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Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving by Margot Justes

Between scheduled events every weekend this month and working, November slipped by and seemed to disappear.

I do want to acknowledge an incredible holiday, one where at least this time of year we give thanks, and no matter how tough it is out there, we still have something to be thankful for.

I’ve been blessed with a loving family and great friends-friends I’ve kept for many years- decades, and new friends and acquaintances I’ve made since I started writing. My world has only gotten richer, and I’m thankful. I’m not cooking on Thursday, that tradition now belongs to my older daughter, but given the special holiday, we celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday at our house as well.

On that note, I would like to wish everyone a truly happy and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ivan Mestrovic by Margot Justes

Split has many treasures and one that was a delightful find for me was sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. His work can only be described as monumental, towering, imposing and beyond life size.

His home, a villa that sits on a hill overlooking the Adriatic is, as the saying goes, beautifully situated. Converted to a museum, the home is surrounded by luxurious gardens, one could not ask for a more creative muse. Everywhere you turn, the view is magnificent.

The small more intimate museums like the Mestrovic museum do not leave you breathless and harried but instead leave you with a sense of greater awareness of the treasures shown, and I was enthralled.

Mestrovic worked in bronze, marble and wood. I enjoyed the wood pieces the most, the work seemed more defined, gentler and tactile. No, I did not touch, but I wanted to. His bronzes spoke of power, survival and dominance, the marble pieces on the other hand were romantic, flowing with gentle curves, yet dominant and compelling. You were left with a sense of wonder at the dynamic strength and sheer size of his sculptures. These are my impressions.

Born in 1883, he lived through wars and religious upheavals, his work reflected the times. He died in the US in 1962. There is a great deal of information available on his art and life, and just to give you a glimpse of some of his work, I posted pictures.

Chicago, a city well known for its love of art, has two magnificent, gigantic pieces sculpted by Ivan Mestrovic, The Bowman and The Spearman; perfectly positioned at the Congress Plaza entrance to Grant Park.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Palace by Margot Justes

My fascination with ruins is relatively recent. My first trip to Athens a few years ago got me started. Age may have something to do with it, I look at history with a bit more depth now and ruins are the ultimate show and tell in history, at least for me.

You can see how a society lived, the order that existed and your imagination takes root at the endless possibilities. I wonder if I’m stepping where a scholar stepped, walk the path of a Roman Soldier, an Emperor, the possibilities of historical footsteps are endless, and as a writer that appeals to me.

Diocletian’s Roman Palace is just such a place, filled with history, well preserved, just simply magnificent. His retirement home was built near the place of his birth, Salona close to Split and was ready for his occupation in 305 AD.

It is massive, a fortress as well as a palace originally with entrances on three sides, two on land, one from the sea. Incredibly well preserved and to this day it blends in with centuries of various architectural styles, and the best part, it is woven in with the contemporary life style. People live and work in this gigantic remnant, this incredible relic of ancient Rome.

We were given an impromptu concert-for lack of a better description-in a rotunda, its top long gone, but the sound of the voices echoed thought out and rose to the heavens, poignant Croatian folk songs stirred the emotions of the people standing and listening enthralled to the angelic voices. A memory never to be forgotten.

I'll be in Galena Saturday signing A Hotel in Paris, at Book World, if you're in the area please stop by and say hello. The CBRNE threat presentation is posted on my website.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3