City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In July

Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In July

Chicago in July. Another jaunt, with a camera in hand, focussed upon the windows of fashion that line the streets of Chicago. Always finding inspiration behind the large glass panes, for certain. Yet change with fashion is constant. Ah, the world of visual merchandising. July sales sizzling and beckoning from many of the windows as thoughts of Autumn’s pending arrival and Summer’s near ending fill the minds of passerby’s. Perhaps the thought of denim is in the air.

Of course, appreciation of the city’s surrounds in the heat of July.  Oh, Chicago. For the love of a city…

Chicago In July: Summer & Buckingham Fountain Delights

So onward to the windows and the mannequin poses that caught my eye. Selecting from behind the lens what moves me and walking past what does not. Fashion adoration, just the same. Well, always a Max Mara adoration.  It seems that the windows of Max Mara fill the pages of these monthly fashionable posts.  Again, visual merchandising and style. There are certain windows that beckon. There are certain streets that beckon. Life beckons us to appreciate. Onward in that, from behind the lens…

Max Mara In July: Always Fashionable
Fashionably Poised At Max Mara
Fashionable Conversations In Three: Max Mara
For The Love Of Max Mara
The Always Fashionable Windows Of Max Mara
Turbans & Accessories Of Style: Max Mara
Window Adoration: Max Mara In July
Windows & Proclamations Of Fashion In July
Burberry’s Mag Mile Windows Of Fashion
Sparkle & Shine Behind Saks Fifth Avenue
Sequins & Shine: Saks Fifth Avenue
Fashion & Art: Saks Fifth Avenue Paired With The Gaugin Exhibit/Art Institute Of Chicgo
Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In July
Lady Gaga & The Windows Of Tiffanty’s

Consider with appreciation the windows of fashion and the fashionable world that surrounds. City surrounds.  Changing windows and changing scenes will always provide inspiration and excitement for the very gift of life. A city provides that excitement. For me, that excitement has always endured.

Onward,

Kristin

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A New Year Celebration: 5 Years of House Appeal!

January 2012-January 2017:  5 Years Of House Appeal
January 2012-January 2017: 5 Years Of House Appeal

Another milestone. 5 Years of a blog that began in January of 2012. 5 Years of sharing. Five years of compiling images. From behind my lens and sourced from the vast world of the internet.  All with the continuing goal of delving deeper into creating a greater appreciation of what surrounds. Life is a gift. Attitude is destiny.  Appreciation and gratitude is a worthy goal, indeed.

Thank you to each and every one of you that have stumbled upon this blog and have followed along on my journey of sharing and expounding on those things that comprise our world and our lives. With the intent of redefining appreciation for what surrounds us in all aspects of life.  Awaiting our focus. Perhaps it is a greater awareness that brings furthered appreciation. For certain, in every moment there is something beautiful to focus on.  Something to find appreciation for or merely gain a renewed appreciation upon connecting historical background. Renewed perspective. Life moves swiftly. What better goal in our daily lives than to look at the world closer. Ponder with appreciation what surrounds. Ponder what is beautiful, timeless and enduring…

It was in 2014 that I had deemed the word “Onward” as my mantra. In 2017 that word still holds true. A word that is defined as “In a continuing forward direction; ahead” and “going further than coming to an end or halt; moving forward”.  Since 2012 my life has changed vastly. I made personal choices and decisions in 2015 that would change my life forever. Yet change is good. Deciding to make changes, no matter how difficult the journey through them, and actually following through with those decisions, is the key. When you know without any doubts that you are forging in the right direction, it is merely owning the challenges every step of the way. Moving forward. Moving onward. Never doubting yourself. That, therein, is personal growth. Onward, indeed.

So for a blog that covers the world of fashion, interior design, nature, life’s events and city inspirations…onward with the goal of inspiring with ponderings and inspirations of living a beautiful life. Although the blog posts have lessened, the desire to share has not faded. That passion will never fade.

Thank you for being a part of the journey thus far. Onward to inspire…

Onward,

Kristin Abrahamsen


“You must do the things you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Selfie.  New Years Eve, 2016
Selfie. New Years Eve, 2016

Summer Photographic Journey: Serenity In A Japanese Garden/Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois
Visual Delights: The Anderson Japanese Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Nestled within a twelve acre landscape “Comprised of winding pathways, meandering streams, koi-filled ponds and plunging waterfalls awaits  Anderson Japanese Gardens.  Located east of the Rock River and north of Downtown Rockford, Illinois, a trip to this garden is a breathtaking and memorable visual experience that will linger. Serenity of nature, indeed…

“Rated as one of North America’s highest quality Japanese gardens for more than a decade”, the artistry found within showcases master craftsmanship and 16th century traditional architecture throughout. Serene bliss for those that appreciate the intricate layers and planned gardens of purpose. This authentic Japanese garden certainly brings forth a meditative state of contemplation and appreciation of nature and its gifts. The walking surfaces vary and the pathways meander one through a landscaped oasis. Oh, the beauty of the stones and the water features! With the placement of every rock, the alignment of every tree, bridges and paths planned, one would think it was always there–part of nature, for certain. Yet this particular Japanese garden only began in 1978 upon what was John & Linda Anderson’s swampy backyard located along Rockford’s Spring Creek. Who could tell that this garden that holds a seemingly magical history was so young? Nature planned that holds a timeless feel of organic and natural beauty. Part of the fabric of the land now. Indeed a treasure for Rockford and a destination for those that appreciate the beauty and serenity of Japanese gardens.

This photographic journey, from behind my lens, offers only a mere sampling of the visuals to behold during the Summer months. In fact, it is not even a whole visual of the garden itself.  And of pending season’s change?  Oh, the Autumn colors of the Japanese maples that await! The Spring blooms surely offer a heaven sent visual of nature’s appreciation…seasons to bring me back to this oasis of nature, indeed.  For certain, a love affair from behind my lens ensued. The beauty of the Japanese garden in the Summer….
Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, IllinoisVisual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Visual Delights:  The Anderson Japanese  Gardens Of Rockford, Illinois

Although with appreciation of nature and acknowledgment of the mastery to the art form itself, there truly is no single image that can relay the experience and true understanding of the beauty of these gardens without one actually stepping foot onto nature’s planned yet natural paths of a Japanese garden. It is merely my hope that the images can express a mere essence of the beauty to behold. For in my mind, when I view them, my mind drifts back to the sensations of being surrounded in this lush, cool and stunning surrounds. Inspiration, onward, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

“In order to comprehend the beauty of a Japanese garden, it is necessary to understand-or at least to learn to understand-the beauty of stone” -Lafcadio Hearn

“The art of stone in a Japanese garden is that of placement. It’s ideal does not deviate from that of nature”  -Jsamu Noguchi

City Inspirations: Fashionable Windows Of Chicago In May

Chicago In May: Changing Seasons
Chicago In May: Changing Seasons

Fashionable Windows off the streets of Chicago. On another stellar Chicago day, I ventured by train and walked through the streets that line this striking city by Lake Michigan. A monthly goal of capturing photographic images with a quest to provide a visual look at the changing scenes behind the large glass panes of fashion merchandising.   Me, myself and my camera on the city streets of Chicago. And a love of fashion, I might add.  For those that follow along, yet another look at the changing scenes. Yet this continued monthly visit to the City I adore does not go without appreciation of the scenes and energy that a city offers. Visuals of changing seasonal delights surround…

Final Tulip Explosion Display On Michigan Avenue
Final Tulip Explosion Display On Michigan Avenue

Spring’s full force brings continued warm weather appeal behind the windows of Fashion. Changing scenery of lightweight and colorful or simplistic appeal brings with it further excitement paired with the arrival of warm sunshine and Spring breezes off Lake Michigan. Spring into Summer. Another visual of fashion behind the windows of Chicago from behind the lens of my camera…

Embellishment In Floral Bliss:  The Windows Of Sax Fifth Avenue
Embellishment In Floral Bliss: The Windows Of Sax Fifth Avenue
Floral Bliss:  The Windows Of Sax Fifth Avenue
Floral Bliss: The Windows Of Sax Fifth Avenue
Summertime Appeal & New York Homage:  Kate Spade
Summertime Appeal & New York Homage: Kate Spade
Salvatore Ferragamo: Lettered & Seasonal Delight
Salvatore Ferragamo: Lettered & Seasonal Delight
Max Mara:  Nautical Inspirations Of Classic & Modern Appeal
Max Mara: Nautical Inspirations Of Classic & Modern Appeal
Max Mara: Classics Endure
Max Mara: Classics Endure
Changing Window Scenes Behind Max Mara
Changing Window Scenes Behind Max Mara
Windows Of Fashion In May:  Pastel & Light Delight
Windows Of Fashion In May: Pastel & Light Delight
The Windows Of Ralph Lauren:  Simplicity & Classic Ralph Appeal
The Windows Of Ralph Lauren: Simplicity & Classic Ralph Appeal
White & Brown Leather Paired With Warm Weather Appeal:  The Fashionable Windows Of Ralph Lauren
White & Brown Leather Paired With Warm Weather Appeal: The Fashionable Windows Of Ralph Lauren
Cool Waters Beckoning:  Fashionable Appeal: La Perla On Oak Street
Cool Waters Beckoning: Fashionable Appeal: La Perla On Oak Street
Window Scenes Of Fashionable Appeal
Window Scenes Of Fashionable Appeal
Escada:  Classic Style On Oak Street
Escada: Classic Style On Oak Street
Fashionable Visuals Behind The Windows Of Fashion
Fashionable Visuals Behind The Windows Of Fashion
Gucci:  Fashionable Impressions
Gucci: Fashionable Impressions
Gucci's  Visual Window Artistry
Gucci’s Visual Window Artistry
Bold Flounce & Vivid Windows Of Fashion:  Louis Vuitton
Bold Flounce & Vivid Windows Of Fashion: Louis Vuitton
Spring Launch Of Sweet, Fragrant Appeal: Mugler's Angel Sucree
Spring Launch Of Sweet, Fragrant Appeal: Mugler’s Angel Sucree
Fashion On The Streets Of Chicago
Fashion On The Streets Of Chicago

Consider with appreciation the world of fashion that is offered behind the panes of glass off the city streets that surround you. Whether Chicago, New York or across the world, there is appreciation to be gained of the artistry and visual presentation of fashion’s changing appeal. Whether timeless classics or the edge of fashion, appreciation. For me, always, being the lens…

Onward,

Kristin

Selfie Within The Letter "A"
Myself: Selfie Within The Letter “A”


PS:   Within fashion’s change, there is personal change.  For me, it is wrapped in the letter “A”.
I have reclaimed my maiden name.  Abrahamsen.  Change.  Onward.  Always onward…

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself”-Andy Warhol

 

Landscape Impact: Substantial Stone Spheres Of Bold & Enchanting Delight

Landscape Sculpture Of Sizeable Impact: Spherical “Stones”

Impactful spheres of “Stone”. A contrast among the landscape they are grounded within. Shape and form. A sphere (from Greek word “sphaira” for “globe, ball”) is referred to a round geometrical object in three dimensional space. For certain, these circular stones of solid form are rounded objects with visual weight, height and substance. Distinctive globe forms (with the surface of “stone” or other hard materials, such as limestone or concrete) that offer visual and architectural interest to the surrounds that they settle and embed upon. Firmly and deeply embedded. Objects of impact, for certain.

And of the history of round objects of spherical formation? Thought to be linked to the references of astronomy and navigation, circles also represent the eternal whole are an considered an archetypical form representing the sun, the earth, the moon, the universe, and other celestial objects between. No beginning and no end. Perhaps the round, spherical form is a reminder of the galaxy beyond us –“a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas and dust, and dark matter”. Holding a visual of free movement, the graceful shape of a circle offers a seeming calm and soothing appeal. For certain, there is something unexpected about the spherical circular shape found within the landscape of our exterior worlds. Yet delightful.

Eleanor& Sam Lothrop
Researchers Of Costa Rican Stone Spheres: Eleanor& Sam Lothrop/1950’s

Of course, one cannot focus upon spheres of stone without acknowledging the ancient stone spheres of Costa Rica. Enduring as one of the strangest mysteries in archaeology, the discovery during the 1930’s of over 300 round, massive stone balls have continued to pique the interest of the world. Sculpted from the hands of ancient sculptors from “grandodiorite” (a hard, single block of stone solidified from of lava), these monolithic sculptures were found ranging in size and varying in workmanship. Found in the jungle, twelve miles from the Pacific coast, upon excavation for a structure built by the United Fruit Company, those that would come to research these massive objects of stone would find that these were nearly perfect spheres. Amazing. It is also interesting to note that no “unfinished” spheres were ever found. Of even further interest is the fact that the Costa Rican quarry was over 50 miles from the locations of these massive, mysterious bolders of spherical form. Imagine! Since moved from their original locations (and some destroyed) the basis of a scientific layout of these boulders of round form, by the ancient hands that revered them, can no longer provide an answer as to their true meaning and purpose. Stone “globes” which held great importance and significance of which will remain unknown. Objects from an ancient culture that still survive without knowledge of their true purpose. A mystery that will never be answered. Perhaps there are some things in life that will always remain a mystery but will always endure in earning appreciation. Enormous stones of intrigue. Round spheres of solid form that will continue to offer enduring appeal of massive proportion and visual delight

Costa Rica's Stone Spheres:  Mystery In Archeology
Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres: Mystery In Archeology

And of the polished, stone orbs that fill the landscape and add architectural interest within the lush green natural world that surrounds us? For certain, the form itself deserves a visual appreciation. Unexpected, perhaps, but distinctive just the same. The solid forms of sizable impact go far in providing a focal point of contrast and texture. Consider the spherical formation of solid “stone” globes. Architectural interest within the landscape, indeed….

Round Spheres Of Solid Form:  Visual Interest Within The Exterior World
Round Spheres Of Solid Form: Visual Interest Within The Exterior World
Spherical Delights Within The Garden
Spherical Delights Within The Garden
Circular Objects Of Visual Impact: Large Round “Stones”
Architectural Embellishments Within The Garden: Spherical “Stones”
Round “Stones”: Visual Impact & Architectural Interest
Spheres Of Substance & Visual Delight
Spheres Of Substance & Visual Delight
Spherical & Substantial: “Stones” In The Garden
Spherical Objects Within The Garden Landscape
Spherical Objects Within The Garden Landscape
Stone “Spheres” Of Architectural Distinction

The spherical form as an classic emblem of architectural structures & embellishments endures to provide historical appeal. A timeless emblem of classical form

Spherical Impact:  Charleston, SC
Spherical Impact: Charleston, SC
Spherical Impact:  Charleston, SC & New Orleans, LA
Spherical Impact: Charleston, SC & New Orleans, LA
Round Distinction:  Charleston, South Carolina
Round Distinction: Charleston, South Carolina
Spheres:  Visual Impact Of Enduring Distinction
Spheres: Visual Impact Of Enduring Distinction

A nod to the world of horticulture and the artistry of shape found within…
Consider the spherical formations of meticulously pruned and shaped emerald green boxwoods. An artistry of form that hold an appeal of classicism. These ball-shaped foundation plantings offer visual delight of the highest form of gardening. The stately boxwood itself is deemed as “Man’s Oldest Garden Ornamental”. Timeless…

Spheres In Landscape Formed Within Nature:  Pruned Boxwoods
Spheres In Landscape Formed Within Nature: Pruned Boxwoods

Of course, the round object of solid form found within the interior also earns an unexpected delight. Appreciation of this form with no beginning or end…

Interior Impact: Spherical “Stones” As Objects Of Interest

Consider with appreciation the spherical “Stone”. Form and contrast, texture and interest. Although the mystery of their original formation remains unknown, the visual display of intriguing appeal within the landscapes of our exterior world (and even our interior worlds) will endure to offer an ongoing unexpected delight. Circles in nature. Perhaps the mere visual of “polished” stones offer a nod to the “Circle of Life”. Polished reminders of solid form. Enchanting, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help”
-M. Sarton

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for”
—Georgia O’Keeffe

Form & Function Of Architectural Features: The Artistry Of Vintage Door Knobs

Details Of Past Elegance:  The Vintage Door Knob
Details Of Past Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob

An element of form and function. The artistry of the vintage doorknob. Forms of art. Artistic forms of grandeur from a time period in which details mattered, elegance was revered and craftsmanship ruled. The individual beauty of the vintage door knob is striking and stunning. Representations of a time gone by yet reminders of the beauty that society once required within the realm of the structures that surrounded…

Lavished Design:  The Architectural Door Knob
Lavished Design: The Architectural Door Knob

History holds that although door handles appeared during Egyptian times, until the Middle Ages the basic form of doorways were created with textiles and furs. After the late 1500’s architecture offered separate rooms in which the addition of a door featuring leather or hand forged latches evolved. Interesting. In America, in the mid-ninetenth century (from 1830 to 1873), the production and manufacture of door knobs would evolve further into an enduring architectural element of form and function. Initially, plain wooden knobs were the first simple forms of door knobs of Colonial times followed by pressed glass and cut glass door knobs (popular from 1826-1850). Of note, prior to 1876 ceramic and porcelain knobs were imported from France and England. Of course, a nod to the beautiful swirls that knobs of Rosewood held. Striking appeal, indeed. Around 1846 the formation of cast metal knobs arrived to embellish structures. Made of iron or steel, these forms of function were covered either entirely or coated with a veneer of bronze or brass. But oh, the stylized decoration of these knobs of purpose that would thrive! It is said that after the Centennial Exposition of 1876 (the first official World’s Fair in the United State), the world of decorative door hardware was launched nationwide. Yes, the embellishments of lavish detail that beckoned the desire of the Victorian Era would prevail…

Centennial Exhibition 1876/United States
Centennial Exhibition 1876/United States

In the late 1800’s these composite metal knobs formed with a compression casting method offered the ability to design and provide ornamentation of the hardware. Of historical interest, during World War II, brass door knobs were removed and melted down for the war effort. Imagine! Alas, those that remain offer a rare desirability by those that covet and appreciate them. A link and emblem to the decorative arts of the past that is no longer abundant but rare architectural “jewels” of the past. Yet it is the cast bronze and brass door knobs with ornamental patterns that the Victorians graced their residences and structures that continue to amaze and delight me. Of course, I hold an appreciation of all of the beautiful forms of materials & construction of these architectural features. And of the knobs of form and function? Whether spherical or ball-shaped or the ease of an egg-shape design or the knobs fashioned like a drum, the designs have certainly changed throughout the decades that would follow. Coordinating with the eras they would be fixed within. Fixed to surface mounted locks or doors for entry, the door knob would continue to experience a renaissance resembling the prevailing styles of the eras. Of course, a nod to the decorative door handle plates that would surround the knobs (Escutcheons) which were often rectangular and were also embellished with decorative designs, such as floral patterns or geometric shapes. Beauty of form and function and visual interest in design, indeed. Shape and surface appeal. Craftsmanship and intricate design paired in the creation of art.

The function and form of vintage door knobs deserve our attention and appreciation, for certain. An object of history. As elements of the past, a mere appreciation of the art form that they represent…

Architectural Salvage:  The Enduring Appeal Of The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Salvage: The Enduring Appeal Of The Vintage Door Knob
Aesthetics Of Form & Function:  The Architectural Door Knob
Aesthetics Of Form & Function: The Architectural Door Knob
Elements Of Distinction:  The Vintage Door Knob
Elements Of Distinction: The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Delights:  The Elegance Of The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Delights: The Elegance Of The Vintage Door Knob
Unique Beauty Of Surface Appeal:  Vintage Door Knobs
Unique Beauty Of Surface Appeal: Vintage Door Knobs
Brass Appeal:  Vintage Door Knobs Of Architectural Delight
Brass Appeal: Vintage Door Knobs Of Architectural Delight
Details Of Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob
Details Of Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob
Vintage Elegance Of Artistic Form & Function:  Door Knobs
Vintage Elegance Of Artistic Form & Function: Door Knobs
Designed Artistry Of Vintage Form:  Door Knobs
Designed Artistry Of Vintage Form: Door Knobs
Basics Of Form:  Appreciation Of The Door Knob
Basics Of Form: Appreciation Of The Door Knob
Form & Function:   The Vintage Door Knob
Form & Function: The Vintage Door Knob
Painted Appeal & The Vintage Door Knob
Painted Appeal & The Vintage Door Knob
White Porcelain Delights:  The Vintage Door Knob
White Porcelain Delights: The Vintage Door Knob
Vintage Glass Door Knobs Of Starburst Appeal
Vintage Glass Door Knobs Of Starburst Appeal
Pressed Molten Glass Of Clear Delight: The Vintage Door Knob
Pressed Molten Glass Of Clear Delight: The Vintage Door Knob
Clear Elegance:  The Glass Vintage Door Knob
Clear Elegance: The Glass Vintage Door Knob
Multifaceted Style In Clear Glass:  The Vintage Door Knob
Multifaceted Style In Clear Glass: The Vintage Door Knob
Rounded Delights:  The Vintage Door Knob
Rounded Delights: The Vintage Door Knob

Although the materials, form and designs vary, consider with appreciation the beauty and design of the vintage door knobs and the historical connection to the past they offer. For me? What is it about the knobs of yesteryear that beckon? Like “jewels” on doors, to stumble across one is exhilarating to me and certain to be captured by whatever means of photography that is on me at that moment. Alas, the camera phone. Included within these compilations are many that I have captured from within the vintage homes of the late 1800’s town of Woodstock, Illinois that I currently reside within, as well as during my travels. Many more await to be captured from behind my lens. Doors that hold an opportunity to find appreciation in the details of life that are before us. A past that carries with it into the present. History and the artistry and elegance of the past that endures to remain as a symbol of bygone eras. Appreciation, always…

Onward,

Kristin


“Find pleasure in the beauty of details”
– Hans Zirngast

PS: There are bound to be more images added to this compilation…for I will never stop capturing the distinctive beauty that surrounds on doorways of the past…

Forms Of Antiquity: The Architectural “Caryatid” & The Female Form

Ancient Architectural Form & Function:   Caryatids
Ancient Architectural Form & Function: Caryatids

Art and architecture. A Caryatid in architecture is described as “A stone carving of a draped female figure, used as a pillar to support the entablature of a Greek or Greek-style building”. Taking the place of a column or pillar, the Greek term Karyatides is literally said to mean “Maidens of Karyai”, an ancient town of Peloponnese in which a temple was dedicated to a goddess known as Artemis. Mythology paired with architecture, indeed.


“As Karyatis, she rejoiced in the dances of the nut-tree village of Karyai, those Karyatides, who in their ecstatic round-dance carried on their heads baskets of live reeds, as if they were dancing plants”
-Unknown

Caryatids In Ancient Architecture
Caryatids In Ancient Architecture

Since ancient times buildings have been designed with female figures as supporting columns. Sculpture fitted to a structure. Some of the earliest known examples date from around the 6th century BC in Greece at the treasuries of Delphi. The use of these draped female figures used as architectural supports can certainly be traced back to Greek antiquity. Alas, the bulky yet intricately arranged hairstyles served the crucial purpose of providing key structural support to their necks, which would otherwise be the structurally weakest part of the figure. Of note, a Caryatid supporting a basket on her head is called a canephora (“basket-bearer”). Form and function, indeed…

Ancient Form:  The Caryatid Of The  Erechtheion
Ancient Form: The Caryatid Of The Erechtheion

The most iconic and perhaps most-copied Caryatid examples are the carved six figures of the Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion (409 BC) referred to as ‘The Venerable Temple’ on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. Of note, the originals have been replaced onsite by replicas, but the original ancient forms of stately pose are on exhibit within the Acropolis Museum with one removed during the early 19th century, residing in England’s British Museum in London. Ancient history preserved. Of additional interest, these six Caryatids are not identical. Rather, although they are the same in build and height and similar in attire and coiffed hair, their faces, stance, the draping of fabric and hair are said to have been carved separately. Interesting. In addition, three of the caryatids stand on their right foot and the other three stand on their left foot. Architectural differences of distinction. Of course, the Romans would copy these Erechtheion caryatids, installing their own copies in the Forum of Augustus and in the Pantheon in Rome, among other great structures. Great architecture will always be revered.

These draped figures of stone, often supporting acanthus baskets, visually hold the weight of architecture above them and enduringly offer a tribute to the female form and the link to the ancient past. Perhaps one can view these figures a symbol of strength and beauty. For certain, the implications of these figures and their representations in ancient times can take on a deeper role. Perhaps the search for meaning of sculpture and architecture as a united force of art can offer many interpretations. These load-bearing forms of the structures are an art form that will endure to inspire. For the purpose of appreciation of the beauty of the architecture and the form itself of these female figures, a mere collection of images, sourced from the world wide web, will hopefully bring further appreciation to the timeless form of architectural beauty….

Architectural Supports Of Ancient Distinction: Caryatids
Architectural Supports Of Ancient Distinction: Caryatids
Draped Figures Of Ancient Appeal:  Caryatid
Draped Figures Of Ancient Appeal: Caryatid
Architectural Form & Function Of The Female Form
Architectural Form & Function Of The Female Form
Caryatids:  Elements Of History & Form
Caryatids: Elements Of History & Form
Form & Function Of Ancient Architectural Beauty:  Caryatids
Form & Function Of Ancient Architectural Beauty: Caryatids
Architectural Supports Of Distinction:  Caryatids
Architectural Supports Of Distinction: Caryatids
Art & Architecture:  Caryatids
Art & Architecture: Caryatids
Caryatids:  The Female Form Of Enduring Appeal
Caryatids: The Female Form Of Enduring Appeal
Architectural Interpretations Of Ancient Form:  Caryatids
Architectural Interpretations Of Ancient Form: Caryatids
Emblems Of Beauty & Strength:  Caryatids In Architecture
Emblems Of Beauty & Strength: Caryatids In Architecture
Caryatids In Architecture:  Form & Function
Caryatids In Architecture: Form & Function
Architectural Delights:  Caryatids Within Architecture
Architectural Delights: Caryatids Within Architecture
Female Form:  Representations Of Caryatids In The Garden
Female Form: Representations Of Caryatids In The Garden
Ancient Forms Enduring In Architectural Appeal:  Caryatids
Ancient Forms Enduring In Architectural Appeal: Caryatids
Caryatids Of Diverse Form & Function
Caryatids Of Diverse Form & Function
Caryatids/Macy's/New York/ 34th Street
Caryatids/Macy’s/New York/ 34th Street

And of the statuesque figures of female form that are found within the interior? Certain resemblances and links to ancient past, for certain. Appreciation of the artistic representation of historic significance, indeed.

In Early Modern times, the practice of integrating caryatids into building facades was revived. The world of Art Deco architecture would certainly embrace the forms of antiquity. Within interiors these forms of sculpture would begin to be included as new features of building structures and within the world of interior decoration. For certain, the beauty of the female figure in architecture holds enduring allure to the world that surrounds which continually changes and evolves. Appreciation…

Female Caryatid Representations: Statues Within The Interior
Female Caryatid Representations: Statues Within The Interior

My appreciation of the beauty of the architectural details of the beautiful form of antiquity is not new. Carved and sculpted details of architectural wonder. Yet of my renewed and focussed appreciation, perhaps the urge to visually share came by way of an unexpected surprise. And it all started with a statue…

Female Form Of Greek Mythology:  Aphrodite
Female Form Of Greek Mythology: Aphrodite

On a whim I stopped into a local antique store when I suddenly spotted her. It was immediate that I was drawn to the ancient emblem of antiquity and classic form. Found amidst other elements of the past, I simply had to acquire. An alabaster figure that now graces my dresser and stands boldly and beautifully among my personal accessories of fashion and fragrances that layer. Perhaps as a reminder of the beauty of the past and an appreciation of the enduring appeal of the figure of the woman

Representation Of Ancient Appeal:  A Caryatid Within My Interior...
Representation Of Ancient Appeal: A Caryatid Within My Interior…

Within the history of fashion and the arts, the iconic architectural sculptures of antiquity have certainly been an inspiration of timeless appeal…

Caryatids & Modern Dance Icon Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
Caryatids & Modern Dance Icon Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
Christian Dior Models & Caryatids: Fashion's Form & Function
Christian Dior/1951 Models & Caryatids: Fashion’s Form & Function
Fashionable Representations Of The Caryatid Form
Fashionable Representations Of The Caryatid Form

Consider with appreciation the forms of antiquity that grace the structures that fill our world. Look closer and appreciate the ancient past that carries with it an enduring visual acknowledgement of form and function. Whether carved in the round or in relief or frieze or crowning a pediment with grace, there is beauty to be found within the past world that carries with it into our future an enduring emblem of the past

Onward,

Kristin

“Now here we have another emotional symbol… for almost three thousand years or longer, architects have designed buildings with columns shaped as female figures… After all those centuries it took Rodin to see that this was work too heavy for a girl… Here is this poor little caryatid who has tried — and failed, fallen under the load…. She didn’t give up, Ben; she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her…”
-Robert Heinlein (1907-1988)”Stranger in a Strange Land”

“…Like a caryatid on vacation. He was supporting nothing but his daydreams”
-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Female Forms Of Caryatid Reprentation
Female Forms Of Caryatid Representation

New Orleans, French Quarter: A Visual Paradise Of Architectural Delights

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans. On a recent trip to one of the world’s most fascinating cities my camera beckoned me. “The Big Easy”. Described as a “unique melting pot of culture, food and music”, to experience this city from behind the lens of a camera is exhilarating. An excited frenzy of desire to capture the true essence of New Orleans and the architecture that adorns it. An attempt, for certain. History paired with structures of timeless appeal

New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans) is “a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana”. The city of New Orleans is named after the Duke of Orleans, who reigned as Regent for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723. Founded in 1718, New Orleans is also known as “NOLA”. The city was “established by French colonists and strongly influenced by their European culture”. This French colony was ceded to the Spanish Empire in the Treaty of Paris (1763). Perhaps it is no surprise that this great city became known for its distinctive French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its “cross-cultural and multilingual heritage”. New Orleans (Nueva Orleans) “remained under Spanish control until 1801, when it reverted briefly to French oversight”. Napoleon sold Louisiana (New France) to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Of interest, nearly all of the surviving 18th-century architecture of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) is said to date from the Spanish period. New Orleans played a major role during the Antebellum era with evidences of neoclassical architectural style, characteristic of the Southern United States. All of the architecture that is layered within this port city beckoned my lens. Add to this that New Orleans is considered to be the birthplace of Jazz and you have a perfect combination in a city of intrigue, for certain. And oh, the celebrations New Orleans is known for! World famous festivals certainly continue to lure the world to these city streets. Having been to this magical city once before for Mardi Gras, the experiences I encountered on this trip marked a different appeal from behind my lens. Rather than colorful beads dripping from lamp posts and swags of the city’s colors of yellow, green and purple, the architecture and feel of the city stood on its own. Appreciation from behind my lens. Details that excite. Details that beckon.

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

The draw and pull to wander and walk the streets of New Orleans was strong. The French Quarter enticed my lens at each corner and from every angle. The culture of New Orleans permeates throughout the streets. Perhaps beyond the visuals that surround the sound of Creole jazz music, Dixieland, Ragtime, Jazz, Cajun and Zydeco music that drifts from the structures and fills the streets or is offered up by pop-up street performers, provides an emotional connection to the city that offers energy and life. And of the architecture? Creole cottages with high, steep front facing gables with wide front porches or simple stoops, brick chimneys and wooden storm shutters offer distinctive appeal in watercolor hues or bold visions of colorful appeal. Of course, the Creole townhouses that line the streets of the French Quarter offer unique NOLA appeal. These two and three tiered brick buildings present strikingly detailed wrought iron skirted balconies. The hidden walled courtyards from within these structures beckon a closer look when stumbling upon. A mysterious appeal prominent in the Quarter, indeed. Add to the architectural appeal the double shotgun framed row houses that abut to the sidewalk, with painted details that delight, and you will have visually sampled some of the classic local architectural style of the French Quarter. Other significant details that truly represent New Orleans are the gas lights that fill the city streets and grace the structures of history. Of course, a nod to the fleur de lys which has been a symbol of New Orleans since they were emblazoned upon the French explorer flag when Nouvelle Orleans was founded. An enduring emblem of New Orleans, for certain. One cannot help but take note of the decorative oval wrought iron air vents that decorate the lower part of the cottages. Although the structures themselves are not pristine they often offer an element of preserved decay. But beauty remains. And it is enchanting.

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

To set ones eyes upon Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter, brings attention upward in appreciation of the towering Spires of the St. Louis Cathedral. Stunning. History is seeped within New Orleans. An intoxicating city that endures to beckon….

New Orleans/House Appeal 2015

To discover the essence of New Orleans, one may only need to walk the streets of the French Quarter. With eyes wide open. Streets filled with color, life and energy. Surrounded by architectural wonders in a city entrenched in history. The photographs presented are a mere compilation of visual delights and details of this jeweled city that await. Consider with mere appreciation this visual paradise of delights of the City of New Orleans. And of my place from behind the lens? I will never tire of focussing upon its timeless beauty. A visual paradise, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

My Feet Upon The Streets Of New Orleans...2015
My Feet Upon The Streets Of New Orleans…2015

Centennial Festival Brings Cinematic Collaborator & Love Of Orson Welles: The Elegant & Timeless Oja Kodar

The Elegant Oja Kodar & Orson Welles
The Elegant Oja Kodar & Orson Welles

“Her name is Oja. Oja Kodar.” -Orson Welles, “F For Fake”

Oja Kodar. It is a name that I have gained a much deeper appreciation for…

Oja was born in 1941 as Olga Palinkaš in Zagreb, Croatia to a Hungarian father and a Croatian mother. In 1961, Oja, a young sculptress, would meet Orson Welles in Zagreb while he was filming “The Trial”. Welles was Forty-six and Kodar was twenty. In 1967 they would be reunited again during Welles filming in Yugoslavia and Hungary of “The Heroine” and “The Deep”. Oja, who would become an actress and screen writer with Welles films, would become a cinematic collaborator, partner and the love of Orson Welles during the last nineteen years of his life. For certain, age was no barrier in forming a bond that would span the years until his death in 1985. Welles is said to have given this “dark, beautiful and exotic-looking” woman the stage name Oja Kodar, which is stated to be a mixture of the name ‘Oja’ given by her sister Nina and the croatian expression ‘ko-dar’ (as a present). As an artistic and life partner Of Orson Welles in his last years, the beauty of this iconic relationship endures. Time can certainly not erase the love one holds…

In the world of film, Oja is known as a cinematic collaborator with Orson Welles. Kodar appeared in the memorable role of herself in the film “F for Fake” (1973) (my personal favorite) as well as in Welles films “The Deep” (1967) and the “Other Side Of The Wind” (1970/1975), among others. Of note, “Orson Welles: The One-Man Band” (1995) is a perspective from Oja Kodar of Orson Welles’ archives of unfinished/never released movies and the last years of his life. Oja also co-wrote with Orson Welles the screen play “The Big Brass Ring”(1999). Beyond an actress, screen writer and film director, Oja is a true artist that I am honored to have met…

Woodstock Celebrates Orson Welles:   Centennial Festival 2015
Woodstock Celebrates Orson Welles:Centennial Festival 2015

Oja arrived in Woodstock, Illinois from Croatia as part of our Woodstock Celebrates Orson Welles Centennial Festival, “An Evening With Oja Kodar” which was held on May 9th, 2015. The event was moderated by Welles’ Scholar, former Chicago Reader Film critic, and author Jonathan Rosenbaum. Woodstock, Illinois is considered Welles’ adopted hometown considering he had attended Todd School For Boys in Woodstock. It is stated that Woodstock was “Where it all began” for Orson. How amazing it must have been for Oja, now in her mid Seventies, to return to Woodstock and take part in the month-long salute we are celebrating in honor of Orson Welles. I am honored to have met her…

When I first sighted Oja Kodar, I was high on a grand staircase, draping red fabric swags from a chandelier to the banister for our Orson Welles Centennial Festival Gala Party. The moment was magical. Surreal. Ethereal. She had floated into the building with grace and poise like she has done within the reels of film that have captured her. An elegance was certainly about her. Accompanied by her charming sister, Nina and niece, Biljana, the threesome lit up the room. Our meeting and personal exchange of welcoming hospitality was special and certainly memorable but my moments ahead with all of them, especially Oja, would be even more profound for me…

And of the evening? It was memorable…

“An Evening With Oja Kodar”, Orson Welles Centennial Festival /May 9, 2015/Woodstock, Illinois

The moment was magical. Enchanting. For me, the realization through her words and open sharing about her life with Orson, brought me to the realization of the true depth of her love for him. Her own life, since Welles, has been ensuring his legacy. This legacy lives on in Woodstock and her presence with us has only strengthened the fabric of his past within our city. For certain, Oja holds a love and a passion within her for Orson that will never cease. It is absolutely beautiful to witness and feel within every movement and expression she made. Intense.

Her words that have remained, swimming in my thoughts, is her analogy of her and Orson being like “Two rivers”. Rivers are strong. How beautiful is it when each natural flowing body of water flows and moves, flowing towards each other? The beauty of love itself, I believe. Oja also said that “Orson was like the other side of the wind”. I will always contemplate on this when I think of the two of them together. And of Oja herself? In nature, she is like a beautiful butterfly, as she seemed to me, floating in that billowy blue dress in the film “F For Fake”. With the same elegance and posture as iconic as ‘that dress’ she wore in the opening scene of “F For Fake” in which Oja and her sheer feminine appeal attracts attention while walking down the street, she was before us. That film scene provides an unforgettable visual of great cinematography and subject.

“A Sequence in the fine outdoor sport of girl watching”- Orson Welles.

Indeed…

“F For Fake” 1973 Film With Orson Welles & Oja Kodar
Oja Kodar/”F For Fake” The Iconic Dress & Filmed Scene
“F For Fake” 1973 Film With The Graceful & Beautiful Oja Kodar
Oja Kodar/1970's
Oja Kodar/1970’s
The Memorable Oja Kodar & Orson Welles
The Memorable Oja Kodar & Orson Welles
The Photographed Visuals Of Oja Kodar
The Photographed Visuals Of Oja Kodar
Iconic Images:  Orson Welles & Oja Kodar
Iconic Images: Orson Welles & Oja Kodar
Oja Kodar/”An Evening With Oja Kodar””/May 2015/Woodstock Celebrates Orson Welles Centennial Festival

With grace and charm, she spoke. Paired with expressive gestures to match her impactful words, when she smiled, you felt her love for Orson. The opportunity to be present to hear her words as she spoke about her life and artistic collaboration with Welles was memorable. With my growing respect for Orson Welles, to meet and exchange words on a personal level with one who was loved & appreciated for her talents and artistry by this great man of the cinematic world and beyond was awe inspiring. To have met Oja? I was moved. Deeply. Unforgettable.

Myself & Oja Kodar:  An Unforgettable Moment  May 2015/Woodstock, IL
Myself & Oja Kodar: An Unforgettable Moment
May 2015/Woodstock, IL

Of the night itself, perhaps our own Woodstock Celebrates stated it perfectly:
It was an enchanted evening. Jonathan Rosenbaum demonstrated, once again, his incredible knowledge of, insight into and sensitivity to both cinema in general and Orson Welles’ contribution to the art. But while Jonathan demonstrated, Oja Kodar enchanted. Don’t ask me to explain enchantment. Never having been an enchanter, I don’t know how it’s done. But I suspect that her great, enduring, undiminished love for Orson Welles is so pure that it became its own life form and it infected us all. Truly, I have been infected with this clear evidence of Oja’s undiminished, enduring love. A love that is so evidently pure that it has become a life form of its own. The river is still flowing. It will never cease.

If anything, merely consider with appreciation the mere beauty of a love that endures and the gift to the cinematic world that these two offered. It is so clear to see why he loved her. For certain, as her last name (stage name) of “Kodar” attests, she is indeed a present. A gift. My appreciation of her and her gift will always endure…

Thank you, Oja. “I miss you already”….

Onward,

Kristin

Myself, Behind The Lens:  Capturing Oja Kodar
Myself, Behind The Lens: Capturing Oja Kodar

A Centennial Celebration In Woodstock, Illinois: The Amazing & Incomparable Orson Welles

The Amazing Orson Welles Centennial:  May 6, 1915-May 6, 2015
The Amazing Orson Welles Centennial: May 6, 1915-May 6, 2015

In acknowledgment of the centennial birthday of Orson Welles….the celebration of a lifetime of amazements in film, stage, radio and television.

Taken from welleswoodstock.com:
Orson Welles graced the stage and screen with his rich baritone voice, deeply intense eyes and a passion that filled his large physique. He was a magician, actor, director and producer who will long be remembered as one of the greatest filmmakers ever.”

Woodstock, Illinois:  Centennial Celebration Of Orson Welles/ 2015
Woodstock, Illinois: Centennial Festival & Celebration Of Orson Welles/ 2015

“Born in Kenosha on May 6, 1915, he was well-bred, learning music, theater and art as a child. But his childhood was far from perfect. His parents divorced and his mother died when he was just 8. Three years later, in 1926, his father enrolled him at the Todd School for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois.”

“It was in Woodstock where Welles spent his formative years under the direction of his teacher, mentor and lifelong friend, Headmaster Roger Hill. By the time he left the town in 1934, he was ready to embark on one of the most incredible radio/theater/film careers of the 20th century. That career included frightening a nationwide radio audience with his rendition of War of the Worlds in 1938 and creating what many consider the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane, in 1941. Welles died in Hollywood on Oct. 10, 1985″.

“One day I shall leave all this behind me, go back to Todd and give full rein to my ideas. That’s when life will really begin for me.” -Orson Welles

In honor of his 100th birthday, I am proud to be part of the Orson Welles Centennial Festival held in Woodstock, Illinois. With that said, a mere visual tribute to Orson Welles…

Woodstock Celebrates Orson Welles:   Centennial Festival 2015
Woodstock Celebrates Orson Welles: Centennial Festival 2015
The Incomparable Orson Welles
The Incomparable Orson Welles
Orson Welles & His Cigar
Orson Welles & His Cigar
Orson Welles:  Talent &  Untamed Inspiration
Orson Welles: Talent & Untamed Inspiration
Supreme Talent:  Orson Welles
Supreme Talent: Orson Welles
Unforgettable Orson Welles
Unforgettable Orson Welles
Infamous & Fearless:  Orson Welles
Infamous & Fearless: Orson Welles Behind The Camera
Cinematic Amazement:  Orson Welles
Cinematic Amazement: Orson Welles
Talent Acknowledged Worldwide: Orson Welles
Talent Acknowledged Worldwide: Orson Welles
An Icon In Film & Directing:  The Amazing Orson Welles
An Icon In Film, Directing & Radio: The Amazing Orson Welles

Consider with appreciation the life and accomplishments of the iconic Orson Welles. A legend that will endure to inspire with amazement, indeed…

Welles onward,

Kristin

“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations” -Orson Welles


Like a wax-flower tree under a bell of glass, in the paisley and gingham county of McHenry in Woodstock, grand capital of Mid-Victorianism in the Middle west. Gorgeous over a square full of Civil War monuments and band-stands in this flossy little township is the edifice in the picture. This very rustic and rusticated thing is a government office building, a public library, a fire department, and what is more to our purpose, a real old honest-to-horse-hair Opera House. ..”
-Orson Welles, penned in a letter,1934

Woodstock Celebrates, Inc.
Woodstock Celebrates, Inc.

PS: Introducing…Citizen Green. Our own Orson Welles Centennial Festival beer!

“Citizen Green”: Woodstock, IL /Orson Welles Centennial Festival 2015