Archive for September, 2007

The Beautiful Sights of Prague

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Prague is incredibility beautiful and picturesque with a mix of architecture, a beautiful river running through the city with several medieval bridges, flowers everywhere, narrow meandering streets and a display of art all over.  Not only is it a feast for your eyes, its literally music for your ears. Numerous concerts are held each night and you can hear the music as you wonder through the city.wenceslas-square.jpgThis is Wenceslas Square, which is actually a wide boulevard, is lined with picturesque buildings.

Charles Bridge is a beautiful 500 yard walk across the river.charles-bridge.jpg The bridge is pedestrian only and a treat as you stroll across it. There are numerous artists and craftspeople set up on the bridge, so you can have your portrait painted or buy an interesting hand crafted item. Since I love unusual jewelry, I bought a few pieces on my strolls across the river and they were very reasonably priced at a few dollars, better by far than the prices in the stores. 

Crossing the Charles Bridge during the day, we saw wonderful views of the other bridges across the river and all the buildings with their red tiled roofs, as well as the Prague Castle, sitting on a hill above the bridge. These photos castle-from-charles-bridge.jpg the-old-mill.jpgare veiws from the bridge - Prague Castle and the cathedral, the old mill, Little Quarter at the other side of the bridge, and crossing the bridge. little-quarter.jpg crossing-charles-bridge.jpg

We walked back one night to see the city with its lights. We could also hear the music from a concert on the banks of the river.

The Prague Castle looks down on the city. Inside the castle walls is a medieval cathedral, St. Vitus Cathedral which is very gothic looking. After going inside the cathedral, I immediately dropped my jaw in awe at the size and beauty. I joined a line, not knowing what it was for, but assumed it was for something interesting. It was a line to go to the top of the cathedral tower – all 287 steps, round and round and round to the top. This is not for the faint of heart, and I was on the verge of turning back a few times, but being determined not to give up, I made it to the top. And it was worth every step to see a full 360 degree breathtaking view of the city.view-from-tower-2.jpg

If you love shoes (and I do), then you would love this giant shoe. shoe-sculpture.jpgIt is by Jean-Jacques Ory and is part of the Festival of Scultpures that was going on. Inside the shoe is a painted replica of Venus from “The Birth of Venus”. I guess she liked shoes also.

One of the most popular gathering spots for tourists is at the Astronomical Clock, which does an elaborated show on the hour. The clock, which is the top circle, is very complex and gives several versions of time with revolving disks and sweeping hands.astronomical-clock.jpg 

Prague has so many restaurants and pubs.  And if you like beer, this is the place to go. Czech beer is very good, and even better, is at very good prices – between $1.25 and $2.00, depending on where you go.The food is very good also, especially away from high tourist areas.

Of course, we had to find the Lennon Wall. It was close to the Charles Bridge, but difficult to find. We had to ask directions numerous times, almost every 50 feet (these are all winding little cobblestone streets). It was really a perk in communicating that everyone spoke English. This picture is a small section of the large wall, which was painted with memorial graffiti when John Lennon was killed. It symbolized hope and freedom when they were under communist rule.

lennon-wall.jpg

With all the flowers throughout the city and in window boxes, there had to be flower shops.  We saw many of them, of which this is one.flower-store.jpg

As I said in my post yesterday, you had to look - up, down, front and sideways so as not to miss anything, like this view of a restaurant down an alley.restaurant-down-alley.jpg

This is just one of the many beautiul buildings througout Prague.  building-on-town-square.jpg

I hope you enjoyed my photo’s of Prague. If you ever get a chance to visit this city, go for it!

Beautiful Prague and Art Nouveau

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I have always loved Art Nouveau and to see its influence on a city was awsome and inspiring. Art Nouveau is everywhere in Prague - doors and doorways, decorative trim on buildings, the structure of the buildings, windows, stained glass, light fixtures and art. The city is really “eye candy”.sunflower-door.jpg

This door is in the shape of a sunflower with sunflower decorative motifs. Its a huge entrance as the door is area below the round design.

This was another fabulous entrance that we saw. art-nouveau-entrance.jpgThe doors were open so I took a separate picture of one of the them. stained-glass-door.jpg This entire building was fabulous. We just happened to stumble on it as we were wandering down a side street and found an entire block of Art Nouveau buildings. This was decorative trim on one the buildings on this block.decorative-trim.jpg The buildings had beautiful paintings and more elaborate scrollwork.

You really had to look everywhere as you walked as well as look up toward the top of the buildings to find the most amazing decorations.  Most were hard to photograph so I had to store them in my memory.

The most fabulous Art Nouveau building in Prague is the Municipal House. minicipal-building.jpgThis building is the home of Prague’s largest concert hall and a few restaurants.  We were so fascinated with the building that we went back that night for a classical concert.  The windows were all stained glass.stained-glass-municipal.jpgMy pictures do not even begin to do justice to this building with its beautiful windows, light fixtures and other trim or all the Art Nouveau found in Prague.

This building is in Josefov, the old Jewish Quarter, which had many beautiful Art Nouveau buildings.art-nouveau-house.jpg

In addition to Art Nouveau, Prague’s architecture spans thousands of years.  There are fabulous buildings intermingled throughout the city in Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance styles and are in various colors. They are so picturesque especially since so many had window boxes filled with colorful flowers.

Please revisit my blog so see more of the sights of Prague.

My trip to Prague – Antique block prints for printing fabric and wallpaper

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I just returned from a vacation to a fabulous city – Prague in the Czech Republic.  It is one of the most beautiuful cities that I’ve visited. You can walk just about everywhere, it is very clean, the buildings are beautiful and colorful and the Czech people are very friendly. Everyone I met spoke excellent English. As an added bonus, the weather was perfect during our visit.

Prague is romantic and colorful Bohemia. It is a city filled with Art Nouveau everywhere from the design of the buildings, doors, decorative trim to the Alphonse Mucha Museum.  I will show pictures from my trip in several blog sessions. Prague is so beautiful - I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Our hotel was in the old town part of Prague, close to everything. After arriving around mid-day, we strolled around the area of the hotel to get our bearings. traditional-store.jpgA store window close to the hotel caught my attention and I had to go in. Since I have a love of fabrics and design, I was fascinated with this store, Traditional.  The walls were filled with hand carved wood blocks for hand printing fabric and wallpaper. These blocks were from the mid-19th century and were part of a rare horde of wooden printing blocks recently uncovered in an old factory.print-blocks.jpg The blocks, called Modro Tisk, are ornately carved with motifs. My photo’s don’t do justice to them. Samples of some of the prints from a few of the blocks were framed and were really gorgeous.printed-designs.jpg In addition to the printing blocks, they had fabrics that were printed in the blue print style that is traditional Czech designs.traditonal-czech-prints.jpg They also were really beautiful. Before I left, I took a picture of Bozhena, the manager of Traditional, who was very friendly and knowledgable in giving me the information about the blocks and textiles. It is a wonderful store and easy to find if you visit Prague.bozhena-in-traditional.jpg

Please revisit my blog for pictures of the very beautiful Prague.

Daily life in my studio

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Recently, an email group that I’m a member of has been having a lot of discussion on our studios.  The members of this email group are all professional designers and artists, so our studios represent were we work. In other words, a major portion of our lives – almost all of our waking hours, is spend in this one room, our studio. As most of us work in multiple mediums, its very important that our supplies and materials are all organized which, of course, helps us be more organized in our work. 

However, in these discussions, I have found that most of us “right” brainers are not always organized with neat studios. As a result, we’ve had a lot of email discussions on organizational techniques.  And one artist is even hosting a “messy studio” contest. 

The state of my studio varies depending on what I am working on and my time limitations. Things can get piled up and disorganized (although I know where everything is in the disorganization).  Then between jobs, I “try” to get things back in order for it to get all messed up again with the next job. 

Phyllis Dobbs artist studioSince I spend most of my waking hours in my studio, I thought I would give you a peep, especially while its currently in an organized mode. I spend the majority of my time at my computer work station. All of my work seems to start and end here, with side trips to my drawing tables or sewing area.studio-drawing-tables.jpg I don’t have a picture of my sewing area as I just rearranged it to make it more effecient. Actually, I love to rearrange and do this frequently.  I call it making making my studio more efficient, or maybe its just to confuse my cat. My favorite part of my studio is the windows.studio-view.jpg Since my studio is upstairs, I have a great view of the trees behind my house. Sometimes I wish I could be like Tarzan, or maybe Jane, and swing through them.

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