A COMPACT CAMERA AT ITS BEST

Oh, the Eternal Question…

d4ce3862965e72e535ee580487c8d484--funny-photography-photography-gear“Do I really want to lug around a bunch of equipment on my next trip and therefore risk getting G.A.S (“Gadget Acquisition Syndrome”)?

                                 OR

“Do I want to settle for lesser quality photos?”0-shutterstock_233356582_1

 

 

 

 

 

For those of us who want to make the best of our compact camera, there is so much we can do to make the most of our travel photos!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Here is a shot taken by my husband, Eddie, with his fancy DSLR in Little Rock, which really made me want to upgrade…

 

But then here are 2 shots I took on the same trip with my Panasonic Lumix!procsimple   Day 4 CHICAGO PORT HURON LAKE MICHIGAN(43).JPG

Although a compact camera (no matter what you paid) can’t really compare with the quality of an DSLR, with a few pointers and some basic Photoshop skills, there’s no reason to be unhappy with the photos you bring back with you from your road trips!

Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be surprised at how good your photos can be!

(All the example photos shown here were taken with my Lumix point-and-shoot.)

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                                      Before we start, though, let’s first understand the ‘3-legged stool’ of digital photography:                                           ISO * APERTURE * SHUTTER SPEED

This stuff gets very confusing, but a compact user can rest with knowing just the basics:

ISO = Measures the sensitivity of the image sensor.  Simply put, higher numbers mean your sensor becomes more sensitive to light which allows you to use your camera in darker situations. The cost of doing so could be more grain or noise.  An ISO number of 100-200 is considered ‘normal’.

APERTURE = The size of the opening in the lens that is created when the camera takes it’s picture.  The opening is measured in F-Stops and ranges from approx 1.4 to around 22.  The larger the F-Stop number, the smaller the opening is, the less light is let in and the clearer the background will be.  The smaller the F-Stop number, the larger the opening, the more light is let in and the blurrier the background becomes.

SHUTTER SPEED = The amount of time that the camera’s shutter stays open.  A ‘normal’ speed is around 1/60th or more.  Anything slower and you’ll need a tripod. The faster your subject is moving, the higher your shutter speed needs to be. A bird’s wing will probably need about 1/1000th shutter speed to catch it without a blur, and a really slow shutter speed, say 1/3rd will give you that velvet look as water flows.

For the most part, a compact camera is pretty limited here, and AUTO is a great mode to work in (It picks all 3 settings for you).  If you do want to get a little creative, look at your camera’s dial. The ‘A’ setting will give you control of the Aperture (F-Stop) and automatically control the ISO & Shutter Speed for you. The ‘S’ setting will give you control of the Shutter speed while automatically controlling the ISO & Aperture.

If you go to ‘M’ (Manual) or ‘P’ (Programmed) mode and get good at that those you really need to get yourself a DSLR….

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Ok! So here we go…

1). KNOW WHAT YOUR CAMERA CANNOT DO:

         *The image sensor in a compact is considerably smaller than the ones in a DSLR, therefore you’ll never get the same image quality as with a DSLR. So, Keep your expectations reasonable and don’t try and blow your photos up too much.  For an online photo album, or photo storage on your computer, you won’t need to blow the photo up to a poster size, so quality difference is not that big of a deal. But keep reading…

        Rialto Beach (35).JPG *Digital noise is a major thing to think about when taking a picture regardless of what type of camera you use, but a compact always has a bigger problem.  (This photo shows a lot of ‘noise’.  See the mottled colors in the sky and water?)  A good rule of thumb is to use the lowest practical ISO setting you can.  The lower the ISO, the less ‘noise’ you’ll have. If it’s too low,  then you’ll get a blurry shot because the shutter is moving too slow to handle camera shake. Experiment to see how low you can go.  You might find that using a tripod and  your camera’s timer will make a big difference.

If you want to bring a subject in as far as possible, you will most likely need your tripod.  If the light is low then the closer you bring your subject in with the telephoto, the more ‘noise’ you’ll have.

         *Sun & Moon photos will never look like what you can get with a DSLR.  That’s ok if you know the limitations you have and make the most of the shot.  You’ll need to avoid pulling the subject in too much.  See how much nicer the 2nd shot is?

P1110238       VS    P1110240

         *Although you can get really close to a subject with a compact, there is a reason that the Macro lens was invented.  It’s better to physically get close to your subject than try and use your telephoto for close up shots.Red Rocks Matthew Winters Park (54)a

         *Action Shots are a little harder with a compact.  Use your ‘burst’ mode and keep the ISO high (400-800).  Also, the further away you are, the better.

         *Shutter lag (the time between you pushing the button and when the photo is actually taken) is one of the biggest complaints of compact users.  (If your looking to purchase a camera, remember that the higher the price, the faster the shutter speed).  Try and pre-plan and set up your photo shoots as much as you can.

         Make sure to really read your manual and learn your particular camera’s limitations.  Spend some time taking photos.  Really focus on a subject or scene and take a mental picture.  Then take the shot with your camera and evaluate what your eye sees compared to the camera’s eye. And make sure that you spend time working with your camera before you leave on a trip!

         Remember, too that there are so many advantages of having a compact camera besides the convenience.  They are fun, easy, creative and can get into small places.  Even pros keep one handy!

2). UNDERSTAND LIGHTING BASICS:

*Light is the compact camera user’s best friend.  Our eyes have a brightness range equivalent to about 11 F-stops.  Compact Cameras see only about 5 F-stops.  Look for photo ops that have fairly low light-to-dark contrasts.  Here’s what I mean:

Day 16 JAMESTOWNE YORKTOWNE (10)                                                                                              Day 16 JAMESTOWNE YORKTOWNE (9)

In this 1st photo, the contrast is stark and we lose this soldier’s eyes and half of his face and hat, while the 2nd one shows a full-featured face.

 

 

 

*Set the ISO low when shooting in bright conditions, and higher when shooting in lower light.  The lower the light, the more you’ll need a tripod.  Check out a ‘Gorilla’ tripod for compact cameras.

*Get to know your camera’s EV (exposure compensation) control when your shooting in the Automatic mode.  It’s usually a button or wheel with a +/- symbol.  Here you can increase or decrease the light to avoid under/over exposure.  Roll toward the + setting if your at the beach on a sunny day, or in bright snow.  Roll toward the – if you need to increase your lighting, say, if your photographing a person’s face and there are too many shadows.

*Remember that light has Color.  Maximize the ‘Golden Hours’ (just after sunrise and just before sunset) to create images with a warm hue.  During the day, be sensitive to the color of light and make the most of it.  You can control the color of light by using your White Balance adjustment setting. White Balance tells the camera how white you want your whites, and then the other colors record properly.  Play with your settings to see what I mean.  Look for the Sunny (or Daylight), Florescent, Tungsten, Shade, Overcast etc.. settings.

Hallway of museum lined with statues with light streaming in from the door

*Light has Direction.  Be aware of where your light is coming from and make proper adjustments – usually where you are standing and the angle that your holding your camera in.

It’s usually easy to see which direction the light is coming from, so use it to your advantage.P1020981 (2).jpg

*Light has Quality.  Poor quality light will produce poor quality photos.  Look to shoot your photos in the earlier and later parts of the day, and in dramatic weather situations like fog, mist, intense clouds and skies.  If you need to take photos in the middle of the day because, well, your on a road trip, then make the best use of your Rules for Watching Shadows, and make sure your shots are fun and memorable.

*Light also Moves.  Light moves when it reflects off of a moving subject, such as your kiddo playing soccer or at a dance recital, a waterfall, and everything I take out of my car window because Eddie is tired of stopping for ‘photo ops’.  You control the outcome with your Shutter Speed.  Use the ‘Burst’ setting (which usually has a picture of multiple squares), and don’t use too much telephoto.  For a dramatic effect set your ISO low, use a tripod and the camera’s timer.

3). LEARN YOUR MODE SETTINGS: 

*If you look on your camera’s dial you’ll see a SCN option.  Here’s where you can let your camera know the kind of situation that you are in (nighttime, bright light, landscape, sports etc…).  Play around with these options as they can help you maximize your circumstances.

*On that same dial you’ll (generally – depending on your camera) see an artistic setting option.  Its most likely identified with an artist’s paint palette. This is a really fun setting with a number of artistist options that give you lots of creative ideas.  Pick one subject and then see what each of the different effects look like with your subject.  This is a great tool to be proficient with, especially for those midday boring-light photos!

4). KNOW YOUR RULES OF COMPOSITION:

*This subject is covered in greater detail in the blog, BASIC PHOTO COMPOSITION TIPS, but for now just remember these things:

          –Rule of 3rds: See your screen divided into 9 windows.  Put your main subject in 1-3 of those windows, but not in the center.

          -Keep the horizon line straight

          -Have an identifiable subject of each photo

          -Try to avoid backgrounds that are too busy or distracting

          -Put something or someone in a photo to show perspective if your doing landscape or buildings.

          -Watch your shadows – especially with photos of people.  Midday sun can really create ‘racoon eyes’

          -Have Fun, Know your camera & be Creative!

5). LEARN SOME BASIC PHOTOSHOP SKILLS:

Every computer as well as most laptops & tablets have a photo program.  The names are different depending on your device and it’s version.  However, here are a few elements of any program that you should know how to utilize.  Upload any photo to your device, open with the photo program, and get to know the buttons.  It’s amazing how you can turn a so-so (or even blah) photo into a work of art.  So play around and get to know your (always user friendly) built in program.  You can always purchase a photoshop program, but that’s for another blog…or…actual Class.

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*Crop: This allows you to make your subject larger and get rid of P1110034busy background

 

 

 

Day 7 BURLINGTON (2)   Day 7 BURLINGTON (56)

*Straighten: Is where you fix that crooked horizon line

 

*Red Eye: This one’s a no-brainer

*Light: Where you’ll find the buttons that allow you to lighten or darken, contrast (make the difference between the lights and darks more intense), and bring out or soften your shadows and highlights.

*Color: These buttons give you control of the temperature (warm or cool) and the tint. You can also saturate your colors and make the photo pop.

*Effects: To get a little more creative check out your effects options.  You can put a vignette (darker edges) around the photo or even blur the edges.

Pick a few photos and play with all the options to become good at some simple and basic photoshop techniques.  They can make all the difference!

Well, we’re off to a good start.  the more you work with your camera, the more you’ll know just how far you’ll want to go.  Despite my initial opposition, I have gone ahead and invested in a DSLR and a few lenses.  No matter what I learn, though, or how proficient I become with my new ‘toys’, I will ALWAYS have with me my little Lumix Point-and-Shoot camera.

If you are in the markets for any kind of camera, make sure to talk to a knowledgeable travel-meme-captain-picard-palmface1salesperson and get help with making an informed decision!

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QUICK BREAKFASTS ON THE GO

QUICK BREAKFASTS

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

I’d Love your input!  Please share tested recipes, ideas, hints and hacks that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like) for quick breakfasts on the go.  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly, so maybe you’ll find your recipes here!

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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On any given road trip, there are always mornings when we leave REALLY early, and we’ve probably done most of the packing up the night before.  Obviously there’s not time to cook or prepare even quick breakfasts, much less do dishes and pack the kitchen stuff.  Besides, Eddie won’t eat until he’s been up for awhile.

downloadAs I’ve mentioned before, we have a small lunchbox cooler. It stays in the truck, plugs into the cigarette lighter and can keep things cool. This can  sometimes be helpful.  (See about coolers and items to pack in your trailer and vehicle HERE).  I usually have items for a quick breakfast that are cold, but if you need a microwave you can always pop in to a gas station that also has a convenience store and use theirs.  Make sure you purchase fuel though, otherwise that’s just… well… tacky.

Generally I have individual items ready for the morning, and I try to include a protein, a carb and a fruit.  Most of the time we eat in the truck, but it’s always possible to stop for a tailgate-type quick breakfast.

HERE ARE SOME OF OUR FAVORITE QUICK BREAKFAST ITEMS:
 
Proteins For Quick Breakfasts:

-Hard boiled eggs (I keep the little S&P packets from restaurants in the lunch cooler) 

-Jerky (I make my own because store bought ones are loaded with salt and sugar).  Click for some recipes HERE

-Cold Bacon

-Trail Mix loaded with Nuts: 

                       For my High Protein Favorite, Click HERE

                       Click HERE for some great recipes

                       And to get started with making your own, Click HERE

-Pre-made Protein Cookies: Get Recipe HERE

-English Muffins topped with Cheese; Deli Meat or Peanut/ Nut Butter

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-Yogurt

Carbs For Quick Breakfasts:

-Pre-made Breakfast cookies

                      Click HERE for a list of my favorite recipes

-Pre-made Muffins

                       Anything by Taste of Home is good by me!  Here are some ideas: Breakfast Muffins

Fruits For Quick Breakfasts:

Ok.  This is really a no brain-er.  We like to stop at Farmer’s Markets and load up on Veggies and FRUITS!  For a quick breakfast I’ll pack 1 piece of fruit for each of us, although I’ll stick to the ones that won’t get easily ‘smushed’ or need to be cut up. 

So that gets us started!  If you have an early morning quick breakfast idea or recipe you’d like to share, please contact me HERE.

If your idea is to stop at a fast food place, then…don’t.download (1)

 

 

 

To read the Intro for the MEALS category, Click HERE

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FAST CAMP BREAKFASTS

FAST CAMP BREAKFASTS

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I’d Love your input!  Please share tested recipes, ideas, hints and hacks that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like) for fast camp breakfasts.  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly, so maybe you’ll find your recipes here!

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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There are mornings at camp, when you are not packing up or checking out, but you are getting a fairly early start to your day. A fast camp breakfast involves minimal preparation, very little clean up, and no need for a morning fire. To speed things up even more, use paper/plastic ware.

I am assuming that you have a stove – either in your trailer or under your ‘cook tent’. I am also assuming you have a microwave.

 

Little Guy 5-wide

 

 

If you are lacking a microwave, GET ONE! I paid $40 for a small travel sized one that I plugged in to a power source when we had our ‘clam-shell’ teardrop trailer.

 

Coffee over a campfire for a Camping breakfast

 

 

 

DRINK OPTIONS:

We don’t always have a hot drink in the morning, but I like to have the option. Our hot drink choices are: Tang, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Cider & Herbal Tea. (Use only the dry varieties that come in packets and only require adding hot water). You’ll notice that I totally violate my ‘let’s stay healthy on a road triprule and use Tang in place of juice (and yes, we like it hot). It’s one of the exceptions I make for a vacation (hot Tang has always been a ‘camping treat’ for me), and I justify it because the sugar content is about the same as juice anyway. At least that’s my story. If you are a juice lover, by all means…bring it along!

 

To get started with this blog, I’m offering 7 meal ideas with recipes (where needed) for fast camp breakfasts. For more variety, you can always mix and match!

 

1: Pre-prepared Breakfast Burritos, Fruit & Drink

2: Store bought or Pre-prepared Cinnamon Rolls, microwave Bacon, Fruit & Drink

3: Smoked Salmon Bagels, Fruit & Drink

4: Pre-Prepared Breakfast Sandwiches, Fruit & Drink

5: Cereal, Yogurt, Cold Ham & Drink (I bring Almond milk in a small container rather than regular milk because it won’t go bad)

6: Over night Mason Jar Breakfast Oats, microwave Sausage & Drink

7: Huevos & Bacon Rancheros, Refried Beans & Drink

To read the Intro for the MEALS category, Click HERE

To Go to the Homepage of this Website, Click HERE

cartoon scout troop with no microwave

Well, we’re off to a great start!

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LEISURELY BREAKFASTS AT CAMP

LEISURELY MORNING MEALS

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

I’d Love your input!  Please share tested recipes, ideas, hints and hacks that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like) for leisurely breakfasts at camp.  These meal blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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Don’t you just love leisurely breakfasts at camp? To enjoy sleeping in and preparing a hearty breakfast when there’s no rush to head out for the day is one of the best things about road trips in a trailer!

 

DRINK OPTIONS:

Coffee over a campfire for a Camping breakfast We don’t always have a hot drink in the morning, but I like to have the option so our hot drink choices are: Tang, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Cider & Herbal Tea. (Use only the dry varieties that come in packets and only require adding hot water). You’ll notice that I totally violate my let’s stay healthy on a road trip‘ rule and use Tang in place of juice (and yes, we like it hot), but it’s one of the exceptions I make for a vacation (hot Tang has always been a ‘camping treat’ for me). I justify it because the sugar content is about the same as juice anyway…at least that’s my story. If you are a juice lover, by all means…bring it along!

FRUIT OPTIONS:

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I love whole Fruit, tho! It’s easy to serve at any meal, it needs no prep, and makes a great snack. It’s hard to keep fruit fresh, however, so it gives me an excuse to hit the local Farmer’s Market or fruit stand. Getting creative is part of the fun, so get out and see what you can find for a leisurely breakfast at camp!

 

 

 

 

Okay! To get started with this blog, I’m offering 7 meal ideas with recipes (where needed) for leisurely breakfasts at camp. For more varietyyou can always mix and match!

1. French Toast, Sausage, Fruit & Drink

2. Pancakes, Bacon, Fruit & Drink

3. Loaded Scrambled Eggs, Fruit & Drink

4. Sheepherder’s Breakfast Skillet, Cinnamon Rolls & Drink

5. Orange Wrapped Blueberry Muffins, Skillet Ham, Fruit & Drink

6. Pie Iron Breakfast Sandwiches, Fruit & Drink

7. Fruit & Nutella Pie Iron Breakfast Sandwiches, Bacon & Drink

Lazy Sloth enjoying leisurely breakfast at camp

 

To read the Intro for the MEALS category, Click HERE

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CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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PICNIC LUNCHES ON THE ROAD

LUNCHES TO GO

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

I’d Love your input!  Please share tested recipes, ideas, hints and hacks for picnics on the road that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like).  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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Lunchtime on a road trip will find you in 1 of 2 places.  That’s right.  You’re either at camp, or…somewhere else.  If that ‘somewhere else’ ends up being on the road between stops, then this is the place to start for deciding on menus that work in your vehicle, on your tailgate or while picnicking ‘somewhere else’.

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While we all have different ideas about how we like to picnic, one thing I have learned is that it’s best not to try and prepare lunch while driving.  Eddie doesn’t like to talk about it, but I have the mustard stains to  prove it.

Eddie and I often eat on the road (having stopped of course), and one thing that comes in very handy is our small cooler that plugs into the truck’s cigarette lighter.  I pack what we’ll need for our lunch in the morning, and keep it plugged in until we stop.  I make sure to include disposable plates, silverware, napkins and a drink to share. We keep our water bottles handy in the front seat, so sometimes we’ll share a soda or a tea for a little variety.

One other thing that has really been handy is to pre-plan your meals a day or 2 ahead.  That way you can utilize supper leftovers for a picnic lunch the next day.
Okay!  To get started with ideas for picnic lunches on the road, we’ll look at 7 different meal options 

1). Meat (any cooked variety or Tuna) & Cheese Sandwiches, Chips (I like the small individual bags), Fruit & Drink

2). Peanut Butter & Jelly / Honey Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit & DrinkLunch on the road

3). Taco Salad (I use leftover meat from tacos), Fritos or Corn Chips, Fruit & Drink

4). Ham & Cheese Roll ups (I save some ham steak pieces from dinner and use them in the tortilla), Fruit & Drink

5). Asian Noodle Jars, Pita Chips, Fruit & Drink

6). Mexican Coleslaw with cold Pulled Pork (leftover from the night before), Tortillas, Fruit & Drink

7). Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps, (with leftover chicken from the night before), Pita Chips, Fruit & Drink

So, get creative with picnic lunches for your next road trip!  Have fun…drive safe.

For more on staying healthy on the road, click HERE

Go to the homepage for Road Trips and Tiny Trailers HERE

LUNCHES AT CAMP

LUNCH AT LEISURE

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

I’d Love your input!  Please share tested recipes, ideas, hints and hacks for lunches at camp that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like).  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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Lunchtime on a road trip will find you in 1 of 2 places.  That’s right.  You’re either at camp, or…somewhere else.  If you are spending lunchtime at camp, you are probably taking it easy for the day and just relaxing.  You could also be just getting there and getting set up, or having a quick bite before heading off for the evening.  Whatever your agenda is, here are some great ideas for ‘lunch beyond the sandwich’ that are still easy but without the fuss – and the fire.

Okay!  To get started with ideas for lunches at camp, we’ll look at 7 different meal options

 

1). Camping Mac & Cheese, Celery and Carrot Sticks & Drink

2). 3 Bean Salad, Hard Boiled Eggs, Crackers, Fruit & Drink

3). Street Tacos, Fruit & Drink

4). Beef, Bacon & Bean Casserole, Marinated Cucumbers , Fruit & Drink

5). Sloppy Joes, Bagged Cabbage Salad (from grocery store), Fruit & Drink

6). Asian Skillet Stir Fry with Rice, Fruit & Drink

7). Chicken Pot Pie, Fruit & Drink

piles of fruit options for a camping trip
2-cup drink holder on a stick for camping

Fruit Options are endless!  Use fresh, canned, frozen, or visit the local Farmer’s Market!

Drinks are usually simple at lunch.  We always have our water bottles, but sometimes switch it up with tea or soda.

 

                                 So sit back, relax, or head out… but enjoy your day!  

                                                                 And don’t forget to send in your recipes HERE!

To read more about Health on the road, click HERE

To get to the Homepage for Road Trips and Tiny Trailers, click HERE

LEISURELY SUPPERS AT CAMP

SUPPERS AT CAMP

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I’d Love your input!  Please share tested recipes, ideas, hints and hacks that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like).  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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Relaxed suppers at camp are one of life’s little pleasures.  No matter what you make (or burn) , somehow it just tastes better around the campfire!  Although we are not always back at camp by suppertime, when we are its a treat.  This is when we get to play with creative ideas, relax and enjoy.

To get started with ideas for leisurely suppers at camp, we’ll look at 7 different meal options:

1). Ham Steak, (Frozen) Sweet Potato Fries, Canned Green Beans, Fruit & Drink

2).  Steak on the grill (seasoned and frozen raw in foil before leaving), Campfire Potatoes, Corn on the Cob (roast on the grill in foil), Fruit & Drink

3). Brats on the Grill, Stir-Fried (Frozen) Onions & Peppers, Fruit & Drink

4). BBQ Steak in Foil, Skillet Baked Beans (play a little by adding bacon bits, brown sugar, mustard etc…), Fruit & Drink

5). Philly Cheesesteak in Foil, Pre-made Potato Salad

6). Chicken Enchilada Nacho Bowls, Fruit & Drink

7).  Chili Dogs (hot dogs and canned chili), Marinated Cucs,  Premade Coleslaw & Fruit

fruit-3162068_1280.jpgFruit Options are endless!  Use fresh, canned, frozen, or visit the local Farmer’s Market!

Drinks are usually simple.  We always have our water bottles, but sometimes switch it upDSC01839 (2) with iced tea, lemonade, soda or even a nice glass of local wine.

* A word about meat:

 

Basically, the meat you take on the road is in one of three forms. Fresh ( frozen and/or marinated), Canned, or Dehydrated.  It is also a good idea to invest in a Vacu-U-Seal, and seal up all food before you leave home.

Variety of meats on a stone board

-For meat in the first option (Fresh, Frozen or Marinated), remember to use it during Phase 1, or within 4 days  (SEE: Yep You Gotta Eat). Canned meat is very handy, and you can get beef, chicken, ham and tuna canned and ready to use however you like.  A word of caution, tho’… All canned meat tastes like tuna. -I like the dehydrated/freeze-dried option.  When I get my meat, I’ll have my butcher dehydrate/freeze-dry it.  It won’t go bad and works great for most meal options.  You just need to add some liquid to bring it back to life.

 
So sit back, relax, and don’t forget to play with your food! 

 

Don’t forget to send in your recipes HERE!

To read more about Health on the road, click HERE

To get to the Homepage for Road Trips and Tiny Trailers, click HERE

LATE ARRIVAL CAMP SUPPERS

QUICK CAMP SUPPERS

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

I’d Love your input!  Please share tested late arrival camp supper recipes, ideas, hints and hacks that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like).  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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How many times have you put in a long day on the road and arrive at the campsite almost too tired to even do a minimal set up?  If you are like us, the answer is probably ‘plenty‘. We usually drag ourselves to the nearest fast food joint for supper, and often pay the price for that decision all night instead of getting the good night’s sleep that we’d been looking forward to.

Let me offer up a few, ‘late arrival camp supper’ ideas that take very minimal prep, and even less clean up.

 
To get started with ideas for ‘late and quick suppers’ at camp, we’ll look at 7 different meal options:

1). Camping Burritos, Chips, Fruit & Drink

2). Skillet Meat & Veggies, Fruit & Drink (I like any meat freeze-dried or flash frozen by your butcher, with my favorite frozen veggie combo stir-fried with water and oil.  Add spices to taste)

3). Ham Steak in Skillet (with a little oil), Pre-made Potato Salad, Fruit & Drink

4). Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry, Canned Pineapple & Drink

5). Hamburgers (Use ready-made patties), Chips & Drinks

6). Canned Chili & Store-bought Cornbread, Celery & Carrot Sticks, Fruit & Drink

7). Chicken, Egg or Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Fruit, Chips

 

Fruit Options are endless!  Use fresh, canned, frozen, or visit the localfruit-3162068_1280.jpg Farmer’s Market!

Drinks are usually simple.  We always have our water bottles, and rarely choose anything else since we’re hittin’ the sack pretty quickly.

 
There you go.  Quicker than going out to eat, and better for you as well!  Sleep tight… 

And don’t forget to send in your recipes HERE!

To read more about Health on the road, click HERE

To get to the Homepage for Road Trips and Tiny Trailers, click HERE

HOW TO NAVIGATE THIS WEBSITE CLICK HERE

SNACKS & DESSERTS

SNACKS & DESSERTS

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

I’d Love your input!  Please share tested Dessert & Snack recipes, ideas, hints and hacks that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like).  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS & RECIPES

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Deserts & Snacks are such a treat when you are on a road trip!  At home my snacks are healthy – like nuts, raw veggies etc…, and I try and keep sugar to an absolute minimum.  After all, I want to be healthy enough to really enjoy my  vacation!

(CHECK OUT: Health On the Road Begins at Home).

On a Road Trip, however, it’s time to splurge a little and let yourself have some treats!  My favorite fireside snack is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and a glass of sweet wine. Most of my friends think that’s just wrong though, so I won’t list that one or tell you how much I love my stainless steel wine glasses…

To get started with ideas for ‘Desserts & Snacks’ at camp, we’ll look at 7 different options:

1). Up in Flames Apple Crumble

2). New Twists on Good ‘ol S’mores: Try subbing Ginger snaps, Vanilla Wafers or other favorite cookies for the graham crackers. Then sub cream filled Ghirardelli  Chocolate Squares or other favorite candy bars for the Hershey Bars.  How about adding a little of your favorite jam?

3). Pie Iron Pies

4). Filled Marshmallows: Try using the giant campfire marshmallows, and push into the center a piece of your favorite soft candy bar.  Rolos work great…Also, try dipping your roasted marshmallow into Bailey’s Irish Creme

5). Camp-fired Monkey Bread 

6). S’mores Popcorn

7). Choco Fruit & Cake Dessert

Well…it’s a start.  No camping trip is complete without some goodies, and I’m anxious for you to share your favorites!images

And don’t forget to send in your recipes HERE!

To read more about Health on the road, click HERE

To get to the Homepage for Road Trips and Tiny Trailers, click HERE

HOW TO NAVIGATE THIS WEBSITE CLICK HERE

HINTS & HACKS

 

HINTS, HACKS & MISCELLANEOUS 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

I’d love your input! Please share the tested recipes, ideas, hints and hacks that have worked for you (and include photos if you’d like).  These blogs are ongoing and will be updated regularly.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS, HINTS & HACKS!

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Ok.  I have them, and I know that you have them.  Those simple, fun, ingenious Hints & Hacks that make life on the road and at camp easier, helpful and more stress-free.

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It’s even more fun when we share those ideas!

We’ll get this list going, and hopefully we can keep it going!

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*Create a wash station and keep it organized & clean.  I use a portable picnic table that has bench seats that store underneath.  I also have a tarp to put over and bungee if it gets windy or rainy.  Check out my ‘fold-flat’ dish rack! 

*Use microfiber towels for dishes.  They dry quickly and therefore don’t get as stinky.

*Inside our outdoor picnic tent we use a clamp-on shop light clamped to the top of the tent’s frame.  We then use a bug repellent light bulb.

*Use 1 part Tea Tree Oil to 1 Part water in a spray bottle to protect yourself from Ticks.  Spray on shoes, socks & pant legs.

*We use a Memory Foam pad as a mattress.  I sewed two sheets together to make a sack for the pad because it stays put and can be easily washed.

*Create bundles of sage tied with a string.  Throw 1 in the fire and it will keep mosquitoes away!

*Doritos & Dryer Lint make great kindling. 

*Keep matches dry in a small plastic box.  Glue sandpaper on the underside of the lid for a quick light.

*Pack your cast iron cookware with packets of Silica Gel to avoid rust.

*Use a ‘Camp towel’ at the shower.  They dry quickly and also have a handy tab to hang while wet.

*Keep a ‘Nightstand’ bag close to where you sleep.  Have in it a flashlight, a small water bottle, some toilet paper and anything else that you get up at night for.

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Alright, gang.  It’s a start!  There are so many ways to make camping more convenient, cartoon campers watching a big screen T.V.and I want to know what you have discovered!

CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS, HINTS & HACKS!

To read more about Health on the road, click HERE

To get to the Homepage for Road Trips and Tiny Trailers, click HERE

HOW TO NAVIGATE THIS WEBSITE CLICK HERE

 

 

 

ART & ARCHITECTURE: HOW TO USE THIS CATEGORY (Fun Facts)

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It’s so true.  It’s also true that those who know at least a few tidbits of  information about the art and architecture that they are seeing, find that their vacation is more meaningful than it might have been otherwise.

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Here in the ‘Fun Facts’ Category you will find information about Art & Architecture in the U.S.  The styles presented here are the ones that were most prevalent during the period that a given Region was most known for.

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These blogs are each presented in a ‘bullet point’ style that is designed to give you just a few pieces of information about things that you will potentially see and do on a road trip in America.

 

Either these tidbits will:

help you get the most of your visits, (if you don’t need too much to be satisfied)

or

whet your appetite for more information (about the things that you find really interesting and want to know more about).

Either way, you’ll discover more about yourself and where your interests lie.a&a3

 

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To help you easily find information for the area you are currently interested in, I have divided the country into 9 Regions.  (You may read more about each region in the intro to the category on this site called The U.S. in 9 Regions).

After you have identified the Region that you are visiting, scroll down until you find the blog for that Region.

Here are the states (and other areas) in each Region:

REGION 1: NEW EUROPE:

Maine * New Brunswick * Nova Scotia * Province of Québec

REGION 2: NEW ENGLAND AND THE ORIGINAL COLONIES:

Virginia * New York * Massachusetts * Maryland / Washington D.C. * Rhode Island * Connecticut * New Hampshire * Delaware * North Carolina * South Carolina * New Jersey * Pennsylvania * Georgia * Vermont

REGION 3: THE DEEP SOUTH:

Florida * Alabama* Mississippi Louisiana * Arkansas

REGION 4: BLUE GRASS COUNTRY:

Kentucky * Tennessee * Ohio * West Virginia

REGION 5: THE BREADBASKET:

Oklahoma * Missouri * Nebraska * Kansas * Iowa

REGION 6: THE GREAT LAKES:

Michigan * Indiana * Wisconsin * Minnesota * Illinois

 REGION 7: THE OLD WEST:

North Dakota * South Dakota * Wyoming * Montana * Colorado * Nevada

REGION 8: THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST:

Washington * Oregon * Idaho * Northern California

REGION 9: THE SOUTHWEST:

Central & Southern California * Texas * Arizona * Utah * New Mexico

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After you have identified the blog that is appropriate for your region, you will notice inside the blog that there are links to Two other blog lists.  One is a summary of architectural styles and the other is a summary of art styles, and these are designed to help you see how they fit chronologically into history’s timeline .  Make sure to click on those links for more information!

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Click on the Blog, and enjoy the information found there. Remember that this is in no way an exhaustive compilation of facts or a complete picture of this Region’s Art & Architectural styles.  It’s just a few interesting things that are designed to help what you are seeing to come alive a bit and get you started.  The rest is up to you!

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ARCHITECTURAL STYLES SUMMARY FOR THE TRAVELER

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Exterior architectural styles are reflective of deeper cultural values and can represent a particular place and time. When the spread of cultural ideas, politics and fashions across the country was slower, certain architectural styles remained in style for multiple decades or longer, and often revealed a distinctly regional identity.

Here in this summary we’ll explore some of the more common architectural styles of buildings and homes that you might get to see on your travels.  Let’s see what those styles can tell us about the history, politics and culture of their times!

1). PUEBLOAN ERA: 1500-1650

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Built by ancient Puebloan people * Made with sticks, mud and grass * Built into cliffs and caves * Intended for community living & worship

2). COLONIAL ERA:  1600-1800

 Built in the style of the Mother country but altered to the needs of the Colonies * Have two or three stories, fireplaces, and brick or wood facades * Floor plan has the kitchen and family room on the first floor and the bedrooms on the second floor * Easy to add on to at the side or the back.

A). British Colonialcolo

B). Dutch Colonial

C). French Colonial

D). Spanish Colonial

 

3). GEORGIAN ERA: 1714-1830

Named for the 4 Successive King Georges (I, II, III & IV) * Reflected Colonial growth and prosperity * side-gabled roof and a symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors on the front façade * Meant to be more formal * Based on the classical architecture of Greece and Rome

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4). NEOCLASSICISM: 1780-1820

Result of a revival of Greek & Roman thoughts and ideals * Characterized by grandeur of scale & simplicity of geometric forms * Uses Roman details such as columns, polished marble and blank walls * Adornments based on Greek and Roman mythology * Clean style with hard edges * Still had English flair

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A). Federalist

B). Jeffersonian

C). Greek Revival

D). Antebellum

 

5). VICTORIAN ERA: 1830-1920

Prompted by Queen Victoria and the long period of peace during her reign * The industrial revolution sparked a boom in the housing industry making elaborate homes more affordable * Blended Gothic, Greek, Indian and Italian styles * Nicknamed ‘Gingerbread houses’ due to the fine detailing of spindles, ornate windows, and textured shingles. Intended to be individualistic and have disproportionate porches and an asymmetrical design.

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A). Queen Anne

B). Gothic Revival

C). Second Empire / Baroque Revival

D). Colonial Revival

E). Mission

F). Tudor Revival

G). Prairie

H). Romanesque

I). Chateauesque

 

                                           6). MODERNISM ERA: 1920-1960

As skyscrapers went up, new styles emerged based upon the new and innovative technologies of construction and the use of glass, steel and reinforced concrete *  A ‘Modern’ look means simplicity in form and design * Characterized by clean lines, basic shapes, simple forms, geometric lines * what-did-american-homes-look-like-from-1930-to-1965-60s-style-house-remodel-ideasEmbraces minimalism

 

 

 

 

Many other styles emerged during this time period depending on location and need:

Garrison Style                                                                                               Salt Box Style

      Ranch Style                                                                                                       Farmhouse Style

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ART STYLES SUMMARY FOR THE TRAVELER

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As subjective as art is, there are always a few common threads that link art pieces of a particular period together.  In Art Styles Summary for the Traveler, we’ll discuss just a few of those threads so that you can identify the style, time frame, and current politics & culture of a work of art that you might be seeing during your travels.

With the exception of ancient Pueblo-an art and some Spanish influence in the Southwest, art by American artists didn’t really arrive on the scene until around the early 1700’s.  For the purpose of  understanding and following art trends, however, we’ll start at the beginning and hit a few of the other major periods in art first.

1). ANCIENT ART: Before 500 A.D.

Ancient Art was art created by all people groups from around the world, but for the imagespurpose of American art we’ll concentrate on The Native Tribes in North America.

TYPES OF ART:

Cave wall paintings, pots & jugs, jewelry, primitive sculpture, idols, burial items, masks, Kachina dolls, clothing, totem poles, quill work.

MATERIALS USED:

Clay, bone, feathers, sticks, stone, granite, sand, precious metals, animal skins, bark.

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR:

Images of: animals, plants & flowers, battles, gods, feasts and traditional rituals, and everyday life.

Crude painting with natural colors.

CURRENT CULTURE:

*Some of the original forms of art were often the result of the Vision Quest of an individual. To the Native American, the vision quest is mysterious. A place where the soul can leave the body, participate in many strange activities, and see many unusual sights. Since many of the designs seen or creatures encountered during the vision quest are seen as protective forms or spirit-beings, these would be carefully re-created during waking hours. Non-artists would occasionally describe their visions to a designated artist so that they could be recorded. Since these supernatural visions were extremely personal though, they were usually recorded by the individual himself and they vary tremendously in artistic quality.

*Most ancient art was the simple result of necessity.  As time advanced, the more artistic an everyday item became.

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Now let’s see what happened in Europe that could have influenced American Art:

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2). MEDIEVAL (OR MIDDLE AGES): 500-1550

The European Medieval art period began with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 and lasted up to the time of the Italian Renaissance.  The oldest examples of Medieval art can be found in catacombs and underground burial crypts.  Although Medieval art varieddownload depending on location, most art was financed and commissioned by the Catholic church. Commissions depicted Christian themes including creation, the fall of man, heaven & hell, saints, and the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.  Other commissions included animals, mythology and scenes from everyday life.

TYPES OF ART: Paintings, sculptures, tapestries, mosaics, frescoes, illustrated manuscripts, portable (jugs & bowls), stained glass, altarpieces.

MAIN PERIODS OF MEDIEVAL ART: Anglo Saxon (with a focus on Christian themes with pagan influence: 400-1066); Byzantine (costly mosaics, icons and decorated manuscripts featuring Christian themes with eastern influence, that decorated churches and showed the wealth of the Byzantine Empire 500-1453); Carolingian (the art of Charlemagne having Roman imagery, mostly buildings: 780-900); Norman & Romanesque ( Viking art with Roman influence: 1000-1100); Moorish (North African art with Islamic influence, featuring architecture with horseshoe arches, decorative honeycombed vaults, and domed ceilings: 1100-1400); and Gothic (stone structures, large expanses of glass, clustered columns, sharply pointed spires, intricate sculptures, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses: 1200-1500).

MATERIALS USED: Earth pigments (to create paint), sap gum & egg (as binders), parchment (for manuscripts), stone, wood and ivory (for sculpture).

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR: Abstract & animal motifs, intricate designs (ie, Celtic knots); elaborate; jeweled; iconic; highly stylized; flat with no perspective; arched and pointed arches; light & airy; complex tracery; biblical themes.

CURRENT CULTURE:

*Medieval period divided into: Early, High, & Late Middle Ages.

*Feudal System in place

*Artists and crafters established guilds that acted as collectives.  Individuals had little power, but the guilds had great power. A guild could gain control of the production, standards, and marketing of a particular craft.  Artists and crafters were at the mercy of those who would commission them for a product or work of art and competition was steep.

* Strong concentration on the artistic talents of many individuals, and the education of the rich.

*Growing tension between the church and the monarchies.

*Transformed by German & Islamic invaders. Food, spices & cloth came in from the east.

*The Church feared education would make people question their beliefs, so people were kept largely illiterate.

*Western values emerged late in the Medieval period.

POPULAR ARTISTS OF THE TIME:

                   *Giotto  *Lorenzo Ghiberti  *Donatello  *Leon Battista Alberti   *Cimabue  *Filippo Brunelleschi  *Fra Angelico                  *Hildegard of Bingen  *Hieronymus Bosch *Jan van Eyck  *Hans Holbein The Younger  *Pieter Bruegel the Elder                *Albrecht Durer  * Jean Fouquet  *Dionysius 

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3). THE RENAISSANCE: 1400-1600

Arriving just after the Gothic period of the Middle Ages, a growing awareness of the natural world and newly recovered information from antiquity, brought in the Renaissance.  Derived from the French word renaissance and the Italian word rinascità, it means ‘rebirth’.  Even though the religious view of the world continued to play an important role in the lives of Europeans, the Renaissance was a period when scholars and artists began to investigate what they believed to be a revival of classical learning, literature and art. The bulk of the work reflecting the Renaissance ideals were created in Italy with Florence at the helm.madonna_with_the_long_neck

Within the Renaissance, the innovative ‘Mannerism’ style developed from 1510-1600. Works of this style often emphasized the artifice and detailed skill of the artist.  One great example of the Mannerism style is Parmigianino’s Madonna of the Long Neck (shown here).

North of the Alps, Renaissance artists specialized in more secular subjects, such as landscape and portraiture.  Germany became a dominant artistic center. With the Reformation in full swing, and the absence of the Catholic church in the German speaking lands, prints in the form of woodcuts and engravings helped to advance the spread of Protestant ideals.

For many, the artistic creations of the Renaissance still represent the highest of achievements in the history of art.

TYPES OF ART: Painting, sculpture, literature, music, decorative arts, engravings, woodcuts,

MATERIALS USED: Tempura paints, oil (as a binder), marble, bronze, clay, gold (for reliefs and mosaics).

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR:

Deep, rich & bold colors; Greek revival themes such as mythology & humanism (celebrating the accomplishments of man); illusionistic painting techniques (a painting that creates the illusion of a real object or scene where the artist has depicted figure in such a realistic way that they seem alive); the new techniques of foreshortening (making a subject appear to be going backwards into the painting); linear perspective (giving a painting or drawing a 3D effect), sculptures of Greek gods; Biblical themes with liberties taken by the artists; paintings utilizing light and shadow; defined and precise anatomy; blue backgrounds (that created depth) and balanced proportions.

CURRENT CULTURE:

*Crafts, art and professions had been governed by guilds for centuries. These sworn associations controlled trade, limited outside competition, established standards of quality, and set rules for the training of apprentices. Membership was usually mandatory and only guild members could practice their trades within a city and its territory. Most guilds were headed up by a ‘master’ who acquired the commissions, designed and oversaw the pieces that other artists would complete. During the Renaissance, individuals began to ‘go solo’, creating art of their choosing rather that exclusively commissioned pieces.

*The rebirth of “Humanism,” (a philosophy which had been the foundation for many of the achievements of ancient Greece) came into direct conflict with the Catholic church. Humanism downplayed religious and secular dogma and instead attached the greatest importance to the dignity and worth of the individual. It celebrated the man, his body, achievements, intelligence, athletic prowess, artistic abilities and beauty.

*14th century Europe witnessed a number of catastrophic events including the Black Death (1346), and continuing war between England and France.  The church found itself racked with disagreements and disillusion about faith in God.

*In Italy, Venice and Genoa had grown rich on trade with the Orient, and  Florence was a center of wool, silk, jewelry and art, and was home to the enormous wealth of the cultured, secular and art-loving Medici family.  Prosperity was also coming to Northern Europe. This increasing wealth provided the financial support for a growing number of commissions for large public and private art projects rather than just church commissions.

*The weak position of the Church gave added momentum to the Renaissance. It prompted Popes like Pope Julius II (1503-13) to spend extravagantly on architecture, sculpture and painting in Rome and in the Vatican  in order to recapture their lost influence.

*The Renaissance era in art history coincides with the onset of the great Western age of discovery, during which created a desire to explore all aspects of nature and the world. European naval explorers discovered new sea routes, new continents and established new colonies. In the same way, European architects, sculptors and painters demonstrated their own desire for new methods and knowledge. According to the Italian painter, architect, and Renaissance commentator Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), it was not merely the growing respect for the art of classical antiquity that drove the Renaissance, but also a growing desire to study and imitate nature.

*The framework for the Renaissance was laid by economic, social and political factors, but it was the talent of Italian artists that drove it forward.  The Renaissance was started in, and was most influential in Italy due the following factors: 1). Italy was blessed with a huge repository of classical ruins and artifacts to pattern art after. 2). The decline of Constantinople – the capital of the Byzantine Empire – caused many Greek scholars to emigrate to Italy, bringing with them important texts and knowledge of classical Greek civilization. 3). Italy was the wealthiest nation due to trade with the Orient. 4). 3 generations of the Medici family financed the work and experimentation of the great artists and were considered the Patrons of the Renaissance.  Lorenzo the Magnificent, in particular, patronized the technical and semi-scientific research being done.

POPULAR ARTISTS OF THE TIME:

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Creator of Mona Lisa, Last Supper.

Michelangelo (1475-1564)
Genius painter (Sistine Chapel)  & Sculptor (David).

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)
Famous for mythological painting. La Primavera, The Birth of Venus

Raphael (1483-1520)
Greatest High Renaissance painter.

Titian (1477-1576)
Greatest Venetian colourist.

Tintoretto (1518-1594)
Religious Mannerist painter.

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4). THE BAROQUE: 1600-1725

The Baroque started in Italy but spread to most countries of Europe, and to the colonies in the Americas.  It touched almost all forms of art. It was particularly prominent in the visual arts like painting, sculpture, and architecture. However, other forms of art such as theater, music, and dance were also transformed during this time.

In order to fulfill its propagandist role, Catholic-inspired Baroque art tended to be large-scale works of public art, such as monumental wall-paintings and huge frescoes for the ceilings and vaults of palaces and churches. In the north, smaller pieces were being commissioned for use in private homes.

9161663_origBaroque was exuberant and was characterized by passionate realism. There was the intention of creating a strong sense of movement by using different shapes and colors. It was common to use geometric features, dramatic shadows, and abundant, rich and bright colors. There was an attention to each detail, and every facet was expected to be of stunning, ornamental and embellished beauty.

There was often a blending of different mediums to enhance the dramatism. Painting, sculpture, and architecture were often merged together. Many times the artworks were so vivid that they seemed to come alive and jump into the real world.

The term ‘Baroque’ comes from the Portuguese word Barroco, used to refer to the pearls of irregular shapes; basically, the ugly pieces. In the late 18th-century, this word started to be used for referring to this artistic period. It was adopted with a negative connotation, as artists of the time criticized the extravagance of Baroque saying that it was too much to actually be beautiful. 32679-primary-0-nativeres

The Rococo style of art that was popular during the same time period, was similar to Baroque but used softer colors and themes.  It was less dramatic, intense and extreme (example shown here).

TYPES OF ART:  Paintings, sculptures, frescoes, architecture, music.

MATERIALS USED: Marble, bronze, gold,

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR  Religious art that is triumphant, extravagant, almost theatrical (and at times) melodramatic in style; natural and realistic; strong actions and movements, using swirling spirals and upward diagonals, and strong sumptuous color schemes; often uses ‘Trompe l’oeil‘ (visual illusion); 3-dimensional; complex and ornate; innovative new painting technique of high contrast between light and dark.

CURRENT CULTURE:

*The Reformation began in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his ’99 thesis’s’ to the door of the Wittenburg, Germany Cathedral demanding the reform of the Roman Catholic Church from it’s corruption.  The Reformation lasted until 1648 and resulted in the ultimate break of the Catholic church by the ‘Protesters’ who ended up forming the Protestant Christian faith.

*The Counter Reformation was the Catholic Church’s response to the Reformation.  It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and ended with the Patent of Toleration in 1781.  The Baroque style was created to support the Catholic counter-reformation by demonstrating its wealth and power .

*This time of division within the Church and the conflicts of religious faith led to more inquisitions and was a hard fought and bloody time.

POPULAR ARTISTS OF THE TIME:

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

Carravaggio (1571-1610)

Diego Velazquez (1599-1660)

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

Giovanni Bernini (1598-1680)

Jan Vermeer (1632-1675)

Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)

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Now let’s head into American Art:

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5). AMERICAN COLONIAL ART: 1700-1800

717CwRwfMrL._SX425_In general, the term “American Colonial art” describes the art and architecture of 17th and 18th century settlers newly arrived in America from Europe. It was closely tied to European art, and had no contact with the tribal art traditions of the American Indian.

In the 17th century, the North American colonies enjoyed neither the wealth nor the leisure to cultivate the fine arts extensively. Colonial artisans working in pewter, silver, glass, or textiles closely followed European models.

In the first half of the 18th century, a growing demand for portrait painting attracted many European artists. The portrait painters alternated portraiture with coach and sign painting or other types of craftsmanship. Even in the 18th century, it was rarely possible to earn a living by working at painting alone.download

The process of colonization involved several distinctive European cultures. On the far west coast of California was Spanish Roman Catholic Baroque, in Canada and Louisiana were the French of Louis XIV and XV, and on the east coast were the Dutch and English.

Of all the arts, sculpture was probably the least pursued in the colonies. Apart from the anonymous carvers of tombstones and ships’ figureheads, American artist William Rush is nearly the only known sculptor to have practiced sculpting in pre-Revolutionary (1600-1776) and early Federalist ( 1789-1801) times.

TYPES OF ART:  Mostly painting featuring: Portraits, landscapes, mourning scenes, maritime scenes, still life & natural settings.  American presidents began having their portraits made starting with George Washington.  Decorative Arts featuring: Tapestries, mosaics, embroidery, jewelry, book illustration, stained glass, miniatures and ceramics.  Architecture, Furniture & Music.

MATERIALS USED: Oils, pastels, watercolor, Recycled materials common in Spanish Colonial art; metals, glass, stone, ivory, wood, textiles.

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR:  Portraits in the Elizabethan style, the Dutch baroque style, or the English baroque court style; Simple, natural themes in European style; Patriotic themes in European style; Romantic landscapes; Look for backgrounds, furnishings and clothing that identifies a link to England as well as social status.  Portraits looked a bit like the faces had been ‘cut and pasted‘ onto the figures.

CURRENT CULTURE:

*Religious Freedom and Economic opportunities brought countless immigrants to the New World.  British citizens settled colonies in the north west,  French citizens settled the Mississippi Valley, Spanish citizens settled the Southwest, the Dutch claimed the Great Lakes area, indentured servants and slaves came to the South, and differing Native American Tribes lived all over.  With all this diversity came different religions, languages, traditions, conflict, and war.

*Settling in the New World had been hard, but as things improved, status and social prominence became more and more important.

*By the time the Revolution started there were more than 2 1/2 million people living in what would become the U.S., and the middle class had begun to grow.  Leisure and income was being enjoyed  by most.

*Large plantations had sprung up, and the colonists were growing a wide variety of crops.  By the 1700’s, slavery was in full swing as slave labor was needed to work the fields.

*American printing presses, supplied by shipments of English materials, provided popular literature at increasingly affordable prices. Simple broadsides, single sheets of paper printed on one side and sold for a penny, had been in circulation since the late 1600s.

*Public libraries appeared throughout the colonies, and fiction, mostly by English novelists, became popular.  Literacy was wide spread, and in the colonies it was believed that illiteracy was the work of Satan trying to keep people from reading the scriptures.  Almanacs appeared in the colonies in 1639 and were established as among the most widespread and popular genres of American literature by the time Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard appeared in 1733.

*The 1700’s saw the rise of Theater. Williamsburg’s first permanent theater opened in 1716, and by the 1730s, New York and Charleston had theirs. Early in the eighteenth century, traveling performers appeared regularly throughout the colonies (except New England where public “stage-plays, interludes, and other theatrical entertainments” were opposed on grounds that they “discourage industry and frugality . . . increase immorality, impiety, and a contempt for religion.”).  Operas and Musicals also appeared onstage.

*Dancing schools were found in the larger urban areas, where they offered lessons by subscription. Though popular throughout the middle and southern colonies, dancing was most trendy in Virginia and South Carolina. From balls in the Governor’s Palace to small, rural gatherings, Virginians loved to step all manner of dances from formal minuets to reels, country dances, and rough and tumble jigs.

*Militia musters, court days, and public executions became community events. Such eventss included games, foot races, wrestling contests, horse races, and cudgeling, in which contestants used a stick to beat an opponent into submission. Colonials also enjoyed magicians, acrobats, trapeze artists, jugglers, and the presentation of exotic animals.

*As the Revolution approached, the Continental Congress decided that it was necessary to  limit popular amusements and entertainments to preserve resources for the war ahead, but Popular culture had become a force to be reckoned with.

POPULAR AMERICAN ARTISTS OF THE TIME:

John Singleton Copley (1738-1815)

Benjamin West (1738-1820)

Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828)

Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827)

Henry Benbridge (1743-1812)

Johann Heinrich Otto (c.1773-1800)

John Trumbull (1736-1843)

John Ramage (1748-1802)

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6). AMERICAN LANDSCAPE ART: 1800-1900

images (5)Landscape painting developed into a specific genre during the late 17th-century Dutch Golden Age as religious art fell out of favor in a Protestant society.  In Europe, landscapes emerged from being only backgrounds for the portraits of wealthy landowners, to a respectable art form embraced by the Romantic painters of the 18th and 19th centuries.

American landscape painting began to dominate the American art scene in the early part of the 19th century, and those paintings can often appear as mere depictions of a scene found in nature. However, brimming under the service of these works are political messages, religious philosophies, and historic insights into American expansionism.  Asimages (6) the American frontier was pushed further westward, landscape artists detailed on canvas the disappearing wilderness and the expanding presence of modern civilization which served as reminders of the price of progress.

TYPES OF ART: Primarily paintings. Many done in an impressionistic style (definition: a literary or artistic style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to 21th-century-american-paintings-landscape-painters-19th-centuryachieve accurate depiction).

MATERIALS USED: Oils, Watercolors, Photos (as inspiration).

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR: Scenic views as the principle subject; visual but thin brush strokes; impressionistic style; unusual angles; painting styles that emphasize lighting, and idealized scenes (as opposed to real scenes); settings for human movement; mostly outdoor scenes, hidden messages.

CURRENT CULTURE:

*Landscape painting developed as a response to the general social and political climate created as the monarchy gave way to democracy in England, France and the rest of Europe.  A desire for peace, tranquility, and a calm confidence about the the post-revolution prosperity emerged in American Landscape painting.

*New attitudes to the natural environment also emerged, and the practice of landscape gardening (the reordering of nature to suit wealthy patrons) came into fashion. Scenic paintings were still not regarded as ends in themselves, but rather they portrayed social prosperity with the divine harmony of nature.

*After the devastating events of the American & French Revolutions, and the Napoleonic Wars, landscape painting became one of the most popular types of art and rapidly blossomed into a major genre for artists, patrons and collectors.  Two major traditions emerged: English and French, both of which influenced landscape painters throughout Europe and North America, and had a huge impact on the art of the period.  In America the Hudson River School dominated.

*Hidden messages became popular for artists who were concerned about the destruction of nature as civilization and progress began to take it’s toll.

POPULAR AMERICAN ARTISTS OF THE TIME:

Thomas Cole (1801-48)
Founder of Hudson River school of American wilderness landscape painting.
George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879)
Missouri genre-painter, frontier luminist (realist landscape painting, characterized by its treatment of light), landscape artist, portraitist.
George Inness (1825-1894)
Brilliant Impressionistic painter, who defined Tonalism (landscapes with an overall tone of colored atmosphere or mist..
Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)
Pupil of Cole, and America’s greatest ever landscape painter.
Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)
German-born landscape artist of Hudson River School, luminism style.
Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917)
American Romantic expressionist landscape painter.

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7). AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM: 1800-1900

American Impressionism was a style of painting related to European Impressionism and practiced by American artists in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterized by loose brushwork and vivid colors. The style often depicted landscapes mixed with scenes of upper-class domestic life.

Impressionism emerged as an artistic style in France in the 1860s. Major exhibitions of French impressionist works in Boston and New York in the 1880s introduced the style to the American public.

ea6bc3bb78b4c44e626aa7f85dd08013American painters of the late 19th-century were impressed by the dazzling colors and vibrant brushwork of French Impressionism, but by 1900, Americans would be among the most passionate admirers of the Impressionist style. Inspired by unique approaches to painting modern life, American Impressionism adopted bright palettes and loose brushstrokes to capture the intimate beauty of everyday American life. Whether capturing the natural world or the urban spirit, American Impressionists broke with the traditional expectations of European art to usher in the first popular, modern art movement in America.

TYPES OF ART Primarily Paintings.

MATERIALS USED: Oil paints, Canvas, Palette Knife.

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR: Small, thin, yet visible brush strokes; outdoor scenes; scenes from everyday life; emphasis on the accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often displaying the effects of the passage of time); shows movement. Demonstrated Tonalism.

CURRENT CULTURE:

*Prior to the Civil War, to become a respected artist, it was necessary for Americans to train in the famous art schools of London and Paris and adopt the academic styles taught there.  By the 1870’s, however, Impressionists were united in rejecting the traditional French styles and the dated European tradition. Initially the American buying public rejected the new style, but the Impressionists’ persisted with beautiful colors and subjects, the unique use of loose brushwork, experimental color composition, and a new focus on the effects of light. The Impressionists were interested in these optical effects as the main subject rather than stories, and they preferred scenes of everyday life and natural beauty over the highbrow subjects of traditional painting.

*The prosperity in the Post Civil War Northeast created the desire for the latest fashions and designs, and the ingenuity of Impressionism had flourished and had become most fashionable.

*Americans had begun creating gardens and parks, and the subjects were perfect for Impressionistic art.  The wealthy wanted to enjoy nature in a safe and controlled environment, and wanted to create a calm, luxurious and leisurely lifestyle.

*American Impressionism quickly became the favorite of collectors until 1913 when the Armory Show which featured more experimental art from Europe (including the Fauves and Cubists). For many collectors of modern and contemporary art, American Impressionism became outdated and conservative.

POPULAR AMERICAN ARTISTS OF THE TIME:

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916),

Theodore Robinson (1852-96),

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926),

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925),

Childe Hassam (1859-1935),

John H Twachtman (1853-1902),

J. Alden Weir (1852-1919),

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8). AMERICAN MODERN ART: 1900’s

Pablo_Picasso,_1910,_Girl_with_a_Mandolin_(Fanny_Tellier),_oil_on_canvas,_100.3_x_73.6_cm,_Museum_of_Modern_Art_New_York.American art of the twentieth century maintains strong ties with the art that preceded it. Increasingly, however, as the United States took its place as one of the most powerful nations in the world, America became an art center, and American art was increasingly integrated into the globalized, international art scene. Like other national arts, American art was influenced by modernism and postmodernism to become a dynamic collection of inventive artistic practices.

The famous 1913 Armory Show (officially called the International Exhibition of Modern Art) was seen by more than a quarter of a million visitors in New York, Chicago and Boston.  The show marked a turning point in public interest in modern art. Exhibits featured the greatest modern paintings, including works by modernist American as well as European artists. Other important exhibitions dating from this period include the Carnegie International Exhibition of Contemporary Art (held since 1896)  and of course The Whitney Biennial, an invitational event held since 1913.

Artists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, Dali, Mucha, and Picasso had made their mark and heavily influenced Modern art worldwide.

Another influence on modern painting in America was Cubist Realismhb_2014.463 whose focus was modern industry and urban landscapes. It is characterized by the realistic portrayal of objects but in a way that also highlighted their geometric form.

Cubism paved the way for American Scene Painting, a new type of down-to-earth art that reflected living conditions in cities across America. American Scene Painting is a vague term which describes a style of realism which grew up in the United States during the late 1920s, 30s and 40s, and which was marked by its use of specifically American imagery. The aim of this type of American art was to feature and bring light to rural and small-town America.

Modern art has (and continues to have) ‘movements’ as new ideas are presented.  Included are:  (1) Impressionism; (2) Fauvism; (3) Cubism; (4) Futurism; (5) Expressionism; (6) Dada; (7) Surrealism; (8) Abstract Expressionism; (9) Pop Art; (10) Photo Realism.

TYPES OF ART: Paintings; Sculpture; Video; Conceptual (art in which the idea presented by the artist is considered more important than the finished product); Performance.

MATERIALS USED: Modern paints; Watercolors; Plaster; Recycled and Re-purposed items; Metals.

CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR: Reflects current issues and events; breaks the rules of traditional art; responds to new technologies; lack of a distinct feature; mixed media; experimental colors and textures; expressive; open to interpretation; often abstract; Futuristic; often 2-dimensional; humorous;

CURRENT CULTURE:

*Popular culture of the 1900’s not only poked fun at, but deeply questioned the status quo.  Criticism of traditions and standards gave rise to a toleration of new, unusual and sometimes disturbing art styles.

*Art became reflective of the attitude towards the ‘establishment’, and the jokes of the music hall and the theatrical revue became part of popular culture.

*Cubist and Futurist styles were put to satirical use in caricature, advertising, stage design, and other forms of popular visual culture.

POPULAR AMERICAN ARTISTS OF THE TIME:

Alexander Calder

Norman Rockwell

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Roy Lichtenstein

Edward Hopper

Mark Rothko

Keith Haring

Georgia O’Keeffe

Stanton Macdonald-Wright

Andy Warhol

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Moving forward, art continues to grow, change, explore and create.  It becomes both a reflection of current culture, and a driving force shaping the next generation.

THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE MORE THAT ART CAN COME ALIVE!

 

 

REGION 1: ART & ARCHITECTURE (New Europe) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF NEW EUROPE

REGION 1: NEW EUROPE

Maine * New Hampshire * Vermont

New Brunswick * Nova Scotia * Province of Québec

Old Canadian street lit up at night with governmental artchitecture

Acadia refers to the North East area of North America that was initially settled as a French colony.  It would eventually be divided into British or Canadian provinces and  American states.  Although we’ll use the terms Canada, Acadia and the North East interchangeably and understand that they all have unique identities, know that we’ve lumped them all together and called the area New Europe.

(Large numbers of Acadians immigrated into Louisiana -Region 3- between 1765 and 1790).

Art in New Europe is marked by thousands of years of habitation by First Nations Peoples, followed by waves of immigration, which included European artists and other crafters with heritages from countries all around the world. Acadian art reflects these diverse origins, and artists have adapted traditions and influences to reflect the reality of their lives in the east of North America.

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The Colonial Architecture of New Europe is  closely linked to the designs and styles developed in Canada, Europe and the United States. However, designs have long needed to be adapted to the North East’s climate and geography, and at times has reflected the uniqueness of the area’s culture.   In most of the area, building materials are plentiful, and the price of lumber and stone are low.  For the most part, the NE is safe from the the-village-historique.jpgmajor natural disasters that affect the architecture of other areas. However, the climate needs to be considered for every structure.  Good insulation is a must and structures must be designed to survive the repeating cycles of freezing and thawing that can shatter stone and ruin foundations.

CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 1 NEW EUROPE: 

History  Religion   Landscapes
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ART:

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*Aboriginal Art  was being created in Acadia for iStock_000002676302_Large-1080x718thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settler colonists. Like the peoples that produced them, Indigenous Art traditions combined the territories of Canadanorthwest-coast-native-art-kwakiutl_1_e074c22a587b3411161d84e4c1303545 and the United6efdcdd4bbdc10cda3c2edaa224249b9 States. Art traditions vary enormously within these diverse groups, but one thing that distinguishes Indigenous Art from European traditions is a focus on art that tends to be portable and made to be carried or worn and/or used ceremonially.

*French Colonial Art was popular between 1665–1759, and it was the Roman Catholic Church in and around Quebec City that first provided artistic patronage.  Most subjects were limited to religious Christian themes, and abolitionist and missionary endeavors. tumblr_ltrbry5reu1r21vxto1_500 7569215_1_x proclamation-of-the-abolition-of-slavery-in-the-french-colonies-27-april-1848_u-l-ptrrpl0.jpg

The style was similar to High Renaissance and the artists rarely signed their work.

 

*English Colonial Art was popular between 1759-1800.  The battle for Quebec left many British soldiers garrisoned in various locations in the territory. While off-duty, many of these soldiers sketched and painted the Canadian land and its people, which were often sold in European markets hungry for exotic but unknown glimpses of the colonies. Drawing was also required by soldiers to record the land, as photography had not beeacadia_deportation_claude_picard1.jpgn invented.   Romanticism and  Realism remain the central styles.

The main themes were Portraits, 51933755.jpgLandscapes, Religious scenes and depictions of the Acadian Expulsion.

In Lower Canada, artists evolved independently from France as the connection was severed during the French Revolution. 67b41ac9-9c62-4d2d-b911-026a36917280_570.Jpeg Rococo and Neoclassic traits influenced many Lower Canadian artists who began aiming for a uniquely Acadian style.

34bd7162ffc6a5fcea4f9702631c1c00*The Group of Seven (a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933) is often considered the first uniquely Canadian
download artistic group and style of painting. They believed that a distinct Canadian style of art could be developed through direct contact with nature. The Group of Seven is best known for its paintings inspired by the local landscape.  Historically, the Clearing-After-Rain,-Maganatawan-River,-Ontario,-1910Catholic Church was the primary patron of early art in the area, but in later times artists have combined British, French and American artistic traditions. At times they embraced European styles and at other times worked to promote nationalism by developing distinct styles. Art in the region today remains the combination of these various influences.

FOR MORE DETAIL AND INFO ON ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY:  HERE

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 ARCHITECTURE:

First Nations:

*Nomadic tribes lived in Wigwams.dreamstime_xl_38626994-Custom

*Wigwams were wood framed structures, covered with an outer layer of bark, reeds, or woven mats shaped into a cone or dome. These groups changed locations every few weeks or months. They would take the outer layer of the wigwam with them, and leave the heavy wood frame in place. The frame could be reused if the tribe returned to the location at a later date.

Longhouse2

*Permanent agricultural tribes lived in a Long House.

                                                                             *The Long House was a large rectangular structure that held a large number of people. They were built with a frame of saplings or branches, covered with a layer of bark or woven mats.

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*Nomadic tribes that settled on the Prairie lived in Teepees.

*The Teepee  consisted of a thin wooden frame and an outer covering of animal hides. The structures could be set up quickly, and were light enough to carry while following the bison herds.

                          *Some of the most impressive First Nations architecture was that of the permanent tribes of the west coast such as the Haida.  They lived in Bighouses.canadabighouse2sm.jpg

                                                                        *Bighouses were large square, solidly built houses. They were brightly painted with artistic designs and often had a totem pole at the front door.

 

*In the far north, tribes lived in Igloos.1-4r1

*An Igloo was a domed structure made of snow, which was quite warm. In the summer months,  tents made of animal hides were used. Whale bones were often used for the frame.

 

17th century French settlers of New France and Acadia:

*These early settlements were most concerned with defense  – from both the First Nations People and the English.quebec-city-weekend-getaway-17.jpg.wrend.1280.720

*Most cities were made up of a large fortress and protective walls.  The cities were divided into two areas. The Upper Town contained the fortress, homes of the ruling class and churches, and the Lowee7ebcb860aac9749e9fab8c412697016r Town was the commercial center and home to the working class.

*These structures were made of stone and decorated in the Baroque architecture that was popular in France at the time.

 

17th-18th Century Rural areas along the St. Lawrence River: 

*Largely populated by immigrants from Normandy in Northwestern France.

*Rural farming structures had french features with modifications made necessary by  the environment.New_France_House

*The home of the New France farmer remains a symbol of French-Canadian nationalism.

*These were wooden or stone, rectangular structures of one story, but with an extremely tall and steep roof, sometimes almost twice as tall as the house below.

download (3)*Landmarks in the rural areas were the churches and the mansions of the seigneurs (the representative of the ruling French King over each of the Parishes). The seigneurs built much larger but not ornate homes for themselves.

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*Each parish had its church, (often duplicates of major churches in Quebec City or Montreal). A unique style of French-Canadian church thus developed.

Cape Cod:

*Introduced in the 17th century by the Puritans from England.

*Struc58f5ecb88c38f12b0f6ccc7c360ca33atures with a low, broad, single story frame, a steep gabled roof, central chimney, and very little ornamentation.

*Foreign Protestants also influenced the architecture of the region as styles were borrowed from Germany and Switzerland.

 

cf2390789745b571124d18aae81d239dVictorian:

*Victorian architecture dominated in Canada from the mid 19th century to the First World War.

beauxarts2.png*Other revived styles also became prominent including: Romanesque Revival, Second Empire Style, Queen Anne Style and Tudor Style.

*Beaux-Arts architecture became the dominant style for banks and government buildings

                                                       

                                                             Louisiana:

*1795-1790: After being expelled to France, many Acadians (living in present day Canada) were recruited by the Spanish government to migrate to present day Louisiana state, where they developed what became known as Cajun culture.

*This style of architecture is still found in Louisiana.

Acadians blend maritime Canadian and West Indian styles that are 

13617e45bfc9d4d1d1b1d671f0f76725raised on piers to protect them from flooding, termitesdownload (2) and heat. They are characterized by a rustic style that is reflective of the French countryside, and features strong French and Cajun influences in both architecture and culture. Homes have Georgian style floor plans that are two rooms deep, plus a central hallway and chimney. Most Acadian floor plans are 1-1 1/2 stories high download (1)and have a steep gabled roof. This provides space for an attic sleeping area. High-pitched hip roofs are among the signature features of Acadian style homes: they add to the rural charm of the homes while also making it easy to shed rain, snow, or debris created by time and weather. These styles are also popular in the South.

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY: HERE

                  

REGION 2: ART & ARCHITECTURE (The Original Colonies) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE ORIGINAL COLONIES

REGION 2: NEW ENGLAND AND THE ORIGINAL COLONIES

Virginia * New York * Massachusetts * Maryland / Washington D.C.

Rhode Island * Connecticut * New Hampshire * Delaware * North Carolina

South Carolina * New Jersey * Pennsylvania * Georgia 

colonial horse drawn wagon in front of Governor's mansion in Williamsburg

Painting of 2 Girls in early Colonial styleDuring the 16th and 17th centuries, the art of the Colonies centered around nature, still lives and portraits.  Portraiture remained the most popular type of painting throughout the colonial period, and the likenesses of the elite hung in themother and child portrait homes and mansions of these families.  Portraiture was also looked at as an art form embodying the ambitious ideals and tastes of a wealthy society.  As the colonies grew in population and economic strength, European artists came to the colonies for portrait commissions.

By the 18th century, luxury homes were being designed in the Georgian & Federalist styles andFederal style home with red brick Baroque style interior of a Colonial homedecorated in Rococo and Baroque.  British imports were all the rage.  As the Revolutionary War drew near, colonists began to turn to their own for American made furnishings, decorative arts and paintings.

 CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 2 THE ORIGINAL COLONIES: 

History  Religion   Landscapes
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ART:

sketch of early colonial explorers meeting natives

*The first art produced in America (when it was the New World) was done by explorers, trappers and sailors as they recorded in pictures what they found in the New World.

* The earliest art that was produced, once the colonies were established, were Colonial headstonetombstones and shop signs.  The ‘skull with wings’ found on many New Black Horse Tavern SignEngland tombstones was strictly an American design.

 

*The types of art that followed were sculptures that stood in front of shops, and masts for sailing ships. wooden masthead of a woman
Cigar Indian in front of store

 

*In the 17th century, the North American colonists had neither the finances nor the time to collect much in the way of fine arts.  Colonial artists working in pewter, silver, glass, or textiles followed European examples, but by the end of the century, the colonies were thriving and American art began to flourish.

 

*As 18th-century American colonists (prior to the Revolutionary War), grew more prosperous, many sought to make a name for themselves and be remembered.  Portraits fulfilled this wish.

*The 17th-century limners (untrained, anonymous artists working in the colonies) painted crude but often charming portraits in the Elizabethan style (style popular during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth of England), the Dutch baroque style, or the English baroque style (respectively below), depending upon the European background of both artist and patron.  The style of the limners was flat and simplistic, but remained popular well into the 19th century.  It was also a purely American style.

miniature portrait of red haired woman with large lace collar        colonial painting of a woman with curls                Baroque style panting of a woman by a vase

*One of the challenges that early American painters faced, was that patrons (mostly wealthy New England merchants and businessmen) requested a sophisticated style, like that of  the English tradition of portraiture. Colonial artists, however, had almost no access to the examples or thesketch and copperplate of a bird training necessary to develop a style in the English tradition. John Singleton Copley and his peers studied mezzotint reproductions of English portraits. Mezzotints were engraved copper plates used to reproduce paintings.  They were important because they could be bought and sold inexpensively, and gave artists in the colonies access to art from England and the rest of Europe.

colonial painting of small boy in peach colored dress*You may notice that boys were often painted wearing what we would identify as dresses.  This was called ‘breeching’.  A boy could wear pants when he became able to be ‘reasoned’ with – usually around age 7.  It was a kind of ‘coming of age’ milestone for a boy.  It was also more practical for the young years, as diapers hadn’t been invented yet.

 

* The two artists that dominated the scene during this time period were Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley.  They painted portraits of the wealthy and prominent, as well as scenes from the lives of those early leaders of America.

FOR MORE DETAIL AND INFO ON ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY:  HERE

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 ARCHITECTURE:

*Colonial architecture

is an architectural style from a mother country that has been incorporated into the buildings and settlements or colonies of distant locations. But Pilgrims from England were not the only ones coming to the New World, and people brought with them cultures, traditions and architectural styles from all over.  American Colonists built settlements that copied the architecture of England, blended it with the design characteristics of their new lands, and created uniquely American designs.

photo of colonial salt box house*First Period 

Time period of approximately 1626 through 1725. There are more houses constructed by America’s earliest settlers in Essex County, Massachusetts than anywhere else in the country.photo of interior of early colonial home

*Characteristics of a First Period building include a steeply pitched roof; a slightly asymmetrical plan; and a central chimney. The first period structure is distinguished from later ones by its exposed frame in the interior. Some early windows may have had no glazing, but the standard first period window, until at least 1700, was the diamond-paned casement. No example of this type of window still exists.

*Among the First Period designs, there are influences of: French Colonial (with raised upper windows and stone exteriors), Spanish Colonial (with flat roofs, adobe look exteriors and Catholic decor), Dutch Colonial (with barn-shaped gambrel roofs and stone exteriors) and German Colonial (with “half-timber” style of construction and a frame of braced timbers filled-in with masonry.  When built into the sides of hills, they are called a ‘bank house’.)  Shown respectively below:

    photo of french colonial home with orange doors   photo of Spanish colonial home   black & white photo of early american wooden barn   download (1)  

*Georgian: 

Styles of buildings, popular during the reigns of King George II and King George III were, in England, built in brick, had wood trim, wooden columns and were painted colonial flat faced grey brick homewhite. In America, however, there were both brick buildings and those built with wood and clapboards. They were oftentimes painted a pale yellow. This differentiated them from most other structures that were usually not painted at all. They were primarily box shaped with multiple chimneys.colonial federalist style home with orange brick

A Georgian colonial home usually has a formally defined living room, dining room and sometimes a family room. The bedrooms are typically on the second floor. They also have one or two chimneys that can be very large.

*Federalist

This architecture marks the end of the Colonial Era, and Americans wantedRed brick colonial mansion with white pillars around front door buildings and homes that expressed the ideals of their new country, and  displayed an independent identity.  They also wanted the look of elegance and prosperity.  The Federalist style borrowed Neoclassical details and fancied up the Georgian design.  They were given porticoes, balustrades, and other more elaborate features.

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY: HERE

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REGION 3: ART & ARCHITECTURE (The Deep South) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE DEEP SOUTH

REGION 3: THE DEEP SOUTH

     Florida * Alabama* Mississippi * Louisiana * Arkansas

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Residents of the American South created works of art starting in 1607, however it was not until the early 1960’s that Southern Art became recognized as a distinct genre.

cc765ac5568d023277509ebca6532740--african-american-art-african-artSouthern art is now more widely recognized as a specific genre compared to the regional art of other geographic regions of the U.S. This is a result of the unique role the American South played in the history of the United States. Slavery, though legal in every one of the thirteen original colonies, flourished and grew as an institution in the American South, while it died out in the North. Political issues surrounding slavery helped cause the American Civil War, and the settlement of that conflict defined American culture today more than any other single event in history. For that reason, Southern Art is an important element in the story of the U.S.

The American South features more than one style of architecture. Whether the styles are grand or more modest, their structures are designed to handle the South’s hot, humid1493144206-lisajonesphotography-bonhaven-1.jpg weather. They include designs that foster Southerners’ sense of community.

Southern homes often share three things in common:

*Deep porches that keep houses cooler by shading the structures’ front walls and also provide a comfortable place for people to sit and visit—a welcome social nicety before the invention of air conditioning.

*Elevated foundations built several feet above the ground that helps protect homes from water damage due to flooding.

*Classical Architectural Features that gives both old and new homes details that add timeless elegance and a sense of history.

Today, most of the South’s art is found in museums, and the majority of the mansions and plantations serve as those museums.  While the history remains controversial, exhibits like these are important in educating the public to America’s history.

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 CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 3 THE DEEP SOUTH: 

History  Religion   Landscapes
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ART:

Numerous movements of Southern Art are included in this broad category, including Southern Expressionism & Southern Folk Art.

Themes in Southern Art include:

-More traditional male-female roles within the family and social structure

-A heightened awareness of racial relations stemming from a history of slavery, the CivilSouthern Cross.jpg War, the Jim Crow laws, and the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.

-Stances on the Confederacy.download.jpe

-Strong and continuing Christian religious traditions that include regular Sunday church attendance.

-An appreciation of uniquely Southern literature and stories.

-Distinctly Southern foods such as moonpies, RC Cola, okra, fried chicken, and “meat and three” restaurants.mr-okra-portrait-by-jeff-morgan-c86fd494a2dcf94c.jpg39f599633bbf46583efb81b55ab18352.jpg

-An appreciation of bluegrass and ‘country’ music.

 

 

 

*Southern Expressionism: Paintings typically presented with broad strokes, bold colors, rough surfaces, obscure figures and the expression of scenes and subjects consistent15-confederate-statue-durham-north-carolina.w700.h700 with that of southern life.

*All subject matter tends to be abstract, poetic, and inspired by the personal experience of the artist.032a01004f24f6f243c19473faabf54b

 

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*Southern Folk Art: While Southern Expressionism shows scenes of life, views on politics and cultural issues, Folk Art focuses on objects of everyday existence.7a9248a06c46e9e9cc84b63a8f5ef11d

*Folk Art is rustic, primitive and done by untrained artists.

images*Materials are usually accessible and inexpensive.  This art is generally affordable.

2567182-ZMCWWQOB-6Henry_Ossawa_Tanner_-_The_Banjo_Lesson*Folk Art enjoys telling stories, and creating memories.

 

 

FOR MORE DETAIL AND INFO ON ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY:  HERE

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 ARCHITECTURE:

Southern home design has withstood the test of time and features many historical elements that can still be found in homes and buildings today.

Take a look at some favorite Southern home design trends, decorative elements, and styles that either originated in this region or can only really be found often in the South.

*Shotgun House:

This design is simple: a long, narrow, rectangular building, sometimes without windows on the sides. You can’t pass through the house without going through every room, with doors at either end of the home. A traditional shotgun features a shared space — like a living room in the front, bedrooms stacked right behind each other, followed by the kitchen and bathroom in the back. Open all the doors at the same time and you get the steady airflow that’s crucial to surviving a Southern summer (especially when there was no central air).

594b11f444d72.imageSome say the term “shotgun” is used because you could stand on the front porch, fire a shotgun through the house and hit a rooster in the backyard — without touching a wall.

 

*Wrap- around Porches:

While not necessarily invented in the South, southern designers definitely perfected it. They provided a breeze-friendly place to relax and aided the Southern sense of Victorian-Old-Homes-with-Wrap-Around-Porches.jpgcommunity. Deep overhangs were another way to shield homeowners from the  blistering sun while also keeping the rest of the home cool. This architectural feature prevented direct sunlight from hitting the inside of the home for too long. Also, the home’s furniture, curtains and other interior items were protected from sun damage and fading.

 *’Haint’ Blue Paint:

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You will often find Haint blue (pale blue/soft green shade) painted on Southern ceiling porches to protect the home’s occupants from “haints” — restless spirits of the dead who have not moved on from this world. This superstition came to the South with the slaves and seems to have stayed for good…maybe because it also seems to repel bugs.

 

                                                       *Antebellum Architecture:

‘Antebellum’ actually means ‘pre Civil War’ and refers to a time in history rather than a specific style. Antebellum mansions and plantation homes come in different styles and designs (including Greek revival, Neo-Classical and Federalist), but share a few key elements: symmetry, boxy look, stately pillars and columns, both front and rear center entrances, balconies and gabled roofs.  Many newer homes choose these elements and maintain a glimpse into the past.-l-ad24ac41d6b574ca.jpg

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY: HERE

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TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL TRAVELERS

 

Successful travelers and not-so-successful ones. If you are like me you have both types of these people in your life:

First there are those who take a vacation and have very little good to say.  They were tired, didn’t like the food, the accommodations, the people, etc etc…

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Then there’s the ones that were amazed by how wonderful and fantastic their trip was, and are sure that no one could ever top what they have just experienced!

traits 2

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, and for me, being a successful traveler means that I come home refreshed, having learned something new, experienced something different, and excited to go again.

If this hasn’t been your story, there are Traits that you can learn from a successful traveler that can help you making the most of your time away from home.  Here goes:

1). Know why you are going to your chosen destination and what you expect to get out of it

 How do you know if your trip was successful if you didn’t have a goal or purpose?

A goal can be as simple as:

                a). Seeing the Rocky Mountains in Colorado

               b). Relaxing and getting away from the daily stress

               c). Getting a tan at the beach at the Florida Keys

              d). Spending some quality time with Grandma in Poughkeepsie

It can also be a little more intentional such as:

                a). Seeing all the Great Lakes

                b). Climbing a 5.7 in Moab

                c). Enjoying the Balloon Festive in Albuquerque

                d). Visiting and learning about the Missions in San Antonio

Or, your goal can be specific and focused as with:

                a). Studying the flora and fauna of the Washington State Rainforest

                b). Following and studying Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’ Campaign in Georgia

                c). Learning about the specific architectural designs of plantation homes in New Orleans

               d). Viewing and learning about the Puffins (cutest birds ever) off the coast of Nova Scotia (yep…that one is mine)

Whatever you decide is your goal / purpose for your trip, make it clear and keep focused when all the other distractions of traveling get in the way.  Don’t, however, be SO focused that you miss the unexpected things that are also most likely going to happen along the way!

2). Have a plan but make it flexible

A great read is ‘Life is Tremendous’ by Charles Jones.  In this small, short book, Charles outlines the ‘Laws of Leadership’ that are great suggestions for making the most of your life (and travel!).  One of the ‘Laws’ he sites is the ‘Law of Flexible Planning’.  You’ve probably heard that, ‘a failure to plan is a plan to fail’, and while that is undoubtedly true, you won’t be able to make the most of your trip or be a successful traveler if your plans aren’t flexible.

 I once found myself at the Palace of Versailles just outside of Paris, France with 4 teenagers and an 11 yr old in tow.  The plan had been to see the Palace and then make our way to Melun to see the Vaux-le-Vicomte Palace where the story of the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ had taken place and where scenes from the movie were shot.  I thought we could squeeze that  in because the youngest in the group had desperately wanted to do that.  I was wrong.  Melun was a whole day’s trip in another direction.  My little one was upset and took aim at my poor planning skills.

Instead of feeling like the day was ruined however, the kids got a chance to spend a little more time on the grounds of this great Palace running around and hiding until well after the grounds had closed.  We dodged the Gendarmes (French mounted security guards) until dusk when they finally caught up with us and threw us out.   We did manage to see the Vaux-le-Vicomte on another trip, but for this trip we giggled incessantly and no other mention was made of the disappointment!

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3). Work within your limitations

Although travel is sometimes about pushing yourself and overcoming your fears, it’s also important to be sensitive to your limitations.  Take inventory and make notes about the things that are truly a challenge for you.

                What do you struggle with?

Personally, have a bad knee and a bad ankle, so does hiking the entire Via Amore’ Trail on the coast of the Cinque Terre in Italy really make sense for me? This hiking trail connects all 5 of the Cinque Terre’s hill towns along the coast of the Ligurian Sea and has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, so would I want to miss it?  Absolutely not! Should I really traverse the entire (sometimes strenuous) trail that takes all day to hike?  Probably not.  There are, however, ferries and trains that connect each town, so I can pick and choose which legs to hike and which legs to enjoy by transit.  Perfect!  Working with limitations doesn’t have to mean missing anything!

                 Instead of deciding that you can’t do something at all, or deciding unrealistically that you’ll just push through, see if there is a way to overcome your challenges and compromise.  Always be willing to make the most of what you are able to do without sacrificing the enjoyment of the experience!  That alone will make you a more successful traveler!

4). Understand and accept that things are going to go wrong (or at least not according to plan)

If you haven’t yet figured out that things don’t always go as you had planned, then you haven’t left your house!

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Here are some common things that happen on vacation:

Getting Sick

Getting Injured

Vehicle breaks down

Things cost more than what was budgeted / said / posted etc..

Lines are longer than expected

Major sights are closed for renovation

Weather is terrible

No vacancy at a place where you had a reservation

Getting separated from  luggage that got loaded onto a different flight 

The list goes on and on.  There are so many things that can happen on a trip that could potentially ruin a day – or the whole trip – that you might as well plan for it!

Here’s a few of the things that have happened to me or to Eddie and me

Finding our campsite floating in 8” of water as a hurricane blew through Tupelo

Losing the brakes on the truck, while pulling a trailer on the highway, at 80mph in Fredericksburg, VA    (See our story HERE)

Getting stopped by border control for carrying firewood across the Canadian / U.S. border

Swollen feet due to chigger bites in Bowling Green, KY

Having a ship held on my behalf in Victoria, BC (See our story HERE)

Getting stuck in road construction traffic leaving Yellowstone for 5 hours

Nearly missing a flight from Munich because I was unaware of a time change

Walking 40 blocks from Central Park because we didn’t know that the ‘green line’ on the subway was closed on Saturdays

Losing a passport in Europe

You get the picture!  Vacation mishaps can sometimes make for the best stories later, but a successful traveler still starts out prepared.

Here are a few things that you can do ahead of time for a little piece of mind for when things happen:

                    a). If you are on a Road Trip, have a small safe cabled somewhere that is not visible.  In it have a backup credit card with a large credit limit, an alternative form of I.D. and copies of all important documents such as medical insurance cards, I.D.s etc.  If you are traveling without your own vehicle, make sure your backup info is not in your wallet.

                b). Have a plan for if your vehicle breaks down.  Will you rent a vehicle and continue your trip?  Maybe you will fly home and back when it’s fixed?  Will you give up the rest of your trip and settle in to wait on repairs?  Have this conversation before you leave and make sure that you can live with the decision.

                  c). Make sure to pack logical medicines such as: cold & sinus, allergy relief, flu, diarrhea, constipation etc… as well as a good first aid kit.  Make sure to contact your health insurance for policy information – especially if you are going out of the country.

                d). Have some back up things to do if you are stuck in the trailer on a rainy day: books, movies, music, etc… and try and enjoy whatever the weather decides to do.  I like to get out and take pictures!

               e). Have an extra set of clothes, underwear and socks as a backup.  Put these in your carry-on if you are flying.

Whatever happens, make the best of it and dwell on what you have gotten to see & do rather than what has not worked out!

Click HERE for a fun questionnaire to get started planning for a successful trip!

5) It’s all in the Attitude

traits 4      ‘nough said…

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REGION 4: ART & ARCHITECTURE (Blue Grass Country) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF BLUE GRASS COUNTRY

REGION 4: BLUE GRASS COUNTRY

Kentucky * Tennessee * Ohio * West Virginia

Horse Farm Sunset

2010.01.02-1100x1311.jpgThe birthplace of entertainers, musicians, authors and scholars, the Blue Grass region states offer a rich slice of American history. But they are often steeped in superstitious folklore and stereotyped as backward, uncultured and poor.

The early decorative arts of this region were the hand-pieced quilts, handwoven baskets, and other “necessary” items once common to every remote household, and art was often030313_120.jpg the result of need. The mountain people here were self-reliant, making do with materials at hand, building the cabins they lived in and all the furnishings, growing the flax and raising the sheep for the spinning, and weaving of cloth for their clothes, and making all needed household gadgets, farming tools, toys, and bedding from the materials at hand.

The crafts culture remains a direct descendant of the mountain heritage, and today’s crafts work is essentially, the modern version of the work done a century or two ago. Contemporary craftspeople work for different reasons now than those of their ancestors, but the common thread linking past and present is quality, material, and skill.

120407 038Houses, barns and outbuildings from the 19th century are quickly deteriorating across the American landscape, but a movement is helping preserve the details of farm architecture, which has been coined “farmitecture.”

CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 4 BLUE GRASS COUNTRY: 

History  Religion   Landscapes

                                                           ************************************

ART:

*Many young people in the Blue Grass states have entered the world of photography in order to maintain ties with their backgrounds, and fight against stereotypical representations of the region and the very real problems they face.  Poverty, poor health, addiction, and unemployment are real issues, but that is not only what they are about. Others embrace terms like redneck and hillbilly and celebrate the lawlessness of an Appalachian past that includes moon-shining and deadly family feuds.   They struggle to maintain a connection to home, the mountains, and deep family bonds and traditions, and art provides an outlet.

                           Barnwell+006+final  anish  aunt-arie-being-interviewed_custom-e465214b1ab8ceda350b3f4d1cb8cb59723e3b83-s800-c85  wp14bd9d82_05_06

*However, most of the art that you will find in the Blue Grass region will be art of these movements:

Arts & Crafts Movement:

Art that represents different aspects of the folk-life of the region: quilting, carving and toy making, basketry, spinning and weaving, natural dyeing for weaving and basketry purposes, blacksmithing, pottery, and material cultural arts.

    images     download     download (1)     craft-center     7c0c3c47b5279fbc7776cd12a5b1319e--auction

Decorative Arts:

A little less ‘rugged’ than Art & Crafts items and dealing more with wood, glass and metals.

       m-7047.jpg   m-4751   m-4741.jpg   download (2)   appalachian3   8967134420a7626ef6e0809e0d51c328

Folk Art:

Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture.  Generally the objects have practical utility of some kind, rather than being exclusively decorative.

         P7040038   pig-bowl-appalachian-folk-art-carving_1_35d4a85b7b8a99946afbf1d54a12023a   download (3)   f3ba75ab19b2ca63da41eb558bb9ead0   slotin_folk_art_memory_jugs   

*The predominant themes in art of the Blue Grass Region are:  Music; Simple life; Natural Surroundings, and Whiskey.

FOR MORE DETAIL AND INFO ON ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY:  HERE

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 ARCHITECTURE:

*First came Caves, then Rock ledge overhangs, and eventually Primitive Cabins.  The first  mountain people of the Appalachians lived in rustic, handmade Cabins.  Many people now living in the Appalachian Mountains are descendants of Scot-Irish who immigrated ea1d8f8c55a1a727a05be59c39ab93b9--old-cabins-tiny-cabinsto America in the 1700’s. The Scot-Irish carved out download (4)small farms and homesteads in the remote hollows and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. For the most part, they were and still are small farmers, loggers, or coal miners. And yes, some were and are moonshiners.  The style of cabin that they introduced has remained.

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*Early 1800’s: Greek Revival becomes the new national style. It’s found on public buildings, churches, schools, and government buildings. Defining characteristics include a symmetrical shape, columns, a porch entry, a window in the pediment, and plain or highly decorated cornices and friezes. Chimneys were placed as far back as possible to make the home look more like a Greek temple.

*The Gothic Revival style arrived in the 1830’s, and religious buildings becameb844c2639559e970212f82ece254e275.jpg prime Christ_Church_Cathedral,_Nashville_(South_face)_1.JPGexamples, showing ecclesiastical architecture reaching to the heavens.  The most  obvious feature of the Gothic Revival style is the pointed arch.  Its used on windows, doors, and decorative elements like porches, dormers, or roof gables. Other characteristics include pitched roofs and front facing gables with delicate wooden trim. It was an exuberant, romantic design that promoted country living and connecting to the land through landscaping and horticulture.

architecture-Italianate-Clover-Lawn-Teemu08-WC-crop-5ae74f723418c6003794d00e.jpg*By the 1840’s, The Italianate emerged as it related well to the rural and agricultural lifestyle of the wealthy in the Blue Grass states.  Identifying features include: 2 or 3 stories; low-pitched roof; widely overhanging eaves; large, decorative brackets under an ornamental cornice; tall, narrow windows, commonly arched or curved; an occasional square cupola or tower; elaborate wrap-around porch  with decorative Italianate double columns.

*In the 1950’s, many local residents began to benefit from the increased business activity979c8c83810b7d05e847b866cbb7207e.jpg in the mountains. They responded by building modern Ranch Style homes. The ranch-style house is recognized by its long, close-to-the-ground profile, and wide open layout. The house style fused modernist ideas and styles from the American West.  It has wide open spaces to create a very informal and casual living style. Some of them had colonial styled ornamentation.  One advantage of these landscaping-ideas-for-brick-ranch-style-homes.jpglong narrow ranch homes was that they fit sloped properties quite well.  This style continues to be one of the most popular nationwide.

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY: HERE

 

 

REGION 5: ART & ARCHITECTURE (The Breadbasket) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE BREADBASKET

REGION 5: THE BREADBASKET

Oklahoma * Missouri * Nebraska * Kansas * Iowa

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Known as the “Breadbasket of America,” the Midwest region of the nation has many characteristics.  Most parts of the Midwest have a rural feel, where agriculture is a major part of the area’s identity.  From their roots in Native AmericaNative-Americans-Hunting-Bison to the modern culture, Mid westerners certainly make an impact by doing. Nearly every part of society owes much to this region. Presidents and scientists, inventors and musicians alike come from this region.

And the Breadbasket states of the Midwest have left an indelible mark on art and architecture in America as well.  Thriving programs in major universities and art schools have given rise to varied communities of talented ceramicists, jewelers, fiber artists, painters and downloadarchitects, all offering distinctive works of art and design.

CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 5 THE BREADBASKET: 

History  Religion   Landscapes

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ART:

*American Scene Painting is an umbrella term for American Regionalism and Social Realism (or Urban Realism).

                            23644552125_e04e3ca322_b    lenin-village    download    s-hart-benton-cut-the-line

*Much of American Scene Painting conveys a sense of patriotism and romance in scenes of everyday American life.

112ecbcec08982f2275decc70e5c4623*American Regionalism is an American realist art movement that included paintings, murals, lithographs, and illustrations detailing realistic scenes of rural and small-town America.

*American Regionalism arose in the 1930s as a response toh5_66.126 the Great Depression, and ended in the 1940’s near the end of World War II.  It reached its height of popularity from 1930 to 1935, as it was welcomed for its comforting scenes of the American heartland during the Great Depression. Despite some significant stylistic differences between popular artists, Regionalism was a fairly conservative and traditional style that appealed to the average American, while strictly opposing the perceived domination of French art.

*Before World War II, the idea of Modernism was not clearly defined in American art. There was also a struggle to define this uniquely American type of art. download (1)

*On the path to determining what American art would be, some American artists rejected the modern trends emanating from the Armory Show and European influences. By rejecting European abstract styles, American artists chose to adopt a new style which portrayed American urban and rural scenes.

*Artists documented and depicted American cities, small towns, and rural landscapes. Many did so as a way to return to a simpler time, and others sought to make political statements and provided their art for revolutionary and radical causes.

                                           the_birthplace_of_herbert_hoover_crop            benton-murals-indiana-university-03-720x752

shahn-resettlement*Social Realism followed Regionalism in popularity as it strived to bring attention to the social and political conditions of the working class, and criticized of the power structures behind these conditions.  At the time, the United States was still a heavily agricultural nation, with a much smaller portion of its population living in industrial cities.

*American Regionalism is best known through its 3 favorite artists: Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry. All three studied art in Paris, but devoted their lives to creating a truly American form of art. They believed that the solution to urban problems in American life was for the United States to return to its rural, agricultural roots.

*Regionalism has had a strong and lasting influence on popular culture, particularly in America. It has given America some of its most iconic pieces of art and illustration that symbolize the country.

FOR MORE DETAIL AND INFO ON ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY:  HERE

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 ARCHITECTURE:

*Craftsman style homes rely on a traditional design. Known for their ‘cottage-like’ feel, craftsman-exterior.jpgthese homes are usually multi-level with attics. This style is popular in older neighborhoods in Midwestern states and the design is considered to be domestic, originating in the 19th century. Low pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, and hand-crafted stone or woodwork are all features of this style.

*The Midwest is a region rooted in agriculture, so it’s no wonder that a popular home Old Farmhouse with Wrap Around Porch Fresh Abandoned Farm House Such character That wrap aroundstyle is the Farmhouse.  These houses are usually multilevel with large family rooms and large, often wrap-around porches. They tend to be open and roomy, which was good for airing out and cooling a home in the days before A.C. If you’ve ever visit one of these homesteads, you’d fall in love with their old-fashioned charm!

*The Arts & Crafts movement inspired American architects to rediscover the value in 9XVQpvhsDrZcrwRhE7z3Wd1Dhand crafting buildings and their contents using natural materials, creating a more holistic life style for their occupants.

craftsman-curb-appeal-harmony-design-northwest_9347 (1)*The Bungalow is a descendant of the American Arts & Crafts movement, with a style that is in keeping with Arts & Crafts.  It is simply smaller.

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*Prairie Style buildings appear to grow out of the ground, with a low pitched, overhanging hipped or gable roof, windows set in groups, and an entrance that is typically secluded.

*Modernism in architecture is defined as a design with an emphasis on form rather than ornament. Structure and materials rather than artistic constructions, and the rational and efficient use of space.  It reconstructs the way humans lived in and used the natural environment, whether buildings or landscapes.image_147sffb5uj43axev5.jpg

The Breadbasket States of the Midwest are the birthplace of American Modernism, and offers a rich history of architectural styles.  In many of these styles the pioneering spirit lives on and continues to create harmony with natural surroundings, natural materials, structure and creativity.

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY: HERE

 

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REGION 6: ART & ARCHITECTURE (The Great Lakes) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE GREAT LAKES

REGION 6: THE GREAT LAKES

Michigan * Indiana * Wisconsin * Minnesota * Illinois

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The Great Lakes region is a bi-national American-Canadian region. The region centers on the Great Lakes and forms a distinctive historical, economic, and cultural identity.  The Great Lakes Commission, authorized by the region’s American states along with the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, comprise a bi-national authority with specified powers to protect and preserve the water and environmental resources of the Great Lakes and surrounding waterways and aquifers.

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The dominant style of art in the Great Lakes region emphasizes the cultural & tribal history of the area with a focus on the art of the region’s indigenous tribes.

The architectural advances from the Great Lakes region has left us with beautiful remnants of the Beaux-Arts style from France and some of the most impressive skylines.chicago-1804479_960_720-900x505 

 


CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 6 THE GREAT LAKES: 

History    Religion   Landscapes

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ART:

*The ‘Woodlands style‘ of art is a genre of painting among First Nations and Native American artists from the Great Lakes area.  The majority of the Woodland artists belong to the Anishinaabeg (a culturally related group of indigenous peoples). This style is also known as ‘Legend Painting’or ‘Medicine Painting’.  

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*The Woodlands art style was founded by Norval Morrisseau, a First Nations Ojibwe artist. He learned Ojibwe history and culture mostly from his grandfather, Moses “Potan” Nanakonagos, and in the 1950’s collected traditional stories and tales from his tribe. This oral history has provided inspiration and subject matter for his colorful and symbolic paintings.

       *Pictographs, petrographs, rock art and birch bark scrolls, are all stylistic precursors of8380b068f1a328a7e755ed99d2899161 the Woodland style.winter-count

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*In the Great Lakes Region, you will also find a growing concern among artists to bring  the region’s ecological and environmental issues to light.images

 

 

 

You will also see great artistic attention given to the area’s maritime history,JimGriffiths_DangerousWaters achievements, advances and contributions to the states of the Great Lakes region.

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The natural beauty and sportsman’s love of this region also has representation in the art of the Great Lakes region.

 

FOR MORE DETAIL AND INFO ON ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY:  HERE

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 ARCHITECTURE:

*Chicago and Detroit carry important roles in the field of architecture. Chicagoskyscraper_f.jpg pioneered the world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building.

*Engineering innovation established Chicago from that time on to become one of the world’s most influential centers of contemporary urban and commercial architecture.

balloon-frame-frame-balloon-frame-house-chicago-balloon-frame-house-insulation*Equally influential was the 1832 invention of ‘balloon-framing’ in Chicago. It is a style of wood-house building that uses long, vertical 2″ x 4″s for the exterior walls. These long “studs” extend uninterrupted, from the sill on top of the foundation, all the way up to the roof.

*Balloon-framing replaced heavy timber construction requiring massive beams and great woodworking skill with pre-cut timber. This new lumber could be nailed together by farmers and settlers who used it to build homes and barns throughout the western prairies and plains.yurt-platforms-img-joists

*Platform framing superseded balloon framing and is the standard wooden framing method today. The name comes from each floor level being framed as a separate unit or platform.

*By the time of the triumphal Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, visited by 27.5 million people from around the world, architects as well as public were brought  into the debate of how the new century should look. The city plan for Chicago emerged with the  Beaux-Arts style that was classical and heavily influenced by the latest thinking from Paris.

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*As they struggled to address the aesthetics of skyscrapers, the architects of the World’s chicago-1804479_960_720-900x505Fair projects, developed designs for skyscrapersprctwr_extr_08_10 emphasizing the practicality of building upwards. Architects and designers gathered around him preached his gospel: “form forever follows function.” This would be the creed of the Modern Movement.

*From 1870 to 1910 the prosperity of the copper and iron mining, lumbering, and shipping industries of the Great Lakes region created a demand for more substantial buildings. In satisfying this demand, architects, builders, and clients preferred local red sandstone. They found this stone beautiful, colorful, easy to carve, durable, and fireproof.  This gave the region a distinct identity.  memb_38_cross_country_sports_1505937338

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*Frank Lloyd Wright, was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century, His childhood in the Great Lakes region ingrained within him a deep and mystical love of img_5909nature. His designs reflect the beauty of natural things. Wright’s lasting legacy is a creative architectural style that moves away from European influences to create a purely American style, one that actively promotes the idea that practical buildings can exist in harmony with the natural beauty of the environment.

*Craftsman style homes rely on a traditional design. Known for their ‘cottage-like’ feel, craftsman-exterior.jpgthese homes are usually multi-level with attics. This style is popular in older neighborhoods in Midwestern states and the design is considered to be domestic, originating in the 19th century. Low pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, and hand-crafted stone or woodwork are all features of this style.

*The Midwest is a region rooted in agriculture, so it’s no wonder that a popular home Old Farmhouse with Wrap Around Porch Fresh Abandoned Farm House Such character That wrap aroundstyle is the Farmhouse.  These houses are usually multilevel with large family rooms and large, often wrap-around porches. They tend to be open and roomy, which was good for airing out and cooling a home in the days before A.C. If you’ve ever visit one of these homesteads, you’d fall in love with their old-fashioned charm!

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY: HERE

 

REGION 7: ART & ARCHITECTURE (The Old West) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE OLD WEST

REGION 7: THE OLD WEST

North Dakota * South Dakota * Wyoming * Montana * Colorado * Nevada

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The art of this region begins with the first inhabitants of North America who most likely migrated from Asia across the Bering Strait (See First Folks for more information). They developed many distinct dialects and cultural traditions, out of which grew a wealth of artistic styles. Much of this artistic heritage was ignored or lost as the presence of European colonialists increased. As time passed, exploration, settlement and migration by people from Spain, Great Britain, France, and around the world created the artistic culture on which American art flourishes.

Western art was inspired by the land and the people of the American West, particularly in the period during and shortly after white settlement of the area. It was practiced first by explorer-artists and later by permanent settlers. While strongly influenced by European traditions from Colonial times, they fused the painting, drawing and sculpturedownload (1) that often depicted the violent events that helped to shape the settlement of the Old West, as well as the everyday struggles and joys of life in the new frontier. The artistic achievements of this area, from Native North American art to contemporary forms of expression, is rich and diverse.  These include movements such as Wild West and Frontier art and the Hudson River School.  Despite expansive growth and increased prosperity in 19th century, however, in the early 20th century, the region was still considered artistically backwards with many American artists choosing to study abroad. This changed dramatically with the exile to the United States of many European intellectuals and artists during World War II.

The time period most famous in the new American frontier that we call the Wild Wild West, is the post-civil war era, 1865-1895.  This age of gunslingers, outlaws, cowboys, Indians, saloons, gold and trains is more romanticized than factual, but we still keep that fascination alive thanks to the movie-makers, authors and the artists of that time period.  Let’s explore a little more about the art of the Old West.

CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 8 THE NORTHWEST: 
History    Religion   Landscapes

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ART:

*Art of the American West consists of historic and contemporary works of art which focus on varying expressions of individuals, landscapes, ideals, and myths of the American West. It includes a wide variety of artistic traditions from Euro-American and Native American peoples, spanning across the Southwest, Plains, and Rocky Mountain regions.

*Art in the West has been around since the mid 1800’s, and includes oil paintings as well as bronze sculptures.1961-2_v1_s_0

*Western art did not gain popularity and become recognized as a legitimate genre until after WW11.

*Many artist/explorers went with expeditions to chart and record the new unexplored western terrains and peoples.

*Traveling minstrel shows in the 1840’s, paintings exhibited back east to the curious public (showing the majestic landscapes, Indians, the Cavalry and cowboys), and P. T. Barnum’s carnival circus that introduced Indian chiefs, dances, and other Wild West exhibits in his exhibition halls are what brought the American West and it’s art into view.  These things also helped further the folklore and romance of the West.

$_3*Large scale awareness took off when the dime novels appeared in 1859. By simplifying reality, and exaggerating and ‘recreating’ reality, the novels caught the population’s attention with fabricated stories of savagery and bravery, and created in the public’s mind stereotypical images of heroes in white and villains in black, courageous ranchers and savage Indians, temperate lawmen and merciless outlaws, brave pioneers and ruthless cattlemen and railroad men.

*When viewing ‘Western Art’ look for:

 -Pride in the American pioneer spirit.

               – A deep respect for the wildlife of the region.

                -A confident opinion that there is no beauty on Earth that surpasses that of The West.Thomas-Moran-The-Teton-Range

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             -A ‘comic book’ action style depicting fights, hooves kicking up dust, lf.jpewild animals butting, gouging, biting and killing, train robberies and P976_3rushing for gold.

*One of the greatest characteristics of ‘Western Art’ is that it makes Russell_Loops_and_Swift_Horses_are_Surer_than_Lead_1916its own artists accountable. It has managed to create and maintain the highest, most exacting standards, equal to any found anywhere or at any time in history.

*It is a wonderful and truly American phenomenon.Frederic-Remington-Turn-Him-Loose-Bill

*A few of the most popular Western artists include:  Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926); Thomas Moran (1837-1926); and Frederick Remington (1861-1909)

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY HERE
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ARCHITECTURE:

*The Iconic Western ‘FALSE FRONT architecture is a type of commercial architecture used in the Old West of the United States. Usually used on two-story buildings, this style features a vertical facade with a squared-off  top, often hiding a gable roof.ohio1

*The goal for the architecture is to project an image of stability and success, while in fact a business owner may not have invested much in a building that might be temporary.

false_front*The False Front was often added to temporary structures such as large tents for stability. Tent colonies were commonplace in the early years of westward expansion and the gold rush era.  The False Front continued even after buildings and towns became permanent, as every merchant wanted to create an immediate and memorable street presence, but needed to build it fast and cheap.

*The buildings of most initial towns of the Old West were nothing more than simple 50bc8c28171b6d005d0aa113e792b158wood framing, clapboard siding and bold signage to announce the business. The street façade often would extend half a story or more above the roof behind it. The primary goal was to create the illusion of prosperity with a quick first impression.

*The towns of the Old West were in their heyday during the Victorian Era.

*The most common Victorian styles used in the Old West were:

813unionjc.jpgStick Style: Having its gable end nicely delineated by pronounced stickwork. The grid of vertical and horizontal boards seems to support the windows and wall, while diagonal boards in the eaves “brace” the roof.

           –Queen Anne: Characterized by sculptural shapes,shingle-patterns-hale-house.jpg bright colors and elaborate                          ornamentation.  Used toward the end of the era by the wealthy.

*Most Victorian homes were of single wall construction (where one board serves as both the exterior and the interior wall)

*The Old West Era was a relatively short one. Many scholars believe that the winter of 1886-1887 when thousands of cattle died and temperatures reached well below freezing in most parts of the West marked the end of the Cowboy era. By 1895, booming gold towns, railroad towns and prairie homestead towns were ghost towns.

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY HERE

 

PLANNING & ITINERARIES: 20 Questions Before You Plan

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If we had started out by answering these ’20 Questions Before You Plan’, it sure would have been helpful!

When Eddie and I first started traveling together, I definitely took on the role of PP (Primary Planner).  I had created more itineraries, planned and executed more vacations and organized more trips than he had, so the job naturally fell to me and initially I was up for it!

Generally in any group (usually a group of 2 in a tiny trailer…) there is a PP.  If you and your travel partner plan everything together…well…more power to you! Personally, I’m not sure that it would be in the best interest of my marriage to plan everything together, but you need to do what works for you!

Working on our first trip (a trip into the Washington State Rainforest) was a labor of love as I planned, researched, emailed, ordered Visitor’s Guides  I also questioned Eddie about his interests -a lot.  (See more about WA HERE)

I was truly a woman with a mission.

It did eventually became frustrating to me that Eddie kept answering my questions with, “I don’t really know”, but I also understood that he hadn’t traveled much and therefore there was going to be a bit of a learning curve for Eddie.  After all, he was still discovering his interests and his ‘travel style’. What I wasn’t prepared for was finding out how different his interests, needs and preferences were from mine, and as a result, how dismayed I felt at realizing that I didn’t know him any better than that!  What I also wasn’t prepared for was feeling so responsible for his enjoyment of a trip.

Now, after some years of traveling together, we have learned more about each other as well as ourselves than we would have initially anticipated.

We have learned (and are continuing to learn) each other’s ‘travel styles’ and needs so that we can both maximize our experiences, and now I can relax and not feel so much pressure to be the ‘tour guide’. We have also managed to put together the list of ‘questions and things to ponder’ that we wished we’d have had to start with.

Now we want to share that list with you and recommend that you read it together, discuss and take notes.

At the bottom of this page you’ll find a PDF button to download and print a copy of this list.

If you’ve known each other for any length of time you’ll probably be able to answer these questions for each other, but you also might be surprised at what you could learn!

The information that you gather will help the PP make choices about itineraries, sites, meals and schedules as plans for future trips unfold.  It can also help you to be aware of and sensitive to your partner’s needs, interests and challenges.

Print out the following list to fill out and take notes. Make it a relaxed time over dinner and drinks, enjoying a cozy evening in front of the fire or whatever makes conversation fun for you. However you choose, look over these 20 questions before you plan your next trip! Here goes:

 1). On a scale of 1-5, rate the following areas of interest and make notes of specifics:

  1. Nature, Landscapes & Wildlife
  2. History
  3. Religion
  4. Art
  5. Architecture
  6. Planes, Trains & Automobiles
  7. Hiking
  8. Outdoor sports
  9. Restaurants
  10. Photography
  11. Relaxing time at Camp
  12. Sci-Fi and Science
  13. Cemeteries
  14. Military sites
  15. Local events (parades, festivals etc..)
  16. Theater, Concerts and Performances
  17. Shopping & Antiques

2). Are you an early bird or a night owl?

3). How long do you enjoy riding in the car at a time, and what kinds of things can we do in the car?

4). Do you enjoy using mass transit in unfamiliar places?

5). Do you need/like to eat as soon as you get up or would you rather wait?

6). Do you enjoy setting up and tearing down camp?

7). Do you enjoy outdoor cooking or would you rather eat out?

8). How comfortable are you to be away from a restroom and for how long?

9). Are you and Introvert, Extrovert or an Ambivert (one that’s in-between)?

10). What types of electronics do you need on vacation and which ones can we really do without?

11). Do you like an organized daily schedule or do you just like to ‘wing it’?

12). Do you need ‘alone time’?

13). What do we need to do to accommodate our pets?

14). What 2 things can really ruin a trip for you, and how might we avoid/overcome these things?

15). What do you need most in the trailer to get a good night’s sleep?

16). What 2 things make you the crankiest on a trip, and is there a way we can work to overcome these things?

17). How much do you enjoy heights and under what circumstances?

18). In what area of a campground would you most enjoy being in, such as  Secluded or busy?

19). What are your 2 biggest obstacles to enjoying a vacation?

20). On a scale of 1-5, how much input do you want on planning the itinerary, and it what areas does it matter the most?

There you have our first 20 questions to use before you plan.  I’m sure you’ll come up with some yourself and I’d love to hear what they are.  Have Fun!!!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THIS WORKSHEET: 20 QUESTIONS

HOW TO NAVIGATE THIS WEBSITE CLICK HERE

REGION 8: ART & ARCHITECTURE (The Pacific Northwest) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

REGION 8: THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST:

Washington * Oregon * Idaho * Northern California * Alaska

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Prior to contact with Europeans, Native American tribes on the Northwest coast evolved complex social and ceremonial groups, as well as permanent settlements.  These groups hold various tangible and intangible rights and properties. Among them are the stories passed down from ancestors.  Many of the Northwest coastal arts are visual expressions of these stories.  After European contact, in the late 18th century, the people groups that produced Northwest Coast art suffered huge population losses due to diseases cultural losses due to the assimilation into European-North American culture. The production of their art dropped drastically as well.

Toward the end of the 19th century, northwest coastal artists began producing work for commercial sale. By the end of the 19th century, there was large-scale export of totem totem-indio-norteamericano-600x483poles, masks and other traditional art objects from the region to museums and private collectors around the world.   By the early 20th century, very few indigenous artists in the northwest coast region were producing art, although there were those who maintained a link to older traditions. The mid-20th century saw a revival of interest and production of northwest coast art, due to the influence of historians, artists and critics.  A revival of traditional ceremonial ways also drove the increased production of traditional arts. This time also saw an increasing demand for the return of art objects that were illegally or immorally taken from Native American communities. This demand continues to the present day. Today, there are numerous art schools teaching formal Northwest Coast art of various styles, and there is a growing market for new art in this style.  The revival of ceremonial life, has also driven production of traditional clothing, painting and carving for use in ceremonies.

Although no significant architectural structures from the era before European settlement survive as anything more than archaeological sites, architecture in the Pacific Northwest includes designs that have reflected and influenced numerous architectural styles over time, and are unique to the Northwest.

 CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 8 THE NORTHWEST: 
History    Religion   Landscapes

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ART:

Predominately, the Art that you will find in the Pacific Northwest is:  Tribal or Northwest Coast art; or art that features and spotlights the natural beauty of the area.

1).  Tribal or Northwest Coast art:

Picasso-Yeil-Xeenh-(Raven-S*Recognized by the use of formlines (U-formed, S-formed, and egg- shaped lines), and were initially designed by the Tlingit, Haida, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuuchahnulth and other indigenous tribes.

*Art was 2-Dimensional, and the dominate colors 1f6c97e9ded068dc651ec6b1e194923awere red, black and yellow.  The patterns depicted include natural forms such as bears, ravens, eagles, orcas, and humans; legendary creatures such as thunderbirds and sisiutls (a double-headed serpent with fish features). U990.14.174T

*Artifacts included totem poles,  “bent-corner” or “bentwood” boxes, masks, and canoes, blankets, weaving and ceremonial items.

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*Since European contact, the Northwest Coast art style has increasingly been used in gallery-oriented forms such as paintings, prints and sculptures, and you will find the work of many well-known artists available for purchase.

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Many of these artists belong to the First Nations Development Institute who mission statement is: “to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities.” With the support of individuals, foundations, corporate and tribal donors, First Nations Development Institute improves economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance & training, advocacy & policy, and direct financial grants.

2). Much of local current art in the Pacific Northwest focuses on and highlights the beauty of the region.  Check out some galleries and shows to see the latest work!

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ART IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY HERE

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ARCHITECTURE:

*The dwellings of the Northwest Coast Indians were rectangular structures built of timber or planks and were usually quite large.iroquois-long-house

*Members of a corporate “house” typically lived together in one building -often called a longhouse.

*Some were made from huge cedar posts with side beams and ridgepoles that tmp886301188293656576created a framework to which wall planks and roof planks could be attached. These could be taken down, loaded onto canoes, and transported from one site to another.

*The Pacific Northwest Indian peoples often organized themselves into corporate “houses” of a few dozen to 100 or more related people who held in common the rights to particular resources. Within a house group, each member had a social rank that was determined by their relation to a founding ancestor. These complicated societies also had three main divisions: elites, commoners, and slaves or war captives.

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*By 1935 the architectural style in the region took on a look called Northwest Regional style. It was a regional variation of the International style . It is defined by the long rectangular shape, taking inspiration from the Native American longhouse. There is usually an extensive use of unpainted wood both inside and out, and long windows. Other features of the style include a low-pitched or flat roof with overhanging eaves, and a minimum of decoration.  This style is sometimes referred to as Northwest Modern.

*Although you can find many styles in any given location, the Northwest Regional (and variations on the theme) is still common.

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY HERE

 

 

REGION 9: ART & ARCHITECTURE (The Southwest) Fun Facts

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE SOUTHWEST

REGION 9: THE SOUTHWEST

Central & Southern California * Texas * Arizona * Utah * New Mexico

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Human history in the Southwest begins with the arrival of the ancient Clovis people, a Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer culture.   This culture remained in the area for several thousand years. At some point they were replaced by three great Pre-Colombian Indian cultures: the Ancestral Pueblo people, the Hohokam, and the Mogollon.

By the end of the 15th century, all three cultures had disappeared, and the Anasazi had settled in.  By the arrival of the Europeans in 1539, the American Southwest was inhabited by a very large population of American Indian tribes and Pueblo-an people groups.

The 1500’s brought Spanish conquistadors into the area, and the influence of each of these groups impacted all areas of cultural life, including art and architecture.

 CHECK OUT THE OTHER LINKS FOR MORE ON REGION 9 THE SOUTHWEST: 
History    Religion   Landscapes

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ART:

*A large part of what many have come to believe represents the art of the American Southwest is a result of the American Indian tribes native to the area.

*Their designs were inspired by nature and faith, so they depict the desert landscape, local plants and animals, and symbolic patterns and images.

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*Materials like clay, turquoise, and silver were frequently used for pottery and jewelry.

 

 

images-5-2.jpe*Weaving also played a large role. Baskets, blankets, and beading were important elements of spiritual life.

 

*Some tribal symbols have become well-known. The Hopi created kachina dolls, whichimages (4) were figures used in worship for life-sustaining needs such as more rain and successful hunting. Another frequent sight throughout the Southwest is the Kokopelli, a flute-playing fertility god.

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*The Kivas located in the adobe dwellings were decorated with dry fresco wall paintings.  They were dimensionally flat, and were of deities and religious symbols.

 

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ART IN THE U.S.,CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY HERE

 

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ARCHITECTURE:

*Pueblo Indians were prolific desert culture artists and architects.

*The Pueblo are known for their multi-storied dwellings.images

*Pueblo-ans lived in adobe dwellings in agricultural communities.

*American Southwest dwellings were constructed using adobe brick, a sun-baked block of earth, clay, and straw.

*The Pueblo people relied on adobe for practical and social reasons. Everything they needed to make the bricks was plentiful and available, and they were fairly simple to make. The finished bricks were also crucial in regulating the interior temperature of the buildings, maintaining a moderate temperature regardless of the extreme weather. They also blocked much of the sunlight.

*To create these structures, indigenous builders formed hand-shaped adobe bricks and laid them horizontally to build walls, which were finished with a coating of plaster. They placed vigas, or beams, across the walls to form the framework for flat roofs. On top of the beams, builders layered branches, grasses, and mud to form the roof.

Navajo_Hogan,_Monument_Valley.jpg*Using these techniques Pueblo builders erected one- to four-story apartment-like structures. Usually the dwellings had no doors and few windows, and entrance was gained by an opening in the roof and reached by a ladder.

*Re-plastering was necessary maintenance done by Pueblo women, a custom that Spanish women would continue in colonial New Mexico.

*Pueblo towns built of adobe took on a similar appearance and furthered communal relationships. Mixing, forming, and constructing with the bricks were involved processes that brought many individuals together and created tight-knit communities.7212fa1bcc7ac4cfa37cb72135bcfdd9

*Pueblo multi-storied housing blocks were typically arranged around a main plaza, which included a KIVA, or round semi-subterranean ceremonial room. The kiva was the download (1).jpeheart of the community and served both sacred and social functions.

*The beams that projected on the exterior beyond the walls, became a distinctive trademark of Pueblo architecture which Spanish colonial builders would use, and which can still be seen today in many contemporary New Mexican buildings.TraditionalPuebloHouse

FOR MORE DETAIL ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE U.S., CHECK OUT THE SUMMARY HERE

 

HITTIN’ THE ROAD

Open Road in the desert with caption 'Hit the Road'

Yep. Mark said it best.

It is my personal belief that the world could a better place if we all took time to travel.  To understand other cultures and people (especially the ones right in our own country!) can help us be less judgmental, more sympathetic and make our own lives a little ‘bigger’.  We can get new perspectives on history and gain more tolerance for having our opinions challenged and honed.  We can be ‘forever students’ of life. Learning as we go more and more about ourselves, each other and our Creator.

It is my desire to create – with this blog – a place where we can share stories, hints, hacks, advice and experiences as we travel this Big, Beautiful and Diverse country!  It is also my plan to provide an ‘online planner’ where getting help to plan a road trip can be easy and fun.

I also want to say a big, “Thank You” to all of you who have commented, clicked and followed this blog.  We’re off to a great start! I am also LOVING all the suggestions for topics that you are interested in getting some information about.  Please keep the comments, advice and ideas coming! I’d also love to hear more of your stories.

Let’s Travel Together!

For the Homepage of this Website, Click HERE, & remember to subscribe and leave a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

HOW TO NAVIGATE THIS WEBSITE CLICK HERE

 

LANDSCAPES: HOW TO USE THIS CATEGORY (Fun Facts)

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It’s so true.  It’s also true that those who know at least a few tidbits of  information about the Landscapes and Natural Wonders of America, find that their vacation is more meaningful than it might have been otherwise.  Knowing a little about the ‘how, when & whys’ of the Landscapes that you are seeing can help bring that forest, desert, wetland, etc… to life.

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ffl6Here in this ‘Fun Facts’ Category you will find information about  9 of the various Landscapes found in the U.S.

Unlike the other 3 ‘Fun Facts’ categories, here you will find specific Landscape Blogs rather than Region blogs.  This is because there are multiple Landscapes in each region, and many of the same Landscapes throughout the U.S.ffl2

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These blogs are each presented in a ‘bullet point’ style that is designed to give you just a few pieces of information about things that you will potentially see and do on a road trip in America.

Either these tidbits will:

help you get the most of your visits, (if you don’t need too much to be satisfied)

or

whet your appetite for more information (about the things that you find really interesting and want to know more about).

ffl5Either way, you’ll discover more about yourself and where your interests lie.

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To help you easily find information for the Landscape you are currently interested in, I have divided the options into 9 Blogs.

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Here are the 9 Landscape Blogs to choose from (APPEARING  ALPHABETICALLY):

  *Canyons  *Coastlines 

*Deserts *Forests 

*Great Lakes *Mountains

*Plains *River Basins

*Wetlands 

        

After you have identified the Landscape that you are visiting, scroll down until you find the blog for that option. 

ffl1Click on the Blog, and enjoy the information found there. Remember that this is in no way an exhaustive compilation downloadof facts or a complete picture of this particular Landscape.  There’s just a few interesting things here that are designed to help the places that you are seeing to come alive a bit and get you started.  The rest is up to you!

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RELIGION: HOW TO USE THIS CATEGORY (Fun Facts)

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It’s so true.  It’s also true that those who know at least a few tidbits of  information about the History of Religion in America, find that their vacation is more meaningful than it might have been otherwise.  The faith of a region, after all,  helps shape it’s personality, traditions, opinions, viewpoints, and politics.

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Here in the ‘Fun Facts’ Category you will find information about Religion in the U.S.  The religious influences presented here are the ones that were most prevalent during the period that a given Region was most known for.

FFR9

These blogs are each presented in a ‘bullet point’ style that is designed to give you just a few pieces of information about things that you will potentially see and do on a road trip in America.

 

Either these tidbits will:

help you get the most of your visits, (if you don’t need too much to be satisfied)

or

whet your appetite for more information (about the things that you find really interesting and want to know more about).

Either way, you’ll discover more about yourself and where your interests lie.

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FFR11To help you easily find information for the area you are currently interested in, I have divided the country into 9 Regions.  (You may read more about each region in the intro to the category on this site called The U.S. in 9 Regions).

After you have identified the Region that you are visiting, scroll down until you find the blog for that Region. ffr1                                                                                                                                                                              

Here are the states (and other areas) in each Region:

REGION 1: NEW EUROPE:

Maine * New Brunswick * Nova Scotia * Province of Québec

REGION 2: NEW ENGLAND AND THE ORIGINAL COLONIES:

Virginia * New York * Massachusetts * Maryland / Washington D.C. * Rhode Island * Connecticut * New Hampshire * Delaware * North Carolina * South Carolina * New Jersey * Pennsylvania * Georgia * Vermont

REGION 3: THE DEEP SOUTH:

Florida * Alabama* Mississippi Louisiana * Arkansas

REGION 4: BLUE GRASS COUNTRY:

Kentucky * Tennessee * Ohio * West Virginia

REGION 5: THE BREADBASKET:

Oklahoma * Missouri * Nebraska * Kansas * Iowa

REGION 6: THE GREAT LAKES:

Michigan * Indiana * Wisconsin * Minnesota * Illinois

 REGION 7: THE OLD WEST:

North Dakota * South Dakota * Wyoming * Montana * Colorado * Nevada

REGION 8: THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST:

Washington * Oregon * Idaho * Northern California

REGION 9: THE SOUTHWEST:

Central & Southern California * Texas * Arizona * Utah * New Mexico

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FFR7

Click on the Blog, and enjoy the information found there. Remember that this is in no way an exhaustive compilation of facts or a complete picture of this Region’s Religious History.  There’s just a few interesting things here that are designed to help the places that you are seeing to come alive a bit and get you started.  The rest is up to you!

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god-guessers