Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li


We had a little time with Jet between the Hawaii trip and the end of the Christmas break, which was nice and we had one adventure during that time that was pretty amazing. I'd bought tickets in October for the Monet exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, titled The Truth of Nature. The full photo album can be found if you follow this link.

I've always loved Monet, but never really understood why he was an Impressionist when so much of what he painted is so easily recognized for what it is; but then I didn't understand why that title had been made in the first place. The exhibit features more of his paintings than have ever been gathered in one place and it was beautifully organized by all the places he loved. It also included an excellent explanation of Impressionism, what was, at that time, thought of as characterized by hasty, unfinished work that didn't have the level of detail or meticulous finish that "real" paintings had in that day. I was mildly astonished by that, but he painted the landscapes he saw as he felt about them, not exactly as they were in front of him.

Though he spent a tremendous effort capturing the light at a certain time in a certain place, and I was particularly impressed with his winter paintings. The myriad shades he used to represent ice, snow, and the pale winter sky were gorgeous, and so representative of what those landscape really feel like for me that I loved it.

Recently, I've been watching a YouTube artist who said that what he loved doing was painting pictures of places that meant something to people, that evoked a particular set of emotions from them, and that that was what really motivated him. He did rainy cityscapes because so many people related to them, especially in the midst of rush hour. And that reminded me of the Monet paintings of London in the smog and fog of the city of that day. It wasn't the pretty or the famous items of the city that Monet concentrated on, but the yellow fog of pollution that so characterized London!  I was astonished and so happy to see a successful artist who painted the places he loved repeatedly, capturing the character of the place rather than just the exact physical features.

He paid as much attention to the Smog of London as he did to the beaches of Normandy, the flowers of his own garden, and a single cabin out on the coast. I loved that he did multiple views of the cabin and his painting style changed and developed differently between each of them. Painting "the same thing" but doing it entirely differently because he'd become a different painter.

Gave me hope and amusement about how my paintings change so drastically with each iteration. How I would paint Longs Peak now, even from the same viewpoint in Golden Ponds as before, would become something very different.

I've been painting more, lately, too. Taking on a very restricted but interesting format and experimenting wildly. It's actually on Western-style cold pressed watercolor paper in a 3x11 inch format that's super unimposing and makes it so that I can't get all that much onto a single painting, but I surprise myself sometimes. I've been using a variety of palettes, too, one is just a four-color palette, another has eight, a third has ten, and then there's my Russian Palette with 48 colors that have a beautiful range of colors. I'm learning a lot about deepening shades and figuring out a lot of fun technical stuff before diving into bigger things. We'll see how it goes. 

The second part of our little adventure was going to Domo Restaurant in Denver, not far from the Art Museum, and getting to see Jet be very happy about country-style Japanese foods he never saw when he was over there, mostly 'cause he stuck to the cities.

He had an unagi ramen, which had a lovely, tender chunk of eel as the main protein on the bowl of ramen. The really fun stuff was all the side dishes. One was pickles, the middle one had a transparent noodle that was then seasoned with a well balance dressing, and the third was the lees from making soy milk that were mixed into a dressing that was put on cauliflower and broccoli. It was surprisingly tasty, and I realized that, perhaps, I could do the same with what's left when I make my weekly soy milk, sometime. The bean particles are thoroughly cooked through and entirely edible.

My ramen was a soy milk-based ramen, but it was surprisingly spicy on top of the creaminess of the broth. John had a sort of hot pot with all kinds of seafood and broth on top of his noodles. It was more a country style hot pot so the broth wasn't really ramen-like at all, but he really loved it as well.

The outside courtyard was covered in snow, so we ate inside and talked a little with Jet about the fact that we'd come here before in the summer, and had lunch out in the garden. He was pretty small then, and we'd had a season pass to the Denver Art Museum that year, so had come out here pretty frequently, but had only gone to Domo once amid all those adventures. Jet remembered the Art museum well, but didn't remember much about Domo.

He was glad we came back, though and we'll probably visit again when he's home for the summer. The lunches at Domo are really reasonable, and they have the same menu that they serve for dinner, just the prices are less and the portions are mildly smaller. We'd highly recommend going there if you're ever in Denver.
Tags: art, colorado, family, food

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