I am taking a class from coursera.org (through Yale University), on Roman Architecture which I am finding very enlightening. I always have loved Greek architecture and thought this class would just add to that, I was surprised to have discovered something that was so interesting that I had to figure a way to do something with that new-found knowledge of decoration on walls of fancy villas.
I have seen gorgeous mosaics on floors and some walls, and fresco wall art in ancient Grecian & Italian sites, but the Romans took it to mathematical heights, and I mean great heights. Look at the height and detail in the wall with the maroon background on the top left and the white one in middle right here. I cannot imagine how long these walls and barreled ceilings took to paint, but read on and you will ask the same questions I did.
When I learned about the 4 different styles that were used over the years, I decided instead of writing a paper on designing a Roman City, that I would create a Children’s Museum exhibit to expose people to this wonderful art form.
Here are a few of the principles to creating the four different styles. You can see, they divided the walls into sections. (This art was done from around 10 BC to 79 AD). The 1st style is simple, they wanted to show that they had money but couldn’t afford to import marble, so they painted walls to look like it. They added columns and architectural features to look like windows with scenes and vistas behind them in the 2nd style. In the 3rd style, they finally realized that the walls were flat and painted them so! They added paintings in the center of panels, like a framed painting. The columns were not so massive but became skinny and decorative, they were no longer headed with the Greek capitols (Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian). They used still life art and mythical people in the floating paintings. In the 4th style, they used all of the above and then some. They added cages to the top layer and had buildings and scenes within them, not like a panorama, but a painting within a frame.
I used four colors to identify each style with a wall mural showing different walls from various villas uncovered in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and well-preserved villas from the Roman Empire. What I also added was drafting tables so kids can draw buildings using real architect tools and I added a block area so they can build houses. I saw a fabulous paneled digital presentation on a wall at a fair recently and saw they can project multiple images on panels, so I included this (very expensive wall) above the block area so people can see Roman buildings and ancient dig sites.
I have updated my exhibit design by added the three column capitals to each table and using a slanted one the Romans used for the fourth table. The height will add grandeur to the whole exhibtion and I decided I could not leave out an archeological dig site showing the kids what the ruins looked like. So they will clear away dirt and unveil the ancient city underneath the photo of Mt Vesuvius.
You can see the entire slide show on YouTube if you go to this link. Now I just have to find some museum who might be interested in hiring me to produce this! I think it is very exciting for every age. And if you can draw, it wouldn’t be too difficult to follow their patterns. (FYI: The YouTube version is not as updated as this one. Look at the map above for the changes.)
When my Mom and sister said they wanted to see the Panama Canal, I was excited. Every children’s museum that I ever visited, had me playing with locks for long periods of time. I wanted to understand how they worked. Well, I jumped at the chance to cruise through it with my Mom, my two sisters, and my daughter too.
Other than having to get up at five and get your spot on the upper decks, the heat was so intense we had to keep going inside, even at that hour. We were the biggest ship so we got in line and would be going in first. We stood in line for a long time and then when the sun came up, we got the nod.
We saw the tug get us into position, then some guys in a little row-boat, jumped in front of the boat and got wires attached to us. The train cars, or mules (since they used to be real mules) hooked on to the wires and held us securely because the sides were really close. We did hit the sides twice says my sister Norrie. You will also see a photo of us being in our cabin and looking out at the side of the locks while we were in it coming back.
Our Island Princess cruise went from Long Beach (San Pedro, CA) to five countries and entering the locks from the West, the Pacific Ocean. We turned around and came back through them so we did not fly back like most tours do.
The workers actually can walk across the very heavy doors, they weigh tons. I did not writre down the figures of how much water this all takes, but I am sure you can google that info.
The water spreads out on the side edge. We saw bubbling under a bridge next to us (see the top right of the collage with the mules). I thought the water goes from one side to the other lane but that was not true. Watching the doors open was very exciting. There was a double door on one set.
So sorry but I was doing some major “research” in Cabo, Mexico this last week. I took loads of pictures on & off the Sapphire Princess cruise, especially for your viewing pleasure. SO here goes–
Got off the ship in Ensenada, MX. and was immediately drawn to photograph this brilliant yellow structure and the shadows that were cast by the upper cross beams. Mexico is so full of color that my shutter finger hurt when I got back LOL!
Cannot wait to share boat pictures as we spent two days in Cabo due to an unfortunate situation. There was a medical emergency on board with one of the passengers, and the Captain turned the ship around and back to a hospital in Cabo San Lucas. So we never made it to Puerto Vallarta, but I am hoping to get some inspiration and paint some of the fabulous scenes from Cabo. We did get to go to Todos Santas (an old town with fabulous buildings anmd a mission surrounded by artist galleries!) and then Santa Maria Bay, where we tried to learn how to snorkel. We really learned how not to drown! Never did get to see the fishes, but they saw my husband and me kicking like crazy as we attempted to use the flippers provided on the catamaran that we went out on.
These are just a few of my thousands of vacation (to Cabo)pictures and I promise to keep them coming.
The sky, the night when we left, was soooo amazing and as the minutes went by, these extraordinary shots were taken as the sky went rainbowy-red. I did take loads of sunsets and even managed to get up early and take some sunrises!
Keep on taking pictures yourself and painting too. Here’s an assignment:
DeSIGN ELEMENT- “Shape” (and repeated shape too)
Use your camera or brushes and create work using this topic! Good Luck