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The Magnificence of Antoni Gaudi (or “Things to Marvel At”)

With Europe on my mind, and my daughter studying in Spain, I’m reminded of my fascination with Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. Known for his engineering genius, there are so many elements at work in his work that he bursts the seams of any one title – except perhaps that of artist, whose buildings were his canvas representing a treasure trove of design and unbridled creativity. You look at them and think “How….???!”

Revered worldwide as one of the most important modernist style architects, Gaudi lived from 1852-1926. “Over the course of his career, Gaudi developed a sensuous, curving, almost surreal design style which established him as the innovative leader of the Spanish Art Nouveau movement. With little regard for formal order, he juxtaposed unrelated systems and altered established visual order. Gaudi’s characteristically warped form of Gothic architecture drew admiration from other avant-garde artists.”

To view Gaudi’s work is to see “thinking outside the box” at whole new levels. His extraordinary examples, many of which reside in Barcelona, are movement and dance; they’re sugar-laced monuments with creamy frosting; they’re marshmallows and gingerbread, sand-castles, stone, glass and iron; they’re original, dramatic, striking blends of angle and color.

I marvel at the boundlessness. Fantastic. Illogical. Stunning.

 
*References
Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p61.
Muriel Emmanuel. Contemporary Architects. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980. ISBN 0-312-16635-4. NA680.C625 1980.
 
Images via Google.
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Winter Solace

winter-forest-sm

What beauty we’re privileged to know in this life. I, for one, find great solace knowing it’s there, in so many varied forms ~ and I also find that I’m able to take a fresh, renewing breath simply by seeing a scene like this.

I recall woods much like these, from my childhood, and I feel glad to have wandered its humbling, secret pathways, for its nurturing my imagination and deepening my appreciation for the world we all call home.

And while this is just a picture, I invite you to take a walk inside this enchanted forest, feel the crisp air on your face, hear the doves calling and deer scampering, watch snow tumbling from a bough. Nothing more, just be there for a little while and feel a bit of hushed, invigorating peace. Your regularly scheduled life will still be there, and you, perhaps, may feel refreshed.  ~ Patricia

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Some Doors I Have Known

There’s something about doors that makes me want to walk right on in, see what’s behind them, uncover a mystery, discover a history, a magical passageway, a hidden treasure. And the lavish architecture of Venice just intensifies that intrigue!

Of course, the truth is that sometimes (most of the time) I just have to use my imagination ~ but that’s not too hard with doors like these. ♥ Ah, what stories they could tell…

saxton_venice.doors

saxton_venitian.door

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Mermaid Mardi Gras

While writing “The Book of Mermaids”, I learned that many mermaid celebrations, oddly enough, coincide with our human holidays. So I’m imagining there’s a bit of frolicking good fun going on beneath the ocean waves this last day of Mardi Gras. Bubble-lined parades, dancing in rock caverns, the drinking of rich, salty concoctions, and generally speaking, some swishy, swanky good times under the sea, complete with masks and costumes. (Note: It might feel a bit turbulent if you happen to be on a cruise, depending on how near you are to the festivities.) Happy Mardi Gras!

The Book of Mermaids

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Apple's (Very Cool) Architectural Plans

“The word spectacular would be an understatement.”

These were the words of Cupertino Councilman Orrin Mahoney after hearing Steve Jobs’ presentation about plans for a new Apple Headquarters.

As an appreciator of everything Apple, this is exciting news. But regardless of your own personal relationship with “everything Apple”, this will be a stunning architectural feat in its own right.

For example, by moving the parking underground, the grounds will lose the asphalt and double the number of trees, including the addition of an apricot orchard. The campus will be efficient, beautiful and of course, state-of-the-art.

Another example of coolness-meets-practicality. Gotta love that!

 

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Creative Duet: The Mind-Boggling Antoni Gaudi

Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi is known for his engineering genius, but there are clearly so many other elements at work in his work that he is far more than “architect”.

He was an artist. Buildings were his canvas. And those buildings are grand treasure troves of design and unbridled creativity.

Revered worldwide as one of the most important modernist style architects, Gaudi lived from 1852-1926. “Over the course of his career, Gaudi developed a sensuous, curving, almost surreal design style which established him as the innovative leader of the Spanish Art Nouveau movement. With little regard for formal order, he juxtaposed unrelated systems and altered established visual order. Gaudi’s characteristically warped form of Gothic architecture drew admiration from other avant-garde artists.”*

Gaudi takes “thinking outside the box” to whole new levels. His extraordinary works, many of which reside in Barcelona, are movement and dance, they’re delicious sugar-laced monuments with creamy frosting; they’re all marshmallows and gingerbread, sand-castles, stone, glass and iron; they’re original, dramatic, striking blends of angle and color.

I marvel at the ingenuity and the boundlessness. Fantastic. Illogical. Stunning.

*References
Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p61.
Muriel Emmanuel. Contemporary Architects. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980. ISBN 0-312-16635-4. NA680.C625 1980.
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