We still have a very good house guest (John's brother David) through the week and then on Friday we're heading to San Diego for a few days to visit my parents and sister and let them actually see Jet again for the first time in a bit more than a year (at Jet's age that'll be a huge change for them). So I'm still going to be kind of out of it until probably the 18th, when Jet starts school.
Since amberley needed to get delivered to the hotel in Denver for World Con, we decided to make an expedition into the City for the day. We packed in a lot.
We drove in and went for dim sum at the Empress. Took a little longer than usual as they made stuff to order as it was a weekday, not a weekend and no carts. *sniff* But we had good Chinese broccoli, the steamed char shao bao, and I will always stop for those crisp, hot taro balls. *happy sigh*
From there we went into Denver and missed our turn so we hit the Denver Art Museum first. We have an annual membership, so it was easy to just go in and see what there was to see. Jet loves doing the backpacks there, but he was happy to just go with brother David after doing one on American South West saint dolls, even though the Death figure with its wheelbarrow creeped him out. Heck, it creeped me out, too.
So John and I got to wander about on our own. The modern art exhibit was changing out, and having a guy work in a room that was completely painted in red, ceilings (the ceiling angles in the DAM really do designate them as multiples throughout the new building), walls, and floor was pretty cool. I got a pic of that... hm... need to download it I guess. But we got to see the new display of prints and there were a few gems. One really made me want to do a raven in ink and got me to believe I might be able to in something like three strokes.
From there we went through to the North Building and up into the Asian art exhibit, which I love, and there were now poetry screens up in the Japanese area. 1600's and there was one where the guy wrote the equivalent of 'those who do not rake or plow in the fields are destined to cook food in cauldrons of oil'. I nearly died laughing... "want fries with that?" goes waaaay back. If I were more disciplined (i.e. if I'd actually unloaded my camera) I'd be able to tell you whom the poet was.
But there were some beautiful studies of the four seasons, and the DAM has a policy of allowing photography so long as it's not flash, so I got picture of placards and being able to use real art as references for my paintings should be fun.
There was a quote by Picasso on the "What Is Art?" display. A lot of the DAM is interactive, where people coming in to see can also do stuff, there are poetry walls, a studio for making and mailing post cards, and all kinds of things that are good for adults as well as children. But most of it is... as you'd expect, trash, still a few examples of the poetry is sometimes painted onto the walls by the museum and deservedly so.
I loved Picasso's quote, though: "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth."
That's succinct enough for me. Puts writing in perspective, as well, I think.
The Western Art collection is pretty magnificent as well. As John and I have observed in the past, we moved 1200 miles east in order to go Out West. Seattle and So. Cal are all Pacific Rim cities, not... Western cities in some sense. Denver is Out West, plains and prairies and the completely destroyed Native American populations are all out here. In Seattle, treaties are still observed in the fishing of salmon, in the way the Natives interact and still permeate the culture. Here, the Plains Indians are just gone wiped out but for a few nostalgic names of places. It's eerie going from where we were aware, all the time, to a place where there are only ghosts.
And some of those ghosts were on display. It was oddly haunting to go wandering through pictures of buffalo hunts the painter had never seen. A painting of a herd of buffalo disappearing off into the mists. Indian rituals of piercing chest and back muscles and suspending the young braves from the ceiling as a way to their becoming an adult, but used by the whites as propaganda on how barbaric they were. The stance of horses looking more like rabbits with both front legs kicked out and back legs kicked back because it was an accepted pose for horses even though it was anatomically impossible. (reminded me of some fanfic "accepted" physical impossibilities *laughs*)
But it was good to see it all, experience it all and have some odd measure of truth from it.
We all met up at the time we'd set, and everyone had things to talk about that they loved seeing and doing.
We headed to the Tattered Cover bookstore in a different part of Denver, and Jet found an origami book of modular structures. We'll be doing more of that in a bit, I bet.
From there we headed to the hotel and dropped amberley off and then found parking. We sat in the "lobby" which was just enormous, and waited for caelano and neko_san quite comfortably. Eventually, Jet and I did the escalators a few times, just 'cause they were so huge and fast and pretty, and it was cool to see the big bear leaning against the Denver Convention Center. amberley thought it must be the bear from The Devil's Tower that decided to come here and see. Hee.
When they came we all trooped over to Earl's on the 16th Street Walking Mall and had a really nice dinner together. I'll admit that I wasn't at my sharpest, since I'd been up until 3 am the night before getting the fics out, but it was really good to talk with them again, though I do regret not having enough brain to have remembered to bring fibery goodness to share with neko_san. It was really cool to talk with caelano about writery stuff he's doing now, though. It's fun to listen to what others are trying to do and why and where they've gotten with stuff.
Jet got his dinner fairly quickly, and then worked on putting crayon, colored diagonals on every single square on a piece of grid index card I had. It was pretty amazing what he managed to do.
From there we walked back to the hotel, said fond farewells to everyone and then the four of us, Jet, John, David, and I headed home.
I'm still a little sore from all the walking, but it was a really great day.