Art Passport Adventure #2: Celebrate You This Valentine’s Day

Art Passport Adventure #2: Celebrate You This Valentine’s Day

By Barbara K. Stump, MA

February is here- and that means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. How do you feel about this Hallmark Holiday? Do you embrace it or do you wish it was over yesterday? Regardless of whether you have a special Valentine or not, there is no reason why you can’t find things you love to do and enjoy this month! You are worth it, and you deserve it!

I recently saw an interesting  post from Mel Robbins, author and host of the Mel Robbins Podcast.  She shared some significant statistics from another writer, Sahil Bloom, about who we share our time with over the course of our lives.  His research showed the time we spend alone will increase the most throughout our lifetime.  Bloom stated, “Alone time is the highest-love yourself.” 

How can we show love and be kinder to ourselves?  I know it was hard for me during my days as a single parent to carve out some time for myself.  So, even getting up earlier in the morning to enjoy some quiet time with a good cup of coffee or tea did wonders for me.  Any type of pampering, like getting a pedicure with a friend was a treat! Going on a walk or a run allowed me some time to replenish my mental tank. Creating my own artwork allowed me time to relax and escape from the day-to- day grind. We need to be ok with allowing ourselves to feel our best, and to take care of our needs.  In return, it will make us a better parent, colleague, friend or partner.  Now  that I am  married, I need to remind myself to make the time to  do things I love to do. Some of my interests, I have introduced to my husband. Likewise, he has shared his interests with me, which brings me to our second Art Passport Adventure.

For our second excursion, we will be traveling to Seattle, Washington. I had the opportunity to visit Seattle last fall, because my husband wanted to see the Michigan State University  vs Washington State University Football Game.  Unfortunately, MSU lost the football game. However, being in Seattle was an amazing experience! It was easy to fall in love with the artistic vibe of this large metropolitan city. If you are a coffee lover, perhaps coffee came to mind when I mentioned this city? After all, the original Starbucks is here at Pike’s Place Market. The line to get into this famous coffee venue was crazy-long the day we were there, but I did get a photo op! 


So what about the artistic vibe of this city? It truly is all around! If you love to walk trails, as I do, my first recommendation is to visit the Olympic Sculpture Park.  The beauty of seeing large outdoor sculptures against the setting of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound is a delightful 9 acre walk. We chose to walk this path early in the day, when it was not crowded.  For those of you who travel with pets, it is also a dog friendly walking area.   


In addition to the Olympic Sculpture Park, this visit would not be complete without going to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. It is a must see!! The artist, Dale Chihuly, was born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington. I have seen some of his glasswork in Chicago, but this was my first time visiting this museum. I loved it and I was so happy that my husband wanted to go as well.  My top six highlights from our visit to this museum and pictures are as follows:

The Glasshouse– A 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space.  Suspended from the ceiling is a stretched 100-foot long sculpture with warm hues of reds, oranges, yellows and ambers.


Cylinder Series– Chihuly, a Pacific Northwest native, was influenced by the Native American culture.  In this series, Chihuly experimented with glass thread drawings on glass vessels, inspired by the Navajo textile designs.


Chandelier Series– is based on Chihuly’s interest in building settings and how he could engage his artwork on the surrounding space.


Ikebana and Float Boats– The Ikebana boat features large flower-like glass stems inspired by Japanese art of Ikebana.  Niijima Floats were inspired by Chihuly’s visit to Niijima and his memories of growing up and seeing fishing nets along the beaches of Puget Sound.


Macchia Forest Series– is the series he began in 1981 with the intention of using all 300 hues available to him in the hot spot.  Shown here are two of many on display.  Each vessel is speckled with color which comes from rolling the molten glass in small shards of colored glass.  Then he would add a tip of contrasting color all around the top.


The Garden– Chihuly’s work is interconnected with lush landscapes of greenery and flowers which provides a beautiful background for his glass sculptures.  Having always loved the Space Needle, Chihuly was delighted to showcase his artwork next to the iconic Seattle landmark.  


Chihuly’s glass artwork is so incredible to see in person, and I truly appreciated my time at this museum.  How can you carve out some time this month to do things you love to do? Even if you can’t go to Seattle for coffee, where can you go near your home to experience great coffee? Where are some places you can go on a walk and take in wonderful scenery? Can you find opportunities around you to view some fascinating art? Attend a sporting event? Pamper yourself?  Again, February is all about love, and experiencing things you love to do! Whether you are single or coupled, or have a date with yourself -create some time for love in your life, you won’t regret it! Make the most of your free time and enjoy this month!!

Barb is an Art Education Consultant and G3 Contributing Writer.  Her posts focus on how the arts and culture intertwine and support mental health. Art Passport Adventures run about once a month and feature ways that we can use art to enrich our experiences and improve mental wellbeing. 

A new series ‘Art Journaling for Mindfulness’ will begin in February.  To receive new posts in your inbox, sign up here.