Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Special Saturday

     Wow, yesterday (Saturday) was a busy but delightful day for me. It was filled with art, and food (naturally). A week or so ago, I decided I wanted a new painting for the large wall in my living room. Since I moved in two years ago, I have enjoyed the "Embers of Venice" painted by my friend and high-school classmate, Peter Stilton. I love the painting, but always felt it was a little under-sized for the wall. I decided to move it to the bedroom, over the bed (photograph to follow in a future post) where it adds a new focal point to the room and is complemented by my photographs of Venice and Florence. After considering a number of options, I decided to ask Peter if he had something abstract that might work in my space. His lovely wife, Jill, emailed me an image of a great abstract painting titled "Autumn, New England" which I liked but again the size (48" x 48") did not seem appropriate. Peter actually brought this painting with him and it now resided temporarily in my living room. Long story, but I am getting to the point... hold on, I finally decided to commission Peter to paint a special piece just for me. So, yesterday began with Peter coming over to discuss the space, size of work, colors and concept. I am truly excited about this project and I know Peter will create a wonderful painting. 
     Next, Peter, Shirley, Frank and I headed to the Museum of Fine Arts to see the current special exhibit of  "Transcending Vision: American Impressionism 1870-1940". We started with a nice lunch in the MFA Cafe (at the Museum) where I enjoyed a delightful and tasty Smoked Duck salad with Frisee and a lemon champagne dressing. We toured the special exhibit with Peter providing additional comments on many of the paintings. Not only is he an artist, he is an art educator. There were some paintings from the Ashcan School which is a current favorite for Frank. This very interesting exhibit showed the impact the European impressionist had on American artist during this period, but with the Americans adding their own imprint on the style and subject matter. We also toured the permanent collection, as this was Shirley's first visit to the museum. As I have mentioned before, this is a wonderful small museum with an amazing permanent collection.
     Shirley, Frank and I had dinner at Salt Rock Grill in Indian Shores. In all these years Frank and I never dined at this very popular and well regarded restaurant. We shared a Portobello and Crabmeat appetizer which was served with polenta and topped with three cheeses. It was very good, but Frank and I both felt it actually had too much going on. We think it would have been better with fewer ingredients. But we cleaned the plate none the less. For our main course, Shirley order the tuna kabob with an Oriental preparation, served over rice. This was very good. Frank and I each had grilled Caribbean Lobster Tail. We each opted for the single 1/2 pound tail; more than enough food for us. I enjoyed a Mediterranean Orzo for my side, and Frank had a baked potato. The lobster was sweet and tender and I used every piece to transport the traditional drawn butter to my lips. For dessert we shared the Hot Apple Crisp Pie, served upside down with a bourbon pecan crunchy crust. This too was very tasty, and large enough of a portion for us to share. While we had a very nice meal and a lovely evening, Salt Rock Grill was not quite the "wow" experience we expected. Frank commented that it felt like an upscale Bonefish, and I would agree. It was very good, well prepared food with good, but not great, service. The view of the intracoastal water way from the tiered dining area was enjoyable, but for an overall dining experience it does not compare to a place like Cafe Ponte.

And before I close, I must extend a grazie mille to my dear cousin Shirley for spending the past week with me and helping me during my recovery from the last round to IL2 treatment.

The following images are of the two painting by Peter Stilton mentioned in the post.  The two dimensional photographs do not do justice to these lovely works of art. They must be enjoyed in person.
For more of Peter's work check his Website... Stilton Studios

Embers of Venice

Autumn; New England

1 comment:

Piglet's Buddy said...

I do like both of them. They seem to add to the wonderfully open and colorful setting in your home. I'll look forward to seeing the commissioned painting.