Marilyn Monroe in Chicago

Upon my return from China and South Korea I was surprised by the new addition to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.  Marilyn Monroe stands 26 feet above the crowd.  Every time I pass people are taking their picture iwth her.  On an architectural tour the docent said the statue was meant to start discussion–that it did.  “Travel website’s travel picks:  top ten places with bad public art,” Chicago is first on the list.


“Forever Marilyn” by Seward Johnson

People are engaging with art, it isn’t permanent, the piece was meant to start conversation and was successful.  I am a bit confused by Marilyn being in Chicago but I’m not bothered by it.

Paintings for Sale

I finally stretched some of my paintings from my residency in China.  Now I am in the process of posting them for sale on Etsy.  If your walls are hankering for some fruit this is perfect for you!  Click here to view my Etsy shop. Check back regularly as I post more paintings!

The two closest to the camera are on Etsy–Adrienne’s Mangostein and Green Apple, Purple Plate.  Enjoy looking!

Old Mission Wine Tour

The Saturday of our anniversary trip Chad and I went to Old Mission Peninsula to visit the wineries.    I’ll just do a quick rundown and share our favorites.

2 Lads Winery–This was my first time here and I had heard quite a bit about this winery.  The view was fantastic but it was packed and the tasting was very rushed.  None of the wine from our tasting knocked my socks off.

Bry Estate–We had a lovely tasting in the barrel room and enjoyed some of the wine but it was a bit out of our price range.

Peninsula Cellars–A long time love that we refer to as the School House winery.  We had nice tasting and purchased a Pinot Blanc and Old School Red.  Wonderful staples to help us remember one of our favorite places.

Finally, as we headed back up to Northport, we stopped at Left Foot Charlie.  Do not go anywhere with in a 100 mile radius of Traverse City, Michigan without visiting this tasting room.  We had their famous Murmur as one of our wedding wines and it was even better this year!  We tasted a few old favorites but we also got to taste a few new things.  First, they had a red  table wine (they previously only released white) which we bought for that evening.  It was medium bodied, spicy, peppery, perfect with our grilled steaks.  That wine was sold “growler style” so we can go back for more next time we’re up there.  Finally, we tasted their cider.  Now, I’m not a huge cider person–the Cinnamon Girl was fantastic!  Well priced, not too sweet, crispy, phenomenal.  If we hadn’t been tasting wine all day I would have sat back and had a glass then.

Sunday we did tasting on the Leelanau Peninsula–thats up next!

By the way, looks like I’m not the only person in love with Leelanau–ABC News “Sleeping Bear Dunes Voted ‘Most Beautiful Place in America.'”

Anniversary Trip & Eats

As many of you know, my wonderful husband and I celebrated one year of marriage last week.  We had an amazing weekend trip in Northern Michigan where we got married.  If you feel like a quick glance at our wedding day click here to view the amazing feature on the Wedding Creativo website.

Two of our main activities were eating and wine tasting.  We hit all of our favorite lunch and breakfast spots including Barb’s Bakery for cinnamon twists and coffee, Cherry Republic for free cherry samples, The Early Bird for the famous only to us Chadwhich,  Art’s Tavern for a breakfast suited only for people who plan to taste wine all day (or did the day before), Stone House Bakery for the best scones in the midwest, and the lovely Riverside Inn for a romantic dinner on the river at sunset.

We forgot our fancy camera and used Instagram on Chad’s iPhone to take all of our photos.  We had a blast with it.  I think Instagram is like the new polaroid–you click a photo and must stylize it by selecting a filter and then save it before you can take another photo.  It is much more spontaneous and raw than a normal iPhone photo–I highly recommend it.   If you would like to see all of our anniversary photos our user name is “Jewsroch.”  I just learned on The Haystack Needle that you can get prints of your Instagram photos on Printstagram.

Look forward to a review of our wine tour of Old Mission and Leelenau!

Self to Product

I’ve been following Hazel Dooney for a long time.  She recently stopped blogging regularly so now her website, email updates and Facebook are how I keep track of her work.  I received an update this morning and wanted to share a paragraph she wrote,

“I never expected to discover within myself an enthusiasm for portraiture. Over the past decade, I’ve been asked many times to undertake portrait commissions and I have always refused. Then, about a year or so ago, I recognised a compelling connection between a long-standing theme of my work – the way advertising and entertainment media influence our identity – and the traditional role of the ‘public’ portrait. I became intrigued by the notion that I could create a reductive but still identifiable ‘idealisation’ of a subject which, like fashion advertising or celebrity portrait photography, might transform their real-world ‘self’ into an emotive ‘product’. As large-scale, gleaming, sexy, and super-real as a good fashion or lifestyle advertisement should be, these portraits might also be unsettling and revelatory, even to their sitters.”

*The photo above is a screen shot I took from the artist’s website

I find the “self” to “product” aspect of her work and her statement very interesting.  Those ideas of course bring me straight to gender representation and roles.  What looks “male” or whats “looks” female?  Of course that question can be seen as purely an inquiry about the actual naked human form but the influence of cultural products, advertising, and so forth can have an even greater impact.

My Body Gallery

Zane Davis recently sent me an email with a link to  The website is a place to see images of “what real women look like.”  You can search by combinations of height, weight, clothing size, etc.  A user can also click on the body type.  I entered my body and there was no match–I am my own little snowflake.

Above is a screen shot of pear shaped women who share my height and weight (but not my clothing size).

This is what My Body Gallery says about itself, “In a world full of images of how we “should” look it can get difficult to tell how we DO look.  Our hope is to build a site where women can see what real women look like.  What we really look like.  Most women have spent so many years looking at themselves in mirrors that we can no longer see what’s really there.  The My Body Gallery project’s goal is to help women objectively see what we look like and come to some acceptance that we are all beautiful.”

Some of my “off the cuff” thoughts:

*Is this website empowering, objectifying, something else?  Both?

*I searched for my own body type.  Is that a “female” thing to do?  Would men use this site differently?

*Is there a similar site for men?

*I am very curious about the demographic of the participants.

Zane, thanks for sharing!   Bodies and how we approach them is so fascinating.


Toilet Tourism

I developed a funny habit this summer of taking picture of bathrooms.  I can’t help it, I find them amusing.  If you ask, my sister will tell you a story about visiting a gallery space in Richmond, VA.  I was on the look out for art and ended up convinced the bathroom was not actually a bathroom but an installation piece.  Enjoy–I did.

The sign above is outside of the restroom in the train station in Seoul. *Fun fact: in many restrooms in Korea each stall has an “etiquette bell” which is the sound of rushing water.

This lovely restroom was in a gallery/restaurant in Itaewon.

Below is from a lovely coffee shop in Mokpo!

Last but not least, the restroom at a gallery in Beijing.