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Posts tagged ‘France’


Le Fenetre Bleu

Doors and windows are a gift to the imagination of writers and photographers too. Fascinating to ponder what might be going on behind a particular door. Or wonder who could possibly be living in a room with windows like these.

There’s just the hint of a decorative design in the window on the left. This window scene is high up on a terraced townhouse in Ceret in France and looks down over the main street and the buzz of daily life. I was drawn to the powder blue of the fabric contrasting with the much darker blue of the peeling casements. Not to mention the soft dappled morning sunlight.


galeries lafayette

A few weeks ago I’d posted from the Corn Exchange in Leeds. It had a pretty amazing domed ceiling. Then I found this picture I’d taken in the galeries lafayette in Paris a little while ago.

Now that’s what I call a ceiling!


That Certain ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’

You’ve got to hand it to the French, they’ve got a certain je ne sais quoi going on. Hard to define, but I reckon these two definitely have it. Once again, this is in Ceret, in southern France.

A beer at the local cafe while watching the world go by. Or a keen glance through the morning papers. N’est-ce pas parfait?!”


Ceramic Art in Ceret

Ceret is a small town in southern France. It’s also a town with strong artistic credentials, not least as the home of the Musee d’Art Moderne.

Ceret was also a favourite haunt of Picasso. It remains a very attractive and unspoilt town with quite an intimate atmosphere. This piece of al fresco ceramic art is tucked away just off the main street and shows various aspects of the town, including it’s 14th century Pont du Diable in the top left.


It’s Pants

Apparently some of you thought my previous post was about The Beatles. Certainly no intention to mislead. Apologies anyway.
This quick post is quite unambiguous. It’s pants! Spotted these exciting undies on a makeshift clothesline in a small town in the south of France.


Reporting from Paris, France.

It’s Sunday and I’ve got a big report and action plan to produce for a client tomorrow morning. So for the bulk of the day so far I can only look with envy at the beautiful Autumn sunshine and golden leaves on the trees outside my study. As the day’s worn on, I got to wondering whether interrupting my schedule every now and then to draft up a blog post might actually have a positive impact on my work rather than being perceived as a frivolous distraction. What better way to find out than to actually write a post in stages during the day. As with all my posts, there’s got to be a strong visual element. Given that I’m not entirely sure where this post is going yet, I’m including an image at random.

It’s a picture I took a few weeks ago in Calderstones Park. I have no idea what sort of plant it is. Feel free to let me know! But fabulous Autumn colours regardless.

15.45 : Just taken a short coffee break, safe in the knowledge that the report is now well under way. How did drafting the first part of a blog post help? Not sure really. Certainly feels less pressured than following Twitter or something like that. That’s a definite distraction as it’s too easy to drop in and out of it. Here’s another random image. This one was taken earlier this year and it’s the view from my brother’s garden in the Isle of Man.

Not a whole lot to do on the Isle of Man, but for peace and quiet and incredible scenery, it’s worth a trip.

16.10 : Nearly completed a trawl of the evidence gathered during a two day audit and although I’ve been writing up notes and recommendations as I’ve been going along, sense the need to step away now and again to allow me to reflect on the messages I’m delivering. In terms of this post, I think I need to similarly provide evidence of a very different sort of image. Here goes. It’s a photograph taken one bright sunny morning in the Tuileries in Paris.

A perfectly designed obelisk to the left and a magnificently realised piece of sculpture. Now back to that report..

16.45 : Getting to the stage in the report where I need to cross-reference masses of information. Important to have a clear focus. This next shot I believe has just that. Still in Paris, this is taken in it’s famous department store, Galeries Lafayette, looking down on a counter selling an incredible range of colourful spices.

The shot appealed too for it’s unusual blend of shapes, straight lines and curves.

17.00 : On the subject of shapes, it’s dusk outside now and the shapes of the trees are starting to blur and become indistinct. The opportunity to revisit a post and add to it as you’re working on something altogether different definitely seems to be motivating me to carry on with the task, and the creativity involved in writing and constructing a post is acting as a really helpful counterbalance to the much drier subject matter I’m working on in the report. Must try this again sometime,  but I’m going to close this post with one more image. Still in France, I used this image as the wallpaper on my MacBook – it’s oleanders and a beautiful blue window frame. Hope you like it.


Cezanne, Picasso and I

For reasons best known to my teachers at Hillfoot Hey Grammar School, my art lessons came to an end at the age of 12 and instead I was to study French. Don’t think I realised at the time just how big a decision this was to be for me. I’d opted out of my piano lessons when I was about 8 or 9, so at least I’ve got no-one else to blame for not playing the piano except myself. But painting, well that’s a different matter. So it was with some trepidation, many years later, that I joined an art class taught by my friend, Peter, who’d trained at Liverpool Art School with John Lennon. Soon I was drawing and painting in class and independently. This painting below started life as a sketch of a rather exotic looking plant in my garden. Working in acrylics and on a canvas about 18inches by 15inches, I decided to try my hand at an abstract painting based on those original sketches. Big bold colours were definitely the order of the day as you can see.

As for influences on this particular painting, I really couldn’t say, but in general I’d have to cite Cezanne as a painter whose work’s always fascinated me. At University in Cardiff, I think I had a print of one of his many paintings of Mount St.Victoire. The picture below is certainly very similar.

Amazing paintings and a real inspiration. Here are a couple of watercolours I painted last year near Ceret in France last year. I’ll blog about Ceret another time, but for now I’ll simply say that this little town was a favourite haunt of Picasso many years ago.

This is Mt.Canigou painted from the my hotel in Ceret.

And this painting shows the view towards the Mediterranean coast from an ancient hilltop hermitage. Hope these help to brighten up the dark evenings for you.