9# Throwback Travel- New York: The MET

Probably one of my biggest highlights in New York was visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) on Fifth Avenue. This is the largest and third most visited museum in the world. So no trip to New York would be complete without a visit.

The MET has a collection that boasts two million works, which are split between 17 curatorial departments. The permanent collection includes art and sculpture from Greek and Roman antiquity, ancient Egypt, Middle age to Renaissance European masters, American and modern art, as well as African, Asian, Oceania, Byzantine and Islamic art. There are also various temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year. On my visit, I was only able to cover three quarters the permanent collection on level 1 and the temporary exhibition Manus x Machina. This took me about two hours. So if you plan on seeing it all I would allow for 4-5 hours. To see the extensive size of the museum, see the map.

General admission for the MET is quite reasonable and valid for three consecutive days for all three MET locations. However, depending on if you purchased a New York pass, you may have your entry included. Audio guides are also available in a variety of languages for an additional rate. There are also free guided tours available in a variety of languages throughout the day. You can also find several restaurants and cafes in the museum.

Greek and Roman Art

I started my tour from the left of the Great hall, which began in the Greek and Roman Art galleries. These galleries are bright and airy with plenty of natural light and an extensive collection throughout the age of antiquity. This was probably one of my favourite wings and luckily many people passed through it quickly, allowing me to marvel at these ancient treasures.

Prehistoric and Early Greek Art

Greek Art: Sixth–Fourth Century B.C.

Mid 2nd-1st century, 3rd–1st Century B.C.

Roman Sculpture Court

Later Roman Empire: Third Century A.D

Egyptian Art

The Egyptian art is found in a gallery from the left of the Great hall and continues into The Sackler wing. The main gallery is quite dark, but the various pieces are quite well lite. I was quite impressed by this collection, as it was quite different other travelling Egyptian collections. I particularly liked the paintings and decorative sarcophagus.

The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing

American Wing

The American Wing covers art from the 18th to early 20th century. Within this wing, there is a bright and spacious courtyard which has various sculptures, stain glass and mosaic art. This was another one of my favourite place in the museum. I also enjoyed the various galleries of furnished room and painting artworks. This was my first time seeing American art, so I was quite blown away by the bright use of colour.

The Charles Engelhard Court

American Wing

Medieval Art

The Medieval collection runs through the centre of the first floor. It includes art from the 4th to the early 16th century from Byzantine and Europe. I love Medieval art religious art, so I really enjoyed this area. My favourites are the oddly shaped busts.

Arms and Armor

The Arms and Armor is a small gallery, off the Medieval wing. Apparently it one of the museums most popular collections, possibly because of the impressive ‘parade’ of armoured figures on horseback. This gallery includes weaponry and armour from a variety of geographical regions.

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

The last collection was from the 2016 exhibition Manus x Machina, by the Costume Institute. It was housed in the Robert Lehman Wing galleries. It explored designer handmade and the machine-made haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear fashion. There were about 170 garments, spanning from the early 20th century to the present. Each dress was a stunning work of art, due to their intricacy and uniqueness. I didn’t expect to enjoy this exhibition as much as I did. I also appreciated that the garments were not behind glass, so I was able to get a good look and great photos without glare.

This is my last post for my trip to New York. Next I will be taking you to Washington D.C, where I saw plenty more museums, iconic sites and ate plenty of delicious meals.

Halloween Colouring 2019

Happy Halloween friends! This year I did a small series from four colouring books, from the artists Hanna Karlzon, Maria Trolle and Nicholas F. Chandrawienata. This year I really wanted to use unconventional colors, that aren’t associated with this occasion.

I’m starting to run out of Halloween picture, so I may have to purchase Halloween themed book for next year. Any ideas for me? If you want to see my Halloween colouring from last two years, see Halloween 2017, Halloween 2018. For more completed pictures from these books see my Colouring Book Galleries.

Hanna Karlzon’s Seasons

This first page is from one of my more recent purchases, Seasons, which I will be bring out a review of in a few days. I have seen this picture done quite a few times and I wanted to do something a bit different. I still wanted to stay with autumn colours, since this picture is found in the autumn section of the book. I used Prismacolor pencils for the main image, as well as a white gel pen for details and a black Tombow brush pen for the background. It was a pretty quick and easy one and I am happy how it turned out.

Maria Trolle’s Botanicum

This next page is from another book that I am working in at the moment and will be bring out a review soon. I like this page because it more cute then scary, but I was pretty stumbled to what kind of background it needed. I began with white painted pumpkins and then coloured the flowers as realistic to the species (listed in index of book). Then I decided to use watercolor crayons for the starry night background and black for the ground. It did come up a bit scratchy, so I had to go over it all with pencil. It didn’t come out perfect, but I am happy with the overall effect. The medium I used include Prismacolour pencils, Mungyo watercolor crayons and white gel pen.

Nicholas F. Chandrawienata’s Fantasia

The follow two pages are from Fantasia colouring book. For the first, I was a little unsure how to tackle it. It has so many decorative elements, which didn’t seem to relate to the main subject. I decided to add a large moon to the background, which I traced with one of my daughters round toys, with a white gel pen. I then came up with a basic colour palette of black, lilac, yellow orange and blue. This paper is quite textured, so it took quite a bit of shading to cover the white specking. It also doesn’t allow you to scratch off or colour over white gel pen. However, once completed Prismacolor pencils work lovely on this paper. I am very happy how my page turned out and the colour combination.

This werewolf picture is one that I have been looking forward to colour for a while. I decided to use Polychromos pencils for this page, since there was so many fine details. This pencils require ever more layers on this paper and I still struggled to cover some of the white speckles. I had no idea what colour combo I wanted to use, I just knew that that I wanted a dark brown fur with electric blue. I found it difficult to figure out what to colour the other elements, so I tried not to introduce to many new colours. For the background I used a black Tombow brush pen. This is probably my least favourite of the bunch, but it still looks pretty wicked.

Book Review: World of Flowers

World of Flowers is the newest book by colouring evangelist Johanna Basford. I received this gorgeous book from Marco for Christmas and I finally started it this last month. I had been putting it off a little because sometimes I get a little sick of colouring flowers. However, I actually had quite a lot of fun with this book. It has quite a bit of variety and very different to the flowers in Johanna’s other books as you will see.

So if you have been living under a rock you may have not heard of Johanna Basford. But I doubt this would be the case if your a colourist. This is Johanna’s seven colouring book (not including all the artist edition, journals, calendars, etc). It was only published in mid December 2018 in both the UK and US. I have the UK edition, like the rest of my collection. As they are readily available in Australia and online. From what I have read in the past I do prefer the UK editions, but if you would like to see a side-by-side comparison of this book, see this video by Colouring in the Midst of Madness.

World of Flowers is the same format of most of Johanna’s other colouring books. It is a square shape, sized at 25.1 x 25.1 cm. Like all the UK editions, it has a soft cover with a dust cover over the top. The cover is bright white, with black inked flowers and some rose-gold foiling. You can find the same flowers inside the book, but not in the same formation. However, the inside cover and does have the same design that you will find in the book. Inside this book you will find 80 pages to colour with a variety of new designs. The paper is ivory in colour and medium thickness. It has the same paper that you will find in Johanna’s later colouring books ei. Magic Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas. Toward the back of the book there is a page to test your mediums and a page that extends, which is double sided.

The floral designs in this book are gorgeous and as I mentioned, is a lot different to what we have seen before from Johanna’s other colouring books. Since flowers are the subject of the book they are much more detailed and vary in shapes, sizes and design style. Flowers aren’t the only things you will find in this book. You will also find succulents and other potted plants, magic potion bottles, butterflies and other insects, household objects and furniture, fairy homes, etc. The designs range from the usually wreaths, wallpaper and mandalas, to garden scenes, busy shelving, large and small circular and square designs. There is just so much variety that you won’t feel like your colouring the same stuff that you have come across previously in her books.

So as you guessed by now I do love this book. I did find some of pages with the larger spaces a bit intimating because I don’t love doing large backgrounds. However, if your like me you can skip some of these pages or just do put in more effort to the suspended objects and they will speak for themselves on the ivory paper. Something I really loved was the last couple of pages that pull out, which I would like to return to in the future.

Below I have included a video flip through and all the pages I have coloured in order that you will find them in the book. I have only used Prismacolor Premier pencils and a couple of gel pens so far. As you will see these pencils work very beautifully on this paper. I don’t see that there would be any problems with other harder pencils or water colour, so long as you are careful. There are plenty of examples by other colourist using other pencils, so I recommend checking out Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration.

The Title pages is always a challenge for me and I usually come back to it last. I wanted it to be an explosion of bright colours, which complemented each other. I also wanted to use different techniques for each flower, so they didn’t look so similar and flat. I am quite happy how this one turned out and it makes me happy when I open this book.

The Name plate pages was also another one I was stumped on because the flowers were so tiny, so it would be difficult for them to pop out of the paper. I started with a navy and coral colour scheme and added some complementary colours as I went. I also added some gold gel pen to cover some of the little black dots and lines, which really brightened it up.

This gorgeous selection of Flower motifs are not my colour scheme, but rather the from the mind of the amazing Chris Cheng. I started following her four-part video tutorial when I started this book, but I ended up coming back to right at the end. They just took me so long, but it was well worth it. So many layers went into it, which is why they look so stunning. She also done another gorgeous tutorial of a flower wreath. Peta Hewitt also did a tutorial for the same picture, so I still have to do decide which one I will do at a later date.

This Alchemy Garden is another one of the last picture I did. I took my time adding many layers to the background, flowers and bottles to try and make the objects look more three dimensional. I am happy with most of the elements but now I’m wishing I did a stone wall for the background, as it looks a bit bare. For the magic potions I was inspire by this Chris Cheng’s Fairy Potions from Fairy Miracles. This was my first attempt at something like this, but now I think I can tackle a few more magic potions in Hanna Karlzon’s Magically Dawn, which I’m yet to start.

This Sunflower and Tulip is the first page I that completed. I started with the sunflower and I was very disappointed in it until I finished the tulip. I only wanted to use a few colours for each and with both side-by-side it has the effect that I wanted. The page beside this has another two flowers with the same frames, so I plan to do those in red and green to complement this page.

This Flower Fairy Garden is the second page I did and it took me so long. I was thinking of doing a grey purple stone frame, but by the time I got this far I just wanted to move on to something else. This picture remind me a lot of some of the double page spreads in Secret Garden. If you see some of the pages I did my Secret Garden gallery, you can definitely see an improvement in both my colouring and Johanna’s flowers. These flowers were a lot more interesting to colour and I like how oversized they are.

If you’re interested in purchasing World of Flowers you can find it from:

Swedish Royal Palace (day 2)

On day two of our visit to Stockholm spent a few hours at the Swedish
Royal Palace (Kungliga slotten). It still remains as the offical residents fo the royal family and is one of the largest palaces in Europe. It is located in the oldest part of the city Gamla stan.

Within the palace there are three splendid museums that are opened all year around. These are the Royal Apartments, the Treasury and the Museum Tre Kronor. However, during the summer season from May to September, the Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities is also open. There are palace tours, which you can pay for in addition to the entry price. However, audio guides are also available, free of charge.

On our visit we saw the Royal Apartments, Museum Tre Kronor and
Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities. We probably spent the most time in the apartments and in combination with the Tre Kronor is very much worth the visit. We paid about 160SEK for these three museums, which at the time was about 24AUD.

I hope you enjoy a sneak peak through the Swedish Royal Palace!


The Royal Apartments

When we first arrived we purchased our tickets from one of the adjacent curved builds that are adjacent to the palace within the Outer Courtyard. I was concerned before visiting the palace that we would have to purchase tickets prior to our visit. However, after emailing and getting a response, I was able to purchase the tickets on the day without much wait. The toilets on the other hand had a long line. I don’t remember seeing toilets as we went along our visit, so perhaps its best to get that over with at the begining of the visit.

The Apartment of the Order of Chivalry

We first began our tour of the Royal Apartments by going left and walking through the Apartment of the Orders of Chivalry. These have been open since 1993 and display the Swedish Award System and Royal Orders of the Knighthood. We walked through three session halls, which included the the Order of Vasa, the Order of the Northern Star, the Order of Sword and the Order of the Seraphim. The fourth room was a meeting hall for the Chapter of the Royal Orders. These rooms were modernised in 1866-67, by architect Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander.

The Hall of the State

The last room we came to before entering a grand foyer, was the Hall of the State. This room was used by the King from 1755 to 1975 to open the Parliment every year. It was designed by architect Carl Hårleman. Unfortuntely it was going through restorations, so it wasn’t as grand with the scafolding. Before going onto the Bernadotte Apatments, I cam across this marble sculpture, The Wave and the Beach. It was made by Theodor Lundberg in 1898.

The Bernadotte Apartments

These apartments were often used by the King for cermonial audices, presenting medals and meetings with his advisory council. The furnishings are from the 1730s and 40s. It was resided in by King Adolf Fredik and Queen Lovisa Ulrika, as later by Oskar II and Queen Sofia.

From the begining of our tour of the Bernadotte Apartments we were able to hire free audio guides, which are available in English and Swedish. I found these really helpful to explain exactly what I was seeing and give more meaning to the history of the furnishings, decorations, achitect and purpose of these rooms.

The Guardroom was originally used to house the lifeguards, who protected the monarch. In the centre of the room there are items referincing the rule of Queen Lovisa and Karl XV. Along the wall there is a painting of the corinationa of Karl XIV John in Stockholm Cathedral in 1818, painted by Per Krafft the Younger in 1924. There is also a wall clock over the fireplace dates back to 1750.

The Pillared Hall was originally used by King Adolf Fredrik as a dining room. The ceiling was painted in 1730 by the Italian artist Alessandro Ferretti and it depicts Mother Svea (Swedish personified) and the seasons. This room was moderned in the 1780s by Gustav III, under the architect Jean Baptiste Masreliez. It included the overdoors and statues of Venus and Apollino by Johan Tobias Sergel.

The Victoria Drawing Room has been re-decorated many times, but this present interior was designed in the 1860s by Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander. the crystal chandeliers were from Vienna, the oval tables from Munich the procelian cabinets were gifts from Napoleon. The most recent edition were the busts of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, which were made by Italian artist, Giancarlo Buratti. One of my favourite pieces was gold clock, depicting the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

The West Octagonal Cabinet is a small corner room, which dates from the 1730s and is in the Rococo style. The decorative wall carvings are by Jean Bourguignon and the phorphyry urns were made by Älvdalen porphyry around 1830.

Oskar II’s Writing Room were able to be seen behind clear screens. The current interior is from 1870s and includes some modern innovations, including electric lighting and a telephone, which was conneted in 1883-4.

I don’t remember what the name of this hallway, but it is had over 40 paintings of the royal family, as well as silver, busts and another interesting clock.

The Breakfast Room was furnished for Oskar II and Queen Sofia in 1873-1874. It has carved rococo panels and a silver chandelier (gift for the silver jubilee 1897), with a crown supported by cupids. This was another room we could not enter.

The East Octagonal Cabinet is larger to the western cabinet. It was used for King Carl XVI to hold formal audiences and private converstaions.

Possibly the most modern room in the palace is Carl XVI Gustaf’s Jubilee Room. It was designed by Åke Axelsson and was offical opened in 2001. It showcases Swedish materials and craftmanship and the theme is a Swedish summer’s day. It is used in conjunction with the East Octagonal Cabinet for formal audiences.

Perhaps my favourite room in the house is Lovrisa Ulrika’s Audience Chamber. It was designed by Jean Eric Rehn for Adolf Fredrik and Queen Lovisa Ulrika in 1754. I just love the tapestries, gold throne and the painting of birds above the door.

Lovisa Ulrika’s Antechamber is another beautiful room. Someting that stood out to me straight away was the Madonna and Child by Piero di Cosimo and the spider webbed ceiling decorations.

Lovisa Ulrika’s Dining Room is another beauty, was restored to the 18th century style in the 1950s and is today sued for large receptions and offical meetings. Jean-Baptiste Oudry painted the paintings over the doors reprent wind, water, earth and fire; as well as the large deer-hunting scene.