A few thoughts on Nicolas Regnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel”

If you are planning to visit the newly opened Harvard Art Museums, and are willing to play “scavenger hunt” with me, please read first “Invitation to Play ‘Scavenger Hunt’ at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues.” 🙂

If you are not going to visit the Harvard Art Museums for a while, or at all, because Cambridge, Massachusetts way off your itinerary route, and you like to read about art, read on.

Last week I posted close up photos of a few details from five paintings at Harvard Art Museums that I found interesting. Some of them would be hard to miss as they are quite prominent in the painting, some might take some looking for, since they are just a small part of the overall piece.

detail from a 1620s Flemish painting
detail from a 1620s Flemish painting

The blobs of paint on the easel in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel” are hard to miss because the easel is positioned right in the center of the paining and is quite prominent, though it would not be the first thing you’ll look at, I bet.

What captivated me in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel,” painted around 1620s was… well…. how pasty pale he is. 😉

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Invitation to Play “Scavenger Hunt” at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues

You may have heard that Sunday, November 16, 2014 is the Opening Celebration at Harvard Art Museums, which is reopening after a long renovation that started with the closing of Harvard’s Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums in June 2008, and the Sackler Museum  in June 2013.

Now, collections from all three museums are  housed under one roof in the completely renovated and expanded site of the former Fogg Museum designed by Renzo Piano, renowned architect who also designed the post-modern The Centre Pompidou in Paris and the expansion of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Even though the official opening is on Sunday, two days away, Harvard Art Museums had opened its doors to Harvard affiliates earlier today and of course I simply could not miss the chance to go see it.

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Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH

I admit, if it weren’t for the M.C. Escher exhibit, I’d probably never think of going to the Currier Museum of Art, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Which means I’d miss out on a fun, inspiring, and educational afternoon.

Currier Gallery of Art: a small but distinctive collection,” published in The Christian Science Monitor in 1981 said:

[T]he Currier, considered to be one of the best small art museums in the US, is better known among curators and art historians in Paris and New York than it is in its own region. Both the Louvre and the Metropolitan have borrowed artwork from the compact gallery, which has as its motto, “One masterpiece is more to be desired than a roomful of run-of-the-mill paintings.”

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Marriott’s Cypress Harbour in Orlando, FL – “next door” to SeaWorld

If you’re planning a trip to Orlando, FL to visit the SeaWorld, consider “next door’s” Marriott Cypress Harbour Vacation Club property, at 11251 Harbour Villa Rd, Orlando, FL 32821.

That’s where we stayed exactly a year ago, in November 2013 though the timeshare program run by Interval International.

Marriott Cypress Harbour is part of the Marriott brand, but it’s not really just a hotel, it’s more like a gated little village consisting of  several buildings with two-bedroom apartments, that include a full kitchen and in-unit washer and dryer.

The Apartments

The master bedroom with a large, king-size bed, includes a massive whirlpool tub. The second bedroom has a comfortable queen size bed, with a sofa bed. There’s also a large sofa bed in the living room. Every room has a TV and free WiFi.

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Flat Stanley’s visit to Garden in the Woods

One beautiful September Saturday, Flat Stanley, my daughter, and I went to a place called Garden in the Woods.

Garden in the Woods is a woodland botanic garden owned by the New England Wild Flower Society that cultivates, or grows, plants native to New England.

Some of the plants at the Garden in the Woods are common, but some of them are rare. The reason why some native plants are rare, or not growing much anymore, is because some might grow in only one, small, area of the world, while others might have been over harvested, or picked too much, because of their beauty or medicinal value.

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Shark Eggs and Sea Dragons or #TravelSchooling at SeaWorld

Sure, SeaWorld is an amusement park. What with all the rides, performances, and all that, you can’t’ call it anything else.

However, SeaWorld is also an amazing place for kids to learn quite a bit about marine animals, and see for the first time some animals they might have never even heard of before.

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The Amazing Castelo dos Mouros (The Moorish Castle) in Sintra, Portugal

First word of advice – if you want to visit Castelo dos Mouros (The Moorish Castle) in Sintra, Portugal – get there BEFORE the parks open at 9am (10 am in the wintertime) if you can, because right at 9am the cars and busloads of tourists start pouring in, and soon every spot along the road winding toward the castle and down into the city will be taken.

Second piece of advice – if you also want to go to the Park and National Palace of Pena (Parque e Palacio Nacional de Pena)wear comfortable shoes with good, non-slip soles, because that will be a LOT of walking.

And last but not least – bring a jacket or a sweater, because even if it’s the middle of the summer and hot down below, it might be colder and windy up on the mountain. It was when we were there in July 2014.

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because the world is too interesting to stay home