Look ~ revisit ~ see again ~ feel ~ respond. Seeds planted…parts of places. I believe the impact of our experiences seeps into our pores…certainly into my pores and bones and memory.
To study and create – live and eat – listen, learn…walk and sleep in southern France as a college student shaped a part of me. Smells and food, sounds and light trigger pictures in my mind. As I’ve traveled other places throughout my life, I find myself comparing the light in the air and on the landscape to the light I remember in and around the tiny village of Lacoste, where I lived. I can’t help it. It just happens.
Shuffling through slides – yes, 35mm slides sometimes, to look at the moments captured with my Nikormat camera. I still have it and pull it out once in a while to feel its solid heft. Bulky and heavy by today’s standards, it traveled miles and miles strapped across my chest. When I’ve traveled back to France in the past decade, I had the ease of using and carrying a digital camera along with my sketchbook. All important tools. I can collect so many images now…gluttony for my senses.
Something is ignited when we travel…often more than one thing. That spark is carried within ~ beyond the timeline of our trip. I think that this is universal. People travel for different reasons, but whatever the drive, impulse, task or impetus…it takes courage to travel and because of this, I think we can be more vulnerable. Our vulnerability is positive in most cases, because we let down barriers. I do. I feel open and curious about the place and culture in which I’ve landed or that I’m traveling through. I’m free of the constraints, routines and rhythms of my home life.
The glory of a new landscape, provisioning in an unknown town, a mailbox, a dusty road… Sometimes it is just about the light. Light is such a powerful element ~ so really, not surprising as a point of focus for me. I feel it as well as see it. As a great seducer, I succumb to it as it bounces, glazes, envelops and sharpens things, people and places.
Dust, pigment, hue and shadow – key factors in how I saw the country of Namibia with my family last summer. (see some earlier blog posts about our trip). Sometimes as I hiked or stood looking, I thought about it… the light…of southern France and of places I’ve spent time in the southwest United States. Was the light different?… the same?
Impact ~ affect ~ memory ~ response.
I’ve made many paintings in soft pastel, oil and acrylic paint, from my time spent in France, and continue to use sketches and photographs from my archives as subject matter. Three of these were painted in the past year and a half and one from several years ago, (“terre au Sault”). All of these are available, for those who are interested…if you’ve been to France and carry it with you in your memory too!
La plane tree-Vaison la Romaine, vignoble de juillet and la lettre est arrive? are all hanging at Le Panier French Bakery in the Pike Pl Market, Seattle. Terre au Sault is in my studio. Please call or contact me via e-mail if you have questions or you are interested in a piece!…or if you know of someone who might be. Thanks for looking.
Tel: 206.329.4750 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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