ArtSmart Roundtable: Three Art Photography Terms Explained

Snake River Grand Teton National Park - Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams, The Tetons - Snake River, 1941

In 2012, we're all photographers. With cameras hiding in all of our devices, we rarely leave the house without one. When we encounter photography in a museum, however, we often understand what we're seeing, visually, but the process behind the photograph remains a mystery. Have you ever glanced at the wall text of a photograph and wondered what all those words actually meant? With digital photography becoming the mode of choice, we are losing a latent understanding of the photographic medium. Even with some background in film photography, I find myself blissfully unaware of photographic mediums, techniques and terminology. No more! The next time I'm in a museum I'm going to be better prepared to understand what technique I am seeing. Keep reading to learn about a few terms that you're likely to encounter in a photography exhibit.

Travellious Reading Room: Hidden Gardens Of Paris

hidden gardens of paris

When you think of what makes Paris famous, you'll likely think of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, or the Champs-Élysées. If you're into gardens, you'll also likely think of the Luxembourg Gardens or the Tuileries Garden, some of the most well-known gardens in the city. However, you might not think of the countless other, lesser known gardens that are strewn throughout Paris. But, with Susan Cahill's new book, Hidden Gardens of Paris, you can delve into forty of these lesser known, but no less amazing, garden spaces. From L'École Normale Supérieure in the Latin Quarter, to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in northeastern Paris, you can find a quiet, beautiful spot to stop and relax in no matter what part of the city you are visiting. Keep reading to find out why it's worth your time to pour through this book before your next trip to the City of Light.

Artsmart Roundtable: Klimt Spotting in 2012

Gustav Klimt The Kiss

Gustav Klimt has quite the 150th birthday celebration going on this year. You've probably seen the Austrian-born artist before, in art history textbooks or in your favorite museum's gift shop where his work above, The Kiss, likes to cover tote bags and notecards. Klimt is best well known for his gold, geometric-laden portraits of the wives of Austrian bourgeoisie around the turn of the 20th century, as well as his, at the time, controversial eroticism of the female form. His works are gorgeous, sumptuous studies of womanhood, expressed through color and pattern or the simple curved line. If you haven't seen his work in person, there's no time like the present with two unique exhibitions going on across the globe.

Travellious Test Labs: Sony Reader WiFi

Sony Reader Wifi
the tiny, thin Sony Reader WiFi

E-readers are old news, I know. Until now, I had managed to avoid the phenomenon entirely, as the thought of having one more device scared me away from even considering one. Sadly, I also haven't been reading as much, despite having made the effort to download books to my iPad. I was ready to embrace the digital reading experience, but found that I could never get lost in a book there, with e-mail, twitter, or a game just a button's press away. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out Sony's line consumer electronics (full disclaimer, they sent me one to test out), including the Sony Reader WiFi. It didn't take long for me to realize that this tiny device deserved a home in my day bag AND travel bag. Easy to pack, distraction free and just the right size. I just may be an e-reader fan, after all.

Don't See Art On An Empty Stomach (And Other Museum Tips)

Metal Sculpture at LACMA with Kelly and Austin in reflection

Over many years and even more trips, we've managed to visit more than our fair share of art museums. There's lot of looking, standing on your feet for hours, and all of that while you're surrounded by lots of people doing annoying things. In all of these visits, we've also managed to learn a thing or two about what makes a museum visit enjoyable, and what can make you want to run back to your hotel room. So, I'm sharing these four tips to help you enjoy the arts, without wearing yourself out, on your next trip.

ArtSmart Roundtable: Forgetting the Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty

Footloose by Patrick Dougherty at Honolulu Museum of Art
Footloose, Honolulu Museum of Art, 2012

An artist that I keep bumping into, unwittingly, is Patrick Dougherty. Dougherty makes temporary sculptures comprised of twigs and sticks woven together to create towering, curvaceous forms. Most recently I encountered both his sculpture, and unknowingly at the time the artist himself, on a visit to Oahu. Early one morning, I was standing outside the Honolulu Museum of Art (waiting to visit Shangri La) when I came across a group of people assembling his latest sculpture, Footloose. Déjà vu. I still haven't placed it, but I'd been there before. I had seen this. Some memories float in quite clearly, for example, standing on the lawn of a university in the fall watching other assistants cut and place twigs under careful instruction. Other bits remain fuzzy, like where I was exactly and what year it might have been. The full memory hasn't returned to me, but having encountered Dougherty's work three times now, I can't shake the feeling that it wasn't just luck. Fate keeps bringing me back to his works in my travels. It just can't be by chance.

Six Reasons To Go To Los Angeles And Eat

bins of oranges for sale at the Burbank, California farmers market

Los Angeles, California. Home to Hollywood, swimmin' pools, and movie stars. But behind the glitz and glamour, lies a city bursting at the seams with good food (enough even to forgive it for unleashing California Pizza Kitchen on the world.) The huge amount and variety of fresh, local produce available, the sheer number of different ethnic cuisines, and the rising class of new chefs all mean that Los Angeles is a food lover's paradise. If you love to hit up your local farmer's market, try out all the latest food trucks, and track down the newest craft brewers while you're at home, then a visit to the city of Angels is just what you need for your next trip.

Fall in Love with Oahu: Doris Duke's Shangri La

doris duke's shangri la
the view from Shangri La looking down at the guest house

A diminutive estate at the end of a residential drive, Shangri La sits unannounced. Here, Doris Duke, tobacco-heir turned philanthropist, created her Hawaiian home. She not only created a home for herself, but for her growing collection of Islamic art. Duke carefully curated and created a tiny jewel box full of color, lines and expressions of a culture world's away from the island of Oahu. Odd, beautiful, but out of place? It might seem so at first, but I quickly discovered that Shangri La is uniquely Hawaiian.

Four Iconic Honolulu Hotels

honolulu hotelIlikaiOUT_Reef exterior day_02royalhawaiianexterior

Overwhelmed by the choices of where to stay in Waikiki? Me too. With so many options, price points, and locations available, it can be difficult to decide. On my last trip to Oahu, I had a chance to take peek in a variety of hotels and scope out where I might want to stay on a return visit. Whether you're looking for a high-rise efficiency, relaxed comfort, a slice of history, or a total retreat, Waikiki (and nearby) holds that for you. Keep reading to take a peek into four diverse hotels in Honolulu.