Archive for the Travel Category

It’s been too long….

Posted in Digital Image, Highways, Roads, train, train station, Travel with tags , , , , on July 21, 2014 by melabeemiller

Hasn’t it?  Lots of things have been going on and I owe you.  In this post, I’d like to catch up and share what I see from various Amtrak train windows.  I usually sit on the same side of the train but, since my last trip, I realize that the views on each side are remarkably different.  Do you recognize any of these locations?

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Relax at the Water’s Edge

Posted in Beach, Caribbean, Coastal, Daylight, Digital Image, Memorial Day, Ocean, Summer, Sunlight, Travel, Trees with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by melabeemiller

On almost every beach we visited in the Virgin Islands there were lounge chairs perfectly positioned to watch the water lapping the shoreline.  Find your ideal spot this summer and let me know.

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Warm Weather

Posted in Beach, Caribbean, Coastal, Melabee M Miller, Nautical, Ocean, Rainbow, Sailboat with tags , , , on March 22, 2012 by melabeemiller

Just back from a wonderful catamaran cruise on the yacht,  Sweetest Thing, in the Caribbean.  After a week of sailing, we landed in Newark to find warm weather, trees in bloom, flowers, butterflies and birds chirping.

Spring is here and Summer is not far behind; enjoy the Caribbean’s clear blue water.

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Florence, Italy!

Posted in Digital Image, Florence, Italy, Melabee M Miller, Summer, Travel with tags , , , on October 27, 2011 by melabeemiller

I’ve visited Florence numerous times and I wondered if I would tire of it and take the first train to, well….somewhere.  But no, there are always new things to do and familiar places to see again.

During my visit to Florence this summer, the first tour was to see the newly restored frescoes which depict The Legend of the True Cross on the walls and ceiling of the High Altar of the Church of Santa Croce. Scaffolding was in place while the finishing touches were made to the frescoes and this allowed visitors to tour the art. Without a special request or additional cost, an English speaking tour guide was there to translate just for us. Grazie!

We climbed the 110 scaffolding steps to the top. It was so exciting to literally be face-to-face with the life size figures in these incredible frescoes painted by Agnolo Gaddi – son of Taddeo Gaddi.  Italian restoration only allows the frescoes to be cleaned.  If paint or gold leaf is missing, it remains in that condition. Because of this, we saw some of the lines of the original drawing on the wall.  Amazing! No photos were allowed in this area, so we took out our journals and drew.

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To see even more photos of Florence, be sure to preview my book at blurb.com.

My new photo book on Tuscany

Posted in Italy, Melabee, Melabee M Miller, Photography, Summer, Travel, Tuscany with tags , , on September 30, 2011 by melabeemiller

Book CoverI am proud to announce my photo essay, Tuscany June 2011.  The book chronicles my latest adventures in Italy.  You’ve seen some of the photos in previous posts, like this one about Siena, but there are lots more to see.  The book is thirty-six pages filled with photos and available for purchase at Blurb.com.  I am thrilled to share this with you and hope you enjoy the book.

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/1930270/0f2aa3b9e6358e158d4b36c8b55f5aa6c414fe29

Siena, Italy

Posted in Digital Image, Duomo, Italy, Melabee, Melabee M Miller, Photography, Siena, Siena, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by melabeemiller

Our next excursion was to Siena, a very large city in comparison to my favorite town, Radda in Chianti.

Siena is well known for the Palio, a spectacular horse race that takes place in the center of the city twice a year.  But we were looking for a different Siena and found some unexpected things.  We were dropped off at San Domenico Basilica where, much to our surprise, we came upon the head and finger of St. Catherine of Siena ( 1347-1380  ).  No photos permitted in the church but, if you’d like, you can see her head here.

Next, we walked on Via Cittá and heard classical music.  Following the sound, we entered the courtyard of the Palazzo Chigi Saracini (This link shows a 180° view-don’t forget to look up.) which houses the Chigiana Musical Academy.   We sat on a bench and lost track of time while we listened to music, worked in our journal, photographed and watched people.

The most wonderful site was the crypt (cripta in Italian) which was re-discovered in 1999 under the Duomo (Cathedral).  I was disappointed because photography was not permitted in this space which was full of incredible frescoes and decorative patterns.  But I had an alternative to photography-my journal.  I made drawings of the areas I wanted to remember.  A whole new world has opened to me.  Now along with my camera, I travel with a notebook and pencil.

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Visiting Radda in Chianti, Italy

Posted in Colors, Detail, Digital Image, Italy, Italy, Melabee, Melabee M Miller, Mountains, Nature, Photography, Radda in Chianti, Summer, Sunlight, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by melabeemiller

Our first day trip was to the lovely hilltop town of Radda in Chianti in the center of the Chianti region.  Our host explained how safe it was by relating this story: A previous workshop participant lost a camera somewhere in the town.  The next day it was returned by the Policia.  A local resident found the camera, recognized the photos of Borgo San Fedele and knew that it had to belong to a visitor staying there.  You can’t get much safer than that.

We found the perfect bench in a small park overlooking the countryside and painted the fabulous views.  The Church of San Niccolò is in the center of this circular town so we knew exactly where we were at all times. In the middle of the Chianti region, we found many black roosters (found on the seal of Chianti Classico wine) and the most delicious white wine made with the typical Vernacchia grape.

Of course we didn’t paint all the time.  We visited abiti e accessori, a store with home accessories in one room and, in the other, beautiful clothes made with hand painted fabrics made by the artist in the middle of the store.  Other stores featured the food of the region including pici pasta and a tasty olive oil, of course.  And, don’t forget a fabulous lunch.

The size and friendliness of Radda was just perfect for our first adventure.

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Italy……It was different this time

Posted in Artist/Writer, Daylight, Digital Image, Florence, Highways, Italy, Melabee, Melabee M Miller, Roads, Sharon Pitts, Summer, Sunlight, Travel, Trees with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by melabeemiller

When I took a photography workshop in Italy years ago, it seemed familiar to me because I was photographing. Well, as familiar as photographing wheat at dawn in Tuscany can be.

I recently spent one week in Chianti attending a watercolor journaling workshop.  This time felt different.  I was learning new techniques and creating in new mediums. This process helped me to see my surroundings in new ways. I sat on benches and steps, leaned on walls and spent time looking, drawing and painting. I was recording it on paper right in front of me, but I couldn’t resist the urge to photograph. I’m not ready to share my drawings and paintings – yet.  In future posts, you will see where I’ve been and what I’ve seen.

The workshop was taught by Sharon Pitts , an accomplished watercolor artist who teaches at the Yard School of Art at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey.  It was facilitated by Il Chiostro at The Tuscan Renaissance Center in Borgo San Fedele in the heart of Chianti.  The location and countryside were stunning and my fellow workshop artists were such a pleasure to work with. I’m grateful to have had such an inspiring experience.

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My Room With A View

Posted in Coastal, Denmark, Digital Image, Fall, Fjord, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Scan, Sunlight, Sunset, Travel, Viking Ships, Windows, Winter with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2011 by melabeemiller

Recently I saw Rooms with a View:The  Open Window in the 19th Century, the Metropolitan Museum’s special exhibit of oils, watercolor and drawings of open window views created from 1810-1820.  I was impressed with the beauty and somewhat surprised to learn that occasionally artists replaced a dull view with a magnificent scene.

In 1996, I was part of a trip to Denmark sponsored by a local Rotary Club chapter.  For five weeks, I traveled north on the largest island, Zealand.  I saw incredible sights from medieval castles and Viking ships to the canals of Copenhagen. The best of all these sights were the views from the windows of the many private homes where I stayed.

While looking at the Danish paintings at the Met, I began to think about the most wonderful view I saw from my window.  It was in Jyllinge, a small town located on the eastern bank of Roskilde Fjord.  During the fall and winter, because of Denmark’s northern location, the sunsets would last a couple of hours, typically from 8 until 10. From my window, which overlooked the fjord, I was always thrilled with the view at any time of the day.  I hope you enjoy the ones below as much as I continue to enjoy them.

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Out like a Lamb

Posted in Chloe Yelena Miller, Cow, Daylight, Digital Image, Ireland, Melabee M Miller, Nature, Scan, Spring, Travel on March 25, 2011 by melabeemiller

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

– English proverb

March is ending and I haven’t been thinking about lambs.  Instead, my Uncle Bruno and cows have been on my mind.  A few weeks ago, at the age of 95, he said goodbye. I will miss him dearly. He shared many stories of his childhood and growing up in Newark, New Jersey.  My daughter, Chloe Yelena Miller, wrote the following poem based on his remembrances.

Noisier than the Milk

Newark, N.J.

The empty bottles chimed

with the horse’s half-moon step.

Two AM, the milkman found

screen door knobs in that unlocked dark.

The neighborhood children remember

those sounds like a map.

Fifteen cows up on Third Avenue

slept with hushed bells.

First published in SpiralBridge (2004)

Cow in pasture, Doolin, Ireland

© melabee m miller

And I think of him when I see this photograph of a lone cow in Doolin, Ireland.

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