Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring in DC

This past week our family had the pleasure of hosting Brittany's boyfriend Alex. Since Alex is visiting from Norway we took a sight seeing trip to DC. He was impressed by the beauty of the city and commented that Washington was unlike any of the other large cities that he had visited.

We had a great time in DC. The weather was beautiful and the Cherry Blossoms were in bloom. Living so close to DC I tend to take the city and all it has to offer for granted. I forgot how truly beautiful the city can be.

                                         Magnolia's in bloom along the Gallery Place walk way.

After a trip to the Air and Space Museum, we visited the National Gallery of Art. I had almost forgotten how beautiful the Gallery is. I love the fact that the paintings can be viewed up close. As an artist I love to walk up close to a painting to view the details (brush strokes, fabric folds and the lighting). Cameras are prohibited in some of the individual galleries because flash can damage the paintings but we were allowed to photograph (without flash) the the beautiful Rotundra.

                                                 Rotunda in the National Gallery of Art

For those of you who are thinking about visiting Washington,DC you will need a week to see most of the attractions. The Smithsonian museums alone can take several days to visit. The Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History are the most popular Smithsonian Museums. The National Gallery of Art has several wings and individual galleries. Alex has studied Leonardo Da Vinci and was interested in seeing his paintings. The night before our trip we searched the National Gallery's website and found a Da Vinci painting. This helped us to locate the painting at the Gallery.

I wished that I had more than one day to spend at the Gallery because I would have liked to have seen the new French Gallery. I decided to take a day trip back to the Gallery with my sketch book of course. The National Gallery of Art allows sketch books and pencils to be brought into the gallery. Visitors are welcome to sit and sketch the paintings but anyone who wishes to copy a painting must apply for a permit and use an easel and paints provided by the gallery.