Monday, 10 January 2011

A little bit of Sunshine

I've just popped over to Florida to attend the Miniature Show here. The Miniature Art Society of Florida is holding its annual exhibition at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. My young friend and I flew over on Friday afternoon, leaving a cold, icy England behind. It's not exactly tropical here right now but the sun is out and the temperature is a nice 62 degrees, so it's a wonderful change. My good friends Kay and Mike Petryszak met us at the airport and for the first time over many years of coming to Tampa there was no queue at immigration - in fact everything went very smoothly. Even the nine hour flight was smooth with no turbulence at all.

We're staying at the Yacht Harbor Inn which is right on the seafront at Dunedin. Yesterday morning we hired a Chevrolet from the Avis office in Clearwater. The one woman operation was quite impressive - and amusing - especially when she thought UK stood for Ukraine, until we explained where the UK really was. My young friend had bravely volunteered to do the driving - I'm chicken. The MASF's private view was at ten in the morning so we drove straight there. It's always an impressive show. Here I am (and I hate being photographed) standing in front of my five entries.

After a lovely lunch of coconut covered shrimps (or prawns if you are English) at the Sea Sea Rider restaurant in the pretty little town of Dunedin we wandered up the street where the whole of the centre of Dunedin had been closed to accommodate its annual two-day art event. We spent a couple of hours there wandering amongst the many colourful and intriguing stalls. Here is a sample:

A little sit by the pool

and then back to the Fine Art Center to the Artists Reception at six. It's always nice to meet up with old friends and as I've been coming to Florida for over ten years now I've made quite a few.
Yesterday morning heralded the main social event of the MASF year - the Awards Ceremony and brunch. As it was held at the Bon Apetit Restaurant in the Yacht Harbor Inn we only had a short walk to make. Here in Florida the Mayor had declared January the month of miniatures so an official proclamation was read out to the assembled throng. Then a pretty sumptuous brunch was followed by a number of speeches and the awards themselves. Later in the afternoon, being an elected member of the MAA (Miniature Artists of America) I attended the annual meeting of the MAA. Wes and Rachelle Siegrist have just published a beautiful book entitled Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America. I had reserved two copies and was very flattered to be given a double- page spread in it. The day finished with a big get together at the Perkins Restaurant. Here are a few of the guests.

Now we are planning a trip to EPCOT tomorrow.


Bluebells in the spring said...

Hi Bill,
A warm welcome to this side of the pond to you and your young friend!

As far as I can recall, this seems to be the coldest winter we've ever had in the last 25 plus years! We are still waking up to frost on the ground or very chilly morning so you can understand I am looking forward to warm, humid sunshine in Singapore in Feb!

Will be hopping over to Penang for 2N/3D - haven't been there for close to 30 years!!!

You and your young friend will definitely enjoy Epcot Center albeit it is not quite like the real location in the cities of the world.

I am guessing you didn't make time to come further south to LA - I was at Disneyland with my niece and her 3 little ones over this Christmas holiday - the little girls had loads of fun.

The Disneyland in Anaheim has made several improvements - it is just as fun for grown-ups now with California Adventureland and Disney Downtown. There is no Disneyland like the original Disneyland at Anaheim.

Do plan a little hop down south to LA next year! Love to see you guys out here!

Have a wonderful time in Florida! Looking forward to see you and your young friend in March - I have a week of free time there!


Wes and Rachelle Siegrist said...

Bill, so great to spend time with you and your friend! I really regret that I felt poorly especially since I only get to see friends such as yourself once a year if I'm lucky! Rachelle and I are hoping that perhaps 2012 can be the year that we visit England.

Thanks for mentioning the new book but especially for your willingness to participate and help with the content! All the rest of the miniaturists agreed that you get the prize for the most brushes in your studio!