5/16/2008

Getting Out of Town

This morning we are in Boston. Storyteller, Kate Dudding and I are on a "road trip" wending our way to a workshop with Elizabeth Ellis this week-end. I would have written last night except the computer hook-up was slow and to tell you the truth I was tired - having been up before dawn to catch a plane in Baltimore and then the excitement of new places.

There are stories to tell - and isn't that what happens when you "get out of town".

Three beautiful things today:

1. With only half a day in Boston we decided to concentrate on the Boston Museum of Fine Art where there is a special exhibit, El Greco - Velasquez in the time of Phillip III.
Turned out to be a very good choice. The audio tour is so well done with explanations of the paintings and the period, including stories and music that it becomes a very rich experience. I loved seeing a large El Greco painting and a beautiful Still Like by Cotan (on loan from the National Gallery). Felt like the surprise of bumping into old friends when you are away from home.

2. Kate is filled with stories and information about the Impressionist painters and paintings and about John Singer Sargent. In fact she has several storytelling programs about their lives and works. It was fun to watch Kate spontaneously engage people in the museum galleries by asking, " would you like to hear a story about that painting?"
and then delight them with her stories. "I like to tell in museums." she says. A treat!


3. Seeing Trinity Church
in downtown Boston brought back memories of a delightful and special week-end Jim and I spent in Boston with my aunt and uncle in the 1960s. When all our kids were at summer camp at the same time we jumped the fence for a parents' get-away.




In the evening the group of storytellers assembled for the workshop in South Duxsbury, MA


We are meeting at Saint Margaret's, a rambling former convent for Episcopal nuns, that has plenty of room and a warm and inviting atmosphere. You feel the positive energy when you walk through the front door into the book lined foyer. Elizabeth told us we have come to form an artistic community where we will work on our art and you can feel it happening. There are 11 of us - 9 women and two men - a diverse group of ages and outlooks brought together to support one another as we work - - an artists community. WOW! Talk about a gift!

I will add three beautiful things for yesterday - Thursday, May 15:
1. Talking, talking, talking with Kate from stories to the world.
2. Kate had said she wanted to show me the The Clark Museum, in Willliamstown - and it was a treat. Smallish with a grand collection - Constable, Corot, the Impressionists, Sargents, a surprising painting by Mary Cassett that is not a mother and child.
There is always one painting that remains in your mind's eys -- and for me - its the gorgeous Smoke of Amberis by John Singer Sargent - the image, the composition and the mastereful paint handling.
3. Kate said, "are you a knitter?" Indeed. 'Then let's stop at Webb's on our way to Boston. That's Webb's " America's Yarn Store"
in Northhampton, MA - - known throughout New England.
It did not disappoint. Aisles and shelves of wonderful colors and textures - all possibilities. I came away with some great yarn - on sale, ofcourse - and Kate has a bevy of gorgeous socks in her future.