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Bryn Craig – An Artist’s Dwelling (17)

Bryn Craig was born in 1931 in Lansdale, PA. He studied at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art and with the Art Students League of New York, and taught at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. At 83, Craig is represented by three galleries, and continues to create.

The artist’s work explores the relationship between people and interiors. Many of his canvases are filled with a subtle moodiness and subdued emptiness. He distorts rooms, elongates perspectives, or skews proportion of items in order to convey the real essence of a place.

Bryn Craig The Star Quilt, 2014 Gallery Bergelli

Bryn Craig, The Star Quilt, oil on canvas, 2014, Gallery Bergelli

Craig writes, “Although my work is representational, I am definitely not a photo realist. I try to include much more than just the surface of a place. I want to express my emotions about the subject and to stimulate emotions in the viewer.” To me, Craig’s painting above conveys the strangeness one feels when they are staying at a friend’s house on vacation – the uncanny sensation that a room is yours, but also is not home. Those silent moments of being alone in a shared vacation home, perhaps on the Cape, can be calming but also disorienting.

Vacation home decor items inspired by Bryn Craig, painter

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Craig’s process involves photographing one location at various times of day, and from many angles. Although he uses the snaps to direct some of his painting, he is not concerned if a lighting fixture is out of place, or a building changes colors.  In this way, his works become a sort of fantasy invention.

Drawing from his travels as well as from his commonplace interiors, Craig’s paintings are imbued with color, feeling and texture.

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My Dream Vacation

As the hours of sun become longer, and summer approaches full steam, I find myself yearning for the beach – well, any beach. Who doesn’t love a good vacation (or dream and yearn for it almost daily)? But did you know that even the vacation planning process alone boosts happiness? Just the anticipation of a vacation can boost happiness for eight weeks!

A Venice Italy Honeymoon, by The Walkup, RCI Dream Vacation Sweepstakes In Venice, Italy the sunsets reflecting off of the canals created a golden bluish hue that I had never encountered. We were lucky enough to be in the city for The Regatta, a boat race and parade that only happens once every two years . The entire grand canal was closed for the amazing spectacle, as gondoliers rowed by in striped scarlet. 

I had fun planning, and received a little endorphin kick, through RCI’s “Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes,” where you have the chance to win a getaway worth up to $25,000. In celebration of RCI’s 40th Anniversary, I recreated my honeymoon to Venice, Italy and throughout the Adriatic coastline of Croatia (Pula, Porec, Rovinj, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik) and even its inland cities (Zagreb, Plitvice).

Croatia was a surprise to us because it contained the best of all worlds: beaches, boats, history, city life. We could lounge like fat lizards on hot rocks all day, and by night have delicious pasta, risotto or pizza in extremely historic locales. At one point, my husband and I were sipping cocktails next to Diocletian’s palace,  a Roman emperor from 284 to 305 CE. Totally surreal.

A Croatian Honeymoon, by The Walkup, RCI Dream Vacation Sweepstakes The best pizza I had in my life was an olive, anchovy, caper and onion pie with fresh cheeses! The Arena in Pula! Did you know that the Latin word for sand is “harena” – the floor of the arena was always made out of the stuff – hence the name!

RCI is the global leader in vacation exchanges and has created an easy vacation planner for their 40th anniversary. According to their site, I should be travelling to a spa in Brazil on the shore. Yes Please! Visit to see where you should travel next, and enter to win until June 18 – and the more you share your dream vacation through social media, the higher your chances of winning. Bon Voyage.

A Croatian Honeymoon, by The Walkup, RCI Dream Vacation Sweepstakes There are over a thousand islands in Croatia, some of which you can see above! Also, one of the most pristine lakes, and waterfalls in the entire world can be found in Plitvice National Park (I drank directly from the spring). Everywhere I turned there was an UNESCO World Heritage site!
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Where would your dream vacation be? Do you enjoy having every waking moment planned, with an exact itinerary, or you prefer a more laid back approach?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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La Republica Dominicana

One day last week, my fiance and I were trolling the interwebs hoping to find last minute package vacation deals. We were both frazzled from wedding planning and what seemed like a never-ending series of house guests. Seeing the promise of a three-day weekend (thank you President’s Day), we pressed the “purchase” button for the best rate we could find to a country whose average temperatures was in the tropical range. We escaped the snow in New York City and hopped aboard an airplane. Viva spontaneity!

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

We stayed in the Boutique Hotel Palacio, a 44 room converted villa in the Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone) of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo.  The property, was the old residence of Buenaventura Báez a politician who served five terms as president of the Dominican Republic and is noted principally for his attempts to have the United States annex his country.

It seems that Mr. Buenaventura Baez himself never lived in this house although he was the owner, but his sons and grandchildren did. One of them was Dr. Ramón Baez, who was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and elected president of the Dominican Republic from the 27th of August till 15th of December 1914.

Dominican RepublicDominican Republic

Bursting with Spanish Colonial architecture, the small hotel is only steps from El Conde, the main drag in the old city. The hotel itself has a wonderful Moorish design with colonial Spanish accents, a prince example of villas of the time period. Believe it or not, the building itself is considered “new” in the Zona Colonial where many buildings remain etched from Coral Reef Stone from the 16th century.  There is a marvelous central courtyard with tables and umbrellas where one can dine, observe an old well, and view local birds. There are a couple of different anterooms, and smaller courtyards which are  charmingly appointed.

Image found on Creative Commons via Richie Diesterheft

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Knowing almost nothing about this Caribbean nation, but loving history, Michael and I embarked on a haphazard, spontaneous and eye-opening adventure. We happened upon the first Cathedral in the Americas, the first hospital in the New World (San Nicolás de Bari), and unique native histories. When Columbus first landed on the shores of this island, the Arawaks called it Haiti, signifying “high ground,” but the western portion was also called Babeque or Bohio, meaning “land of gold” and the eastern part Quisqueya, meaning “mother of the earth.” The name Quisqueya is the one by which Dominican poets now refer to their country.


Via Creative Commons user Genosonic

Ciudad Colonial is the oldest permanent European settlement of the New World. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Spaniards used this settlement as the first point of influence in the Americas, from which they conquered other Caribbean islands and much of the American mainland. Santo Domingo was initially the political and cultural hub of Spanish presence in the new world, but after a few decades started to decline as the Spaniards focused their attention more on the mainland after conquering Mexico, Peru, and other regions of Latin America.

Samuel Hazard: "Santo Domingo, Past and Present; With a Glance at Hayti." New York, 1873 (Harper Brothers), p. 219.Dominican Republic  Dominican Republic

Vintage maps from of the “New World” could be found throughout the hotel – they extolled faraway places such as West India, Barbary, Hispaniola and so forth. The art on the walls was of old aristocrats, long passed, and sailing vessels. A book titled “Santo Domingo A Country With A Future” written in 1918 by Otto Schoenrich explains it best, ” When Columbus, in December, 1492, sailed along the northern coast of the island of Haiti or Santo Domingo, he was more enchanted with what he saw than he had been with any of his previous discoveries. Giant mountains, covered with verdant forests, seemed to rise precipitately from the blue waters and lift their heads to the very clouds. Beautiful rivers watered fertile valleys, luscious fruits hung from the trees, fragrant flowers carpeted the ground, and the air was filled with the songs of birds of gay plumage.”

Not only did we bring back many cigars, mamajauna and a new love of mofongo, we now also want to decorate are home like that of an explorer. I don’t mean to romanticize conquistadors, the age of exploration, the spread of disease, and so forth – but I do love the typeface, arched masonry, wrought iron balustrades, styling and reserved grandeur of colonial villas.

via The Walkup

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