Friday, 27 April 2012

A Bientôt Paris et Montmartre

A bientôt Montmartre et Paris...and our local cafe Le Cepage.  We head off tomorrow morning for Lucca for my first art workshop.........and I'm itching to start.

With all my wanderings in Paris and Amsterdam the last few weeks, I haven't done anything 'arty' for some I'm keen to get back to my arty/papery creations.
I've packed my journals, paints, pens, papers, waxes and seals, pencils, gouache, stamps, inks, al!  Now let's see what develops in Lucca over the next week.

And two little art museums that I found hidden away that you might like:

(1)  Musée de la Halle Saint Pierre......currently showing Banditi dell'arte, an Italian exhibition of naive art.  It was a bit 'in your face' for me.....however I should have expected this type of style as the musée focusses on the primitive and Art Brut schools.  Interesting.....but not my favourite type of art.
Very nice salon de thé in the musée too!
The Banditi dell'arte is the current exhibition....interesting, challenging and very raw!
This poster on the outside of Halle St Pierre caught my is a poster of Delacroix's major work...Liberty Leading the People (see below).
(2)  Musée National Eugéne Delacroix in the romantic painter's apartment and also well worth a look.  It's located in Place de Furstenberg, which in itself, is lovely to visit.  But if you want to see this original painting (probably Delacroix's most famous and his best)....then you'll have to visit the Louvre.......the real thing is simply sensational!
Pierre and I sat in the courtyard of Delacroix's light-filled studio.  Mon pieds were a bit weary after tracking down this musée!
The musée is located in this lovely square.  I can imagine how beautiful it would look in the evening.
Place de Furstenberg....trees were a little bare this April.  There's also some fab interior decorators in the square.
Entrance to the musée.

Early to bed tonight........flight departs at 7am tomorrow for Lucca!

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Paris is More Beautiful in the Rain

We've had a week of rain in Paris....but it's been so beautiful.

If you've seen Woody Allen's film, Midnight in Paris, you'll probably remember Gill wanting to walk back to the hotel in the rain, rather than catch a taxi, because, as he says, "Paris is more beautiful in the rain."

The week was fresh, glossy, invigorating, even freezing at times because of the rain, but it really was I totally agree with Gill (and Woody)!

Have a look.
The courtyard of the Palais Royale reflected those magnificent buildings...and Daniel Burren's columns were the perfect stepping stones in the rain (well some of them perhaps!)
Just walking' in the rain...and's definitely raining!
Reflective puddles in the Jardin du Tuileries.
The Arc de Triomphe just before the storm broke.
The storm wasn't far away so we hightailed it to the Four Seasons Hotel George V to see those incredible Jeff Leatham flowers and praps have a champers or three in La Galerie!  Oh my, you should see this hotel
Jaune/yellow...le coleur of Spring and Jeff Leatham's trademark 'tilting' of blossoms.
Jeff Leatham's floral work is unique......and you can clearly see his love of flowers in all his creations.
Suspended violet orchids were everywhere.
Perfect examples of the WOW factor in every bouquet.
Pink peonies.....yum!
After the most yummy afternoon tea in La Galerie......look what we found outside......vintage cars all lined up and ready to run us home to the apartment......I wish!
You just never know what you'll see in Paris.
I want that little gold one (see below)....and I have a birthday coming maybe Pierre could spoil me!  Ummmm...don't like my chances though!
How cute is that little gold one!
And wouldn't I love to drive to Lucca in this!
Off to Lucca next Saturday for my first art workshop.  Bellissimo!  It will focus on perspective....and we'll be exploring Lucca for the week as we create our watercolours.

I'll be joining a group of international students led by Pauline Fraisse, it will be a glorious week of art in sunny Lucca, Italy.  

(And although I loved the rain in Paris....rain, rain go away (please) in Lucca....we've had enough for a while.)

A bientôt.

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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Amsterdam Impressions

Everything you've heard about Amsterdam is absolutely correct.  It is a magical unique.......nothing else like it in the rest of Europe.

It's often referred to as "the Venice of the North" and I can see why.

Canals, quaint buildings, rich trading history, glorious art, elegant design and fashion, and its own unique cuisine.  And....those bicycles....they're everywhere!

Of course, Amsterdam flowers are out of this world.  My local Parisian fleuriste told me that for every bunch of flowers here in Paris, there are five in Amsterdam!

Pierre and I also went to Aalsmeer for the international flower auction.....incredible blooms being auctioned, despatched and transported to the rest of the world.  There'll be more on Aalsmeer in a later post.

We spent most of our time in and around the museums....Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House and the Riksmuseum...but also found time to stroll the famous 9 Streets District.

Here are my favourite impressions of Amsterdam.

Fabulous blossoms:
These glorious cherry blossoms were just outside the Van Gogh Museum...a lovely way to enter the museum.  Vincent must have been a kind and generous he painted a cherry blossom tree for his nephew.
The choice was incredible....very difficult to make a decision.
Bicycles...tourists beware!!!!!
Absolutely everyone rides a bicycle in Amsterdam....and most have at least two.
Riding through the Vondel Park........a fabulous green space near the museum quarter.
Quaint houses, streets, canals and parks:
Quaint, crooked house everywhere...but often contrasted with super modern industrial design!
Tinted street lamps add to the ambiance.
Canal boats everywhere....some of which are home sweet home for locals.
Reflections of Amsterdam in a glass box.
Busy barges on the canal.....this one carrying discarded bicycles!
Quirky shopping:
Naturally....j'adore this shop!
You can get anything in Amsterdam...even your own personalised wax seal!
If only this shop had been opened.....the vintage treasures inside were begging to come home with me.
Vintage spectacles.....but a little too 'fashion victim' for moi.
Just hangin' around the canals.
Now these chapeaux were a bargain.......Pierre was tempted.
Rembrandt House...his home, atelier and studio.
One can wander through Rembrandt's house....climb the stairs to the Master's atelier, watch etching demonstrations in his studio.....and imagine him creating his masterpieces.
Rembrandt's self portrait.
J'adore is truly wonderful....but it's still nice to be back home in Paris.   We're off to a concert tonight at Sainte Chapelle....Vivaldi's Four Seasons...can't wait.

And merci beaucoup Alex and Sharmila of the Fusion Suites loved our stay with you!

A bientôt.

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