Winter is the season when I feel the acute need to hunt for the light and color. Today my memory brought back to me one nice winter experience that I want to share here.
Two years ago we were doing a road trip through the Southern France and stayed one day and one night in the town of Aix-en-Provence. I wish we had stayed there longer because this one is an especially pretty town, though every town on our itineary was pretty. We had come to Aix-en-Provence after four French towns, and, to be honest, we were more tired than impressed. This is when we felt that traveling is not just all excitement as most of us use to believe. Sometimes you feel more hunger for your own home kitchen and your couch than for another restaurant and hotel :))
I guess, I was more hit by the beauty of Aix-en-Provence later – looking at my photos of it, than in the moment of walking those streets. Maybe you know that this town was a favorite place of many artists, Paul Cezanne being one of them. I am a great lover of impressionists and I can see why many of them were inspired by Provence. And after studying the photos of Aix-en-Provence I can imagine where their inspiration sprang from. Join me if you want to feel like that artist! 🙂
The impressionists were famous for their study of light. And this is what you find in Provence, also in winter – lots of light. Cheerful, gentle, making great shadows. Both during the day…
…and when the sun starts to disappear (click on any image to see it in full size).
And then we have color. I don’t know how it was in the days of impressionists – but now it looks like the best artists were given the job of setting color on this town. There is so much harmony and thoughtfulness that the facades and window decorations look like art. I don’t want to criticize modern art but sometimes I miss its ability to uplift the spirit (these days it’s more ironical and uberpostmodern than beautiful). Walking the streets of French towns, on the contrary, does it sometimes better than some art gallery.
Here is my study of tranquil pastels…
…and more vibrant combinations.
Paying for our lunch we got our bill with the spread of candies. They are like a metaphor for Aix-en-Provence – an eye candy of pretty shapes and colors. And a place of temptations, sweet and colorful like these bakery masterpieces.
Viva la France! What else can I say? It seems that its people know how to create art – not only for galleries or cinemas, but the art for your daily life. The one you can taste, see, touch or smell. This is the true art de vivre, the art of living, no?
Where would your artistic self love to go? Where would it feel inspired?
And may your winter be filled with light and color!