Die Kunst des feinen Porzellans: I am back from my two-week vacation in Bavaria, Germany, where I had a great time. One of the interesting arts-related things I did – besides just taking in some of the beautiful architecture, such as Wahnfried Haus in Bayreuth, the preserved former home of the late German composer Richard Wagner – was check out Seltmann Weiden, the world-famous manufacturer of fine porcelain in the small city of Weiden in der Oberpfalz, where my son and his family live.
My daughter-in-law, Sandra, and I spent considerable time one day perusing Seltmann Weiden’s huge showroom filled with porcelain pieces ranging from the very practical – shiny white dinner plates, bowls, and cups – to the artful and alluring, such as a collection of colorful vases featuring the paintings of the late German Expressionist painter August Macke.
Also on hand – of course! – was an extensive collection of Bavarian Oktoberfest-style porcelain pieces in white with blue, red, and yellow decorations, such as a traditional lion’s-head bowl used to serve veal sausage and a beer stein with an ornate flip-up metal lid.
Seltmann Weiden’s “Wildschoenes” collection was also very interesting. It features finely executed paintings of area wildlife – pheasants, ducks, wild boars, snipes, and so on – on teapots, teacups, butter dishes, platters, and more.
The highlight of our fun visit was realizing that a large section of the Seltmann Weiden showroom is devoted to sale items, like an outlet store offering fine porcelain at highly discounted prices. I bought several items at those unbelievable prices, including three beautiful plates for boiled eggs that are glossy white with maroon and gold Art Deco-style decorations.
Judy Nixon at Miles: Shortly after I returned to work, I received a call from Bristol artist Judy Nixon about her watercolor, acrylic, and gouache work currently on exhibit in the Hall Gallery at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus, 35 Miles St., Damariscotta.
Nixon, a Massachusetts ex-pat who was an accountant for many years before dedicating herself to producing art, has a fine show up at Miles, filled with images of wildlife, flowers, and boats, as well as a sprinkling of lighthouse depictions.
Almost all of Nixon’s work is colorful and light. A couple of her pieces are mostly dark, and it is those pieces that are most intriguing to this writer.
“Melting” is a large rectangular watercolor focused on a row of melting icicles. The lower half of the piece is black, providing a dramatic backdrop for the gray and cream colors of the icicles. Similarly, Nixon’s watercolor “Downtown Night Scene” is painted largely in black, allowing the orange, yellow, and white in the street scene to pop nicely.
Nixon’s show runs through Friday, March 16.
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