Tuesday, October 18, 2011

creativity, photos + The Ringling Museum

* my husband, Steven *

Taking photographs and perhaps playing with them in Photoshop elements has been the only way I have been creative since my dad passed away October 1st. I know this is to be expected and I know it is okay that I feel this way.
I understand it . . . and yet, it still feels strange to me not to be doing any mixed media art for this amount of time, about 3 weeks. In general, I am a fairly prolific artist and so, I feel slightly out of step right now. I have been thinking about doing an art journal page - truly, it's just a half a page to finish a journal, or some ATCs. There is also a 4x4 themed piece coming due at the end of the month and I have even been thinking about getting started on my Sketchbook Project 2012. But basically, I keep telling myself that yes, when I am ready, I will start up again with paper and paint and fabric and ink. In the meantime, I am glad to have my camera and the creativity it affords me.

On Saturday, I took myself and my camera to the Ringling Museum while Steven was out using his new paddle at a local messabout. While at the Ringling, I visited their 2 Circus Museums. This was a new experience for me having never stepped inside them before.

Inside the Circus museum, I could not resist taking a photo of myself among the clowns. I especially enjoyed all the posters and the history I learned about the Circus.

After lunch at one of the cafes, I walked through a beautiful Rose Garden on the estate where I took many photos before continuing to the Ca'd'Zan Mansion that belonged to John and Mable Ringling. It's described as “the last of the Gilded Age mansions” to be built in America, Ca' d’Zan has 56 incredible rooms filled with art and original furnishings. I only saw the first floor and that in itself was quite amazing. It is huge and looks out over Sarasota Bay, Florida.

The Rose Garden 

For Frieda . . . 

A glimpse of the Ringling Mansion . . . 

Inside, looking out at Sarasota Bay

The courtyard overlooking the Bay . . . 

Another view of the front -click for details

Next, I walked towards the courtyard of the Museum of Art, which I had visited before. The Ringling property spans 20 acres! More about the history of the Ringling estate is here. In the courtyard of the museum there was a special dance performance being put on by students at FSU (Florida State University) as part of the Ringling International Art Festival. It was titled, When Art Refuses to Sit Still and be Quiet. The group of young women from FSU danced among the renaissance statues in the courtyard and I was most certainly entranced. I had danced in a similar performance in the courtyard of the Wadsworth Atheneum museum in Hartford, CT when I was a teenager. 

Then I made my way into the art museum proper . . . 

The painting below is by my great uncle, William Glackens.
I stood in front of it for quite a while.

I am enjoying using my camera and figure I will be back to my 'usual' creativity before too long. I am simply feeling a little more quiet than usual, which is to be expected. I do talk with my mom a lot, as well as my sister and my husband Steven and it seems we are all just moving through this life changing event of my father's death at our own pace. Do not worry, we are as fine as we can be. With love, lenna

p.s. I am not sure if the comments glitch has been fixed, but I did send notification there was a problem. If you get to a blank page when publishing your comment, please use the back arrow, open up the comments again and you should see your comment there ready to be published. So sorry for any inconvenience!

If you'd like to see more of the courtyard and museum, about a year ago Steven & I visited the Ringling together. Afterwards, I created this 4 minute Animoto Video - fun to watch & create!

more of my photos here . . .
creativelenna. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr


  1. You still have a comment glitch. So I will try again. Beautiful beautiful venue to spend a day with your camera. I had no idea the Ringlings were from Florida. The mansion brick work is so different for American architecture ... worthy of the circus. How lovely you can enjoy creating with your camera just now. Take care. Thinking of you. xxDonna

  2. Take your time , sweetie. Grief has no boundries. My thoughts are with you. Even though my dad has been gone for over ten years, I think about him everyday. As my grandma use to say, Keep your chin up.

  3. Sorry about the glitch with comments, I will write to Blogger again. If you arrive at a blank comment box after publishing, try using the back arrow to get back to the previous page. I have found if I did that here with the glitch when I looked at the comments again, my comment was there and I did not have to type it again. Thanks for your extra effort as it is lovely to hear from you. xo lenna

  4. Be gentle with yourself and go forward five minutes at a time.
    Thank you for the lovely inspirational photos.

  5. hmm.. not sure if the comment I just wrote was added, but here I am at the usual comment page, so will try again. I love your photos. Have been wanting to visit the museum, and now want to more than ever thanks to this introduction. Glad you are taking time for yourself to nourish and recharge... slow and steady. Looks as if you spend a lovely and reflective day. Your uncle's painting is exhibited there? Interesting!

  6. Comments: I did write and let blogger know we were still having comment problems. It might be easier right now for you to just write "test" in the comment box that is on the same page as my blog post and then preview. When you come to the old style page and the blank comment box, write your comment and publish? I hope that helps. Or use the back arrow in the top left corner as I have done. I hope that helps.

  7. Thanks you so much for my beautiful flower! And I love seeing you in the circus museum. Never knew there was such a thing anywhere and in such a beautiful place too. What a mansion, you would loose people in there! Altogether a wonderful glimpse into a fantastic Florida place and it's great to know your camera is such a faithful friend to you at the moment.

  8. Poo! Tried to leave a long comment on this the other day but it went, even when I tried clicking back like you suggested :o(

    Anyway, to cut a long comment short - really interesting post - particularly loved the photo of the bay from the coloured glass window over the coloured patio, how surreal it looks!

    I'm gonna copy and paste this in case it disappears again!

    Lotsa love,


    ha ha, beat the glitch!!

  9. So sorry about the comment thing . . . I have written blogger 3x's now, so they know about it. I imagine it will take a little bit to fix, but they fixed another quirk I told them about, so I have hope. Thanks for plugging through & leaving me a comment anyway, Joanna!! I am going to copy & paste too, just in case the next page is blank.

    The Ringling museum is a really interesting place. The majority of the art in the museum is very old and I favor modern stuff more, but I always enjoy. Thanks, Joanna! xoxoxo

  10. Hmmmm, I did not preview my message first and it went right through! I do not have to fill out the word verification on my own blog though . . .. hope it gets fixed soon.



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