words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “France

variations | when biking le tour, we discover more about ourselves

The pleasure of the moment. In retrospect, a sense of warmth. The night turning to morning …

I was very excited about waking up at 6:30 a.m. to watch stage 9 of the Tour de France. The stage is a 168.5 km trek through the Pyrenees in Southern France. For me the mountain stages are the most exhilarating of all the various stages. The trek from Saint Girons to Bagneres de Bigorre includes four category one climbs, each over 5000 feet and a category 2 climb. A test of man and machine. I believe that climbing is my best skill as a rider, and I certainly can relate to the difficulty inherent to climbing. Whether it is mountain biking or road biking, I love the challenge. Climbing is very meditative; slow and methodical. One has to really focus inward. On the breath, and on the movement of the body. Everything is recorded over and over again. Sometimes with much pain. Physically and mentally is can be quite exhausting, but in the end very rewarding. There is a certain ‘Peacetime’ when the silence of nature, movement and breath come together. An inner bliss without end.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique | The Louvre in Paris, France

louvre halftone

For me, the Louvre in Paris, France definitely spells unique. Here is the original photo I took in 1990 with some up to date remixes to give it some color. The museum itself is a unique and wonderful place to visit. Here, the newly designed pyramid, that is also the entrance to the museum, is under construction. It provides a distinctive and contemporary look to the historical structure of the museum. A must visit for anyone looking for that certain unique experience.


Post Canvas And Paint: Another Parisian World (A 1990 Paris France Remix)

As I Stood on the Eiffel Tower and looked across the rooftops of Paris, I marveled at the world I had discovered…

Another Parisian World

What an eclectic moment, basking in timeless beauty, here above the City of Lights.


Image

Images For Android Phones: Pop Art – The 2012 Tour de France

Images For Android Phones: Pop Art - The 2012 Tour de France

The Tour de France is underway. It will cover over 2000 miles in 3 weeks. This shot was taken during stage 2 in Belguim. The images of bicycling has always been a hallmark of Pop-Art.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Path 03

My final installment for this challenge is the path to beautiful art at the Louvre via just one of the many bridges that cross the river Seine.

A path to beautiful art at the Louvre, in Paris, France


Boulevard St-Michel in the Latin Quarter, Paris, France

Boulevard St Michel

The Latin Quarter has become synonymous with the Sorbonne
University in Paris, France. It is an extremely old part of Paris. It became
its scholarly center in the 13th century when the University was moved
from the lle-de-la-Cite to the Left Bank. The Boulevard St-Michel is a wide
avenue built during the Second Empire, and is affectionately known by the
Parisians as the “Boul’ Mich”. It ascends from the river Seine towards the hill
of Ste Genevieve. The boulevard is populated with second hand bookshops, cafes,
distinct and exotic restaurants and avant-garde cinemas. The Boulevard St-Michel is the heart of the Latin Quarter.


Weekly Movie-Making Moments in Film: Camille Claudel

A woman’s strength and determination is powerful….

A woman’s love is without equal…..

A woman’s suffering for that love is immeasurable….

Perhaps one of my favorite French films that depicts artistic creativity, strength, determination, love and obsession is none other than the film Camille Claudel finely directed by Bruno Nuyten and starring Isabelle Adjani as Camille—the young but gifted sculptress. In the film Camille possesses an artistic and romantic passion that consumes her. Her love for the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, and her life, ends in pain and lost.

Here is a clip from the film. What do you think? If you have seen the film, what is your opinion of Isabelle Adjani’s performance?

http://youtu.be/_yT-oSkrrh0


Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Looking up at the Eiffel Tower. What an amazing view, when standing beneath this incredible, beautiful, architectural structure.  A work of art indeed.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France


Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance 03

A great entrance needs its own work of art….

The Louvre in Paris, France as remixed in the form of a digital pen.

The Louvre is a magnificent museum. I visited the museum in 1990 and just fell in love with its collection of art. But the entrance, the trait-d union between the new rooms and the surface, is a glass, transparent pyramid, of a very light construction, flanked by another two smaller pyramids which, like the larger one, reflect the changeable light of the Parisian sky.

The author of this bold project was the American architect of Chinese origin Ieoh Ming Pei, who also created the new wing of the National Gallery in Washington DC.

The entrance to the Louvre in Paris, France


Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance 02

In keeping with the theme of Paris, France here is another entrance shot. It is the Musee d Orsay, located on the left bank of the river Seine. The Museum hosts the works of some of the world best Impressionist painters such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, Manet and Pissarro. Post-Impressionist work can also be found in the museum as well. They include some rather remarkable paintings by famous artists such as Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

Musee de Orsay in Paris, France


Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance

Here is a shot I took when I was in Paris. It is Nord, the central train station. I just love the architecture of this beautiful building. The entrance is directly below.

The Paris central train station NORD


Art for Summer Vacations

Art for Vacations / to journey without moving

Art for Summer Vacations

It is that time of the year when we vacation or if we have
the opportunity we “Get Out and See”.  Summer
is here, and the temperature is rising. We search for that place to cool our
days and excite our senses. If we are lucky we travel to far off places and
discover ourselves anew while basking in the view of a beautiful sunrise or
sunset. We spend our afternoons lazily browsing small vintage shops, historical
sites, museums, gardens of beauty and restaurants of epicurean delights. I have
not travelled much abroad, but I am grateful to have visited both The
Netherlands and France during my 1990 group art exhibition in Deventer Holland.
These locales are wonderful places indeed, and I will never forget the
hospitality and kindness that I received throughout my journey. It is the
people that make a journey abroad so special.

Here in the states, I often carve out a weekend adventure
here or there. I enjoy outdoor activities that test my physical being, and challenge
my sense of adventure. I also like to seek out places that provide emotional
recovery through meditative contemplation and recollection.  This is vital for restoration.

I feel a great vacation should always provide moments of excitement and serenity….

What do you think? Where are some of your favorite places to
vacation? What do you seek out most when planning a vacation? Is it to find
adventure or is it to just relax? Do you prefer travels abroad or weekends
close to home? Please share your thoughts.

The art work that I have included in this post, are expressions
of the theme I call “Art for Summer Vacations”. The first piece “Vacation / a
journey without moving” is a collage of photographs I took as I travelled to the
city of Amsterdam, the town of Deventer (both in The Netherlands), the shores
of Cape Cod and Nantucket, and the mountains of North Carolina. The second
image entitled “Summer and its Warm Embrace” is a journey through mountains,
lakes and trails in  NC, SC and TN during
personal hikes and an artist residency provided by the South Carolina State
Parks.

Summer and its Warm Embrace

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 06

The river Seine and the streets of Paris, France 1990

Day 6 of the 30-Day Song Challenge asks the question what is “a song that reminds you of somewhere”?

http://youtu.be/_a3g8AMKXw4   Isabelle Aubret – La Fanette

While in Europe in 1990, I had the pleasure of traveling from
The Netherlands to Paris, France.  I fell
in love with the city. My girlfriend at the time was from Iran, but studied at
the University of Paris before moving to the United States. It was her
influence that led me to make the trip alone while my fellow artists (we were
exhibiting in Deventer, Holland) travelled to Germany.  I felt courageous doing this alone, and
enjoyed seeing the city and its rich artistic and cultural heritage. Ever since
that visit, I have fell in love with most things French (food, art, soccer,
film, music). That fact brings me to Isabelle Aubret and French music in
general.  She is incredible. I love her
voice, and the language itself. I particularly like French music from the
sixties (classic and new-retro as well) and contemporary French Pop. Singers
such as Francoise Hardy, France Gall, April March, Etienne Daho, and Charlotte Gainsbourg to
name a few, are at the top of my list. I think that is one of the reasons I
love this music, because it always takes me back to the streets of Paris.

day 01 – your favorite song – Stars of the Lid’s “Don’t Bother They’re Here”

day 02 – your least favorite song – Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”

day 03 – a song that makes you happy – Ivy’s – Edge of the Ocean

day 04 – a song that makes you sad – Trespassers Williams – Love You More

day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone – Trespassers Williams – Lie in the Sound

day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere