderful to see her paintings in person--we often email in-progress shots back and forth, but I don't always catch on my computer screen the subtleties of color and texture that characterize her work.
I was not just admiring and commenting on her current work, but also on a mission to pick out an older painting for trade. (Marina took one of my older paintings when she visited me in December.) This small abstract caught my eye from across the room with its rich warm tones and strong contrast, and I was very pleased when she offered it to me.
After our time at Marina's studio, we met up with Mark, his family and friends at a very nice restaurant, and later finished off the day with art talk back at Marina's house. Sunday morning we had a chilly but beautiful walk through the botanical gardens nearby, and then it was time for me to head home, a four hour drive.
It was a welcome break to get away for a few days (especially to go "south" towards spring!) And in the spirit of that season (still very slow in making its appearance around my house) Marina and Cor surprised me with a huge bag of 100 daffodil bulbs (they have a wholesale bulb business, with imported bulbs from Holland, their homeland.) I plan to put most of them around my water garden, and to force a few blooms indoors to satisfy more immediate cravings for spring.