Metro, Chicago Art Institute and Field Museum

5/23/13 Thursday at Elwood, IL (Cathy and Win’s Farm)

Today will be cold and windy, so we bundled up for our trip to the big city, Chicago. Since none of us were eager to tackle the freeway and Chicago traffic, we got the new (for John & I) experience of the Metro – a commuter train from Joliet to Chicago. Because I was pretty certain they wouldn’t let me take photos in the Art Institute, I took our small, old camera, for its light weight. Thus the images are of poorer quality than usual. Wouldn’t you know, they DO allow photo taking – without flash, which is how I normally take my pictures.

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Metro images

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We get off at the LaSalle Street Station (not the Union Station where Amtrack stops). On our way to the Chicago Art Institute, we pass by the Chicago Board of Trade (Stock Market), a Calder public work, The Palmer House (Hilton) and the Marshall Field Clock (now Macy’s).

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Chicago Art Institute. Here John and Cathy split for The Field Museum, more to their interests. We’d stopped for a bite to eat, so it was noon. We agreed to meet here at 3 pm. I was fortunate, because I told the ticket seller that I was just 2 months short of my 65th birthday, so he gave me an early birthday present of the senior ticket: $17 (instead of $23). Such a bargain!

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I took photos of my favorite things, so I’ll share a few, like John Singer Sargent and

“Venetian Glass Workers”

“Madame Paul Escudier”

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“Mrs. George Swinton”

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Georgia O’Keefe, including a photo of her by Alfred Stieglitz

Cathy and John didn’t take photos of their trip, but they really liked “Sue” the most complete T. Rex dinosaur ever.

When we met in the Gift Museum, we all admitted to being SO weary, so we set off to catch our train. Since it wasn’t due to leave until 3:45 pm, we stopped at Barnes and Noble for some snacks. That hit the spot. For our ride home, we sat on the second floor of the train, for a better view.

At last, the weary adventurers arrive home, to warm up our leftover chili and make popcorn. The perfect meal when you’re too tired for preparations. After that, we talked some, then agreed to go our separate ways to relax for the night.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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