Sunday, May 31, 2015


Photographs of William in his hometown of Recife, Brazil. 

The view from our hotel window. 

Standing on the reef at Boa Viagem Beach. 

Riding the bus to downtown Recife. 

At a local ice cream shop enjoying a milkshake. 

At Jaqueira Park.

Stopping at a local coffee shop before work to chat with the owner. 

With a beam of sunlight across his face at the rooftop hotel pool.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Instituto Ricardo Brennand

I was lucky enough to get to visit the Instituto Ricardo Brennand while in Brazil. Ricardo Brennand, brother of ceramic artist Francisco Brennand, became a renowned collector and founded the museum, art gallery, library and park located within the property. 

Walking up to the institute we were treated to a stunning European brick castle set against the Brazilian rain forest. 

Lovely garden pond just across the castle. 

This statue simply took my breath away. As an artist myself, I am used to creating in several different mediums. But I could never quite wrap my head around sculpture. In most mediums like drawing or painting you are adding. Pencil to paper; paint to canvas. You build the image up with a series of strokes. But with this kind of sculpture you are given a block and have to chip away at it to reveal the image. Work in pencil and paint can easily be corrected or fixed, but one wrong move with a chisel and the whole piece could be damaged beyond repair. You don't get a second chance; you get to start over from scratch. I am truly in awe of the skills that sculptors possess. 

When I saw this piece I was floored. The ethereal, fluid movement of muscular bodies surrounded by the soft, swirling clouds. This sculpture is hundreds of pounds yet looks absolutely weightless. The most astonishing details are where the body parts are overlapped by the most delicate wisps of the clouds. Barely seen, but most painstakingly executed. 

A close up look at the arms of two men wrestling. I love the simultaneous power of the bodies and the gentleness of the hands. 

A beautiful piece titled "Allegory of Night". The rippled fabric creates a sweeping arc over her head. 

 "Woman in Hammock" By Antonio Frilli. This one blew me away. Not just for the mastery of art and form but for the use of space and balance. I've never seen a sculpture that looked quite like it. She rests, perfectly balanced and in complete serenity. There is even a elaborate pattern carved into her blanket and in the weaving of her hammock. 

A close up look at the crisp fabrics and her delicate features. 

This sculpture was outside on a terrace waiting to be restored. I was struck by her pensive and sensuous expression. 

I was pleased to capture this couple sitting under the statue of David. 

Cattle grazing just outside the property. 

Sunset just beyond the garden.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Oficina Brennand

While traveling in Brazil, William decided to take me to the Oficina Brennand, a massive ceramic workshop by renowned Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand. In 1971 the artist inherited the old Sao Joao da Varzea brickworks, founded by his father in 1917, and began turning it into a monumental sculpture garden. 

Walking up to the ceramic workshops. 

The Templo Central, a stunning and almost ancient looking temple area covered from the ground up in an astonishing multitude of earthy brown tiles.

A donkey grazing by one of the outermost sculptures on the edge of the Brazilian rain forest.  

A view of the Salao de Esculturas, a sculpture hall featuring work from Francisco Brennand. 

A tiny plant bursting through a piece of pottery. 

The bamboo garden. 

I spotted a tiny, beautifully patterned snail stuck to leaf high in a tree.

Lovely blooming trees with clusters of golden flowers on the edge of the property. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Growing up I was hooked on National Geographic Magazines and travel books. The world was so big and I have only seen such a small part of it. I've got so many places I've been longing to see in person. To know them intimately rather than just wishing I could be there. 

I've worked consistently since I was 17, much of that time I was going to school and working, or working two jobs. At the age of 31 I finally had a job that was not only challenging, but it also gave me the opportunity to sustain myself. When I was given vacation time I knew there was only one thing to do. I was going to travel. 

I went to my boyfriend's hometown of Recife, Brazil. 

The first breathtaking view of South America. 

My first taste of Brazilian food: an adorable little mocha and a coxinha. Coxinhas are popular Brazilian snacks filled with meat and cheese shaped into a breaded cone. 

William overlooking Recife from the top of our hotel. 

The rooftop pool with a view of the beach. 

The city of Recife gets its name from the rocky remnants of a reef that runs parallel to the beach a few feet past were the ocean meets the shore. At low tide you can easily walk along the reef. 

Recife at dusk. 

Modern voodoo. 

One day William took me to see Old Downtown Recife and its stunning European architecture. 

Marco Zero - this spot in the downtown area marks the place where the Portuguese founded Recife in 1537. It overlooks the Parque das Esculturas, a monumental sculpture park created by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand. 

William and I decided to take a boat ride over to the sculpture park to see it up close. When we arrived on the other side I spotted this adorable little cat sleeping by the boat ramp. 

The sunset over Old Downtown Recife. 

Rocks tagged with graffiti. 

The sculpture park sits on a narrow strip of land between the ocean and the harbor. I loved the contrast between the rough ocean waves and the still waters of the old harbor. 

The lovely evening sky on our boat ride back to the old downtown area. 

The night life of the downtown area. 

A dance party of mixed ages in full swing. 

Graffiti hidden on the sides of the old european architecture. 

View of the city skyline from a grocery store window. 

Vibrant flowers blooming in Jaqueira Park. 

Sunset over the Capibaribe River. 

Boa Viagem church during the evening open market. 

Sunrise at Boa Viagem Beach.