Following the Artists: Aix-en-Provence

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!

12 thoughts on “Following the Artists: Aix-en-Provence

  1. Beautiful! I love Aix too as you may remember. I’ll be there in less than 2 weeks. I want to see the Chagall exhibition – amongst other things!!
    What I like is that you can walk all around the city center where cars have a very limited access. And the best of the area is that you can spend so much time outdoors. You can literally breath the sun!
    Where were the four other French towns of your trip?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t seem to remember that but it’s good to know 😉 Oh, lucky you to just pop by)) yes, the traffic free centre opens up for dreamy wandering and amazing staring))
      That time we drove from Barcelona and did Perpinyan-Montpellier- Avignon- Aix – Marseille- Nimes. In one week. One night each place, 2 in Avignon and Nimes. It was kinda exhausting in the end – but still magnifique!

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  2. Aix-en-Provence is a favourite day trip of ours. I love its honey coloured stone facades and adore wandering around its cobbled, traffic free streets, shopping in its market and just soaking up its atmosphere at any time of the year. Loved your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. France is really charming.
    I was only twice in Dunkirk, which is not even that exciting. But the whole atmosphere gave me a feeling of warmth and happiness.

    I bet Italy is the same. I have only been to Rome and it was spectacular!!

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    • I am not sure where Dunkirk is, sounds so German or Danish 😆 but France is full of regions with its unique flavors. Too bad we only hear of Paris and Provence. I want to explore them all!
      Italy is same same but different 😀 to me Rome is majestic and imperial, old but lively. Provence is artsy, smallish, cozy. And then there is Paris, the city of artists, their muses and dreams… so much variation over such a small territory))

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  4. Lovely photos, Marina!! I may be travelling to Southern France soon (my brother in law is moving to the Cote d’Azur!), so I’ll put this town on my list!! It looks really nice! And it even reminds me a little to the old town here in Zurich, with its pastel colors and cute shops and cafes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, such luck! 😊 You need to use it!)) Southern France is full of pretty towns and villages. I even once followed Instagram account devoted to villages of Provence ❤️
      I hope, you will take lots of pictures there and share them on your blog! Would love to see them through your lens!

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