Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monet's Water Lilies

Yesterday the road (or shall I say, the Metro) led to L'Orangerie. This little museum was high on Vicki's list and was a first for me as it has been under reconstruction pretty much since my first visit to Paris years back. It is at the south-west end of the Tuileries gardens, and its major feature is two full rooms of Monet water lilies. Yes, that was not a typo... ROOMS.

Each room is oval and has four panels, hugging the curves of the walls, and obviously created specifically for the space. It is close to gasp inducing. As with any painting whose story is told as much by its texture as its color, no photo can do them justice but I took them anyway. (And can I just state for the record that I so appreciate the French being pretty relaxed about photography as long as you don't use a flash... the English and the Italians are increasingly forbidding it, I assume to bolster their postcard sales. Think about that... the French being more relaxed than the Italians!)

Vicki, like me is a quilt maker, and she's no slouch with color. But she had a revelation this week after steeping in Monet's work at both L'Orangerie and the D'Orsay... she knew she had always been into Monet but didn't realize that she has been chasing his pink/peach/blue/green palette in fabrics for years. No wonder she makes beautiful quilts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The White Guy Loves Books

I'm back in Paris for a quick week as a reward to myself for surviving my second year of grad school. Friend Vicki is here with me, her first time in the City of Light, and a treat for me as she is an architect, so I get to traverse some familiar ground with her eyes pointing out the things I haven't seen.

The days have been good, if on the chilly side - but the sun has been hiding, making for rather dull pictures. However, I found a new White Guy! He was on an awning close to the Pompidou Center (a Renzo Piano confection of architecture with its brightly colored insides on the outside). He was up to one of my favorite pastimes... reading.

For other White Guy pix, check back on the old blog (link on the left)