Archive for Melabee Miller

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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Watercolor Journaling Workshop in Italy

Posted in Daylight, Digital Image, Italy, Linden Trees, Summer, Sunlight, Trees, Vagliagli with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by melabeemiller

Today’s post brings us to Borgo San Fedele, a restored ancient parish church, near the village of Vagliagli in the middle of the Chianti.  Vagliagli means “valley of the wild garlic”, which grows in the countryside.  The workshop classes took place in the restored church.

At Borgo San Fedele, I heard the crunch of small stones under our sneakers and saw terraced flower and herb gardens, a pond with water lilies and very tall cypress trees.  There was a distinctive scent of Linden Trees and the sound of deer barking.  (Yes, it turns out small Italian deer bark like dogs.) It was unlike any other place I have ever been.

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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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Melabee’s Images on Posters!

Posted in Block Island, Coastal, Daylight, Denmark, RI, Scan, Summer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by melabeemiller

I’ve been using my fine art expertise and drawing on my photographs.  It has been quite enjoyable to work directly on paper, scan the image and later add to it using PhotoShop.  I am proud to announce that three of my newest artwork have been selected to be produced as posters.  Today they are available for sale online.

The image below is one of two posters showing  a coastal scene with Adirondack chairs.  This original photo was taken on Block Island, RI.   Click on this image to find out more.

Five Adirondack Chairs  on Block Island

© melabee m miller Coastal Scene

A series showing wagon wheels (original photo taken in Denmark)  is also available. Click on the image to see all four versions.  Each can be custom framed.

wagon wheels

© melabee m miller Wagon Wheels

Be sure to order your own today from any of the sites below or try a Google search using “melabee posters” to find online availability.

AllPosters.com

Poster Hero

PosterCheckOut

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot…..

Posted in Holly, snow, Winter with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by melabeemiller

Think Cold, Cold, Cold.

Red holly berries

Holly with red berries. © melabee m miller