I just got back (sob) from Paris and France. From Los Angeles, a non-stop flight to Charles de Gaulle may not be the longest flight there is, but 10 hours to arrive and an 11 hours return trip isn’t exactly a walk in the park. I decided quite awhile ago to try to combine the best of both worlds while flying; a stylish, put together look that manages to be comfortable and still look like you haven’t slept in it when you queue up in customs. In fact, this year I went a bit far and wore Michael Kors sky-high platform sandals (which looked great, but I wasn’t so happy with my choice when I ended up running to the international terminal to catch my flight!!)
So I have to say I agree with J.J. Martin, the author of the Wall Street Journal article “An Argument for Flying in High Style.” In fact, I may even wear a faux fur overcoat she suggests on my next flight (considering the extremely high rainfall for May in Paris!)
Look at how they used to treat air travel, in the day….
For me at least, any travel is worth it, and I want to look good going there and when I’m walking in the rain.
In French, “window shopping” is translated literally as “licking the windows” (leche-vitrines) as in, Je adore faire du lèche-vitrines pendant la période de Noël (I adore window shopping at Christmas time.) But after taking a break from my blog (and work) to have an extended stay in the City of Light, I can tell you that they have the BEST window displays there, bar none. You WILL want to lick the windows. The most amazing little stores, remarkably small and perhaps largely unnoticed, design a small feast for the senses for those who take the time to stop and look. It’s just how they do things in France (I never thought taking art education out of the public schools was a good idea. Ask the French about it!)
One late Sunday night (yes, I said Sunday) around midnight, I was walking back to my apartment in the 6eme and I saw a women, working alone late in her little hat boutique, designing her new window display for the following week. She would make the most incremental adjustments of the hats, then walk in the street to take a look, then go back and move things a teeny bit more. It was very late, but apparently, very important. That is why it is worth “licking the windows” in Paris! Thank God the French don’t like to change!
Here are just a few of the windows I photographed; mostly I was focused on photographing small Parisians scenes to embellish for my store. Take a look, they will be added soon!
And here is a photo of the flowers in bloom at the Jardin du Luxembourg (in October, no less) that will giving me endless inspiration for happy, joyous color.
If you have ever studied another language, one of the first things you need to grasp completely is that you CANNOT translate phrases word for word from your language. That is not learning the language! Which is why the phrase “I miss Paris” never rolls off my tongue quickly enough. To miss Paris, or anyone, they must be “missed to you.” Last night I saw a House Hunters International on apartment hunting in Paris (a daunting task, of course) and today I saw a wonderful article about a new exhibition of Gertrude and The Brother’s Stein’s art collection. (If you saw “Midnight in Paris” you were probably amused by Kathy Bates’ portrayal of Gertrude and that fabulous copy of Picasso’s painting he did of her!) The exhibition, “The Stein’s Collect” is at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, then travels to New York, and finally Paris, where it all began. From the Wall Street Journal article:
For several years, almost the only places in Paris where one could go to see collections of works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse were Gertrude and Leo’s (and later Alice’s) weekly Saturday-evening salons on rue de Fleurus, and Sarah and Michael’s the same evening on the rue Madame. Eventually, “everybody” came—writers, musicians, cafe society and the gay demimonde, foreign searchers after the new, and the artists the Steins collected.
The Steins were such influential and astute art collectors that they managed to have owned some of the most beautiful and important paintings ever created, such as these two glorious Matisse portraits. They are breathtaking!
So I’m sure you can understand why I have learned to say correctly “Paris me manque” whilst my head is thinking: “Paris is missed to me!”
I was so excited to see Woody Allen’s new movie “Midnight in Paris” because I know he lovingly and attentively creates visual poems to his favorite cities. And I, along with Woody and so many others, have a permanent ache in my heart for Paris. He certainly did not disappoint! The opening montage of scenes of the city were framed with a romantic’s eye, reflecting Paris not only how you remember it, but better. I wont give away the plot of the movie, but the entire story pays homage to this one-of-a-kind city with it’s storied and illustrious past. Paris, perhaps more than any other city, certainly deserves to be romanticized and idealized; it possesses all the ingredients necessary for fulfilling your every fantasy. I know I will never tire of taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night, no matter how many times I have done it. The last time, I was on one of the last elevators down around midnight, on a sharp, clear and cold night. Grabbing a taxi at the Champs de Mars, the taxi driver had the radio tuned to a classic oldies French station playing the kind of songs you dream about hearing while at home. As he sped off, I turned around to see the Eiffel Tower fade into the distance with it’s “twinkle” lights on, cheerfully illuminating the night. One can never grow tired of that.
Of course, aside from the glamour of the city, there were fantastic costumes for the period sets, and the amazingly beautiful Marion Cottilard and Carla Bruni to look at. I will be planning my next trip!
Here are some images from the film, and some of my own memories…
Sometimes when I’m perusing my little ol’ Aperture Library for new piece to work on, I get nostalgic for traveling. I see all my photos just sitting there, and I get stuck in the memories. Traveling is my first love- dare I say- even before art and style? A tough choice, to be sure, but they both produce the same feeling of discovery, communication, sharing, and anticipation of things unknown. When you travel, it will always be different than you have imagined. When you create art, it always turns out different than you have imagined. And both are in a good way!
Here are just a few I saw in my library today…let’s go!
I just found this post about the removal of the locks on Le Pont des Arts; do you have a lock there? Mon Dieu, il faut qu’on y retourner tout de suite! (OMG, we must return right away!)
P.S. For all you native French speakers, I can never choose the right verb… is it “retourner or “revenir”? And for you non-native French speakers, there are like five ways to say “go back”!
I loved catching numerous images of French icons in the streets when I was in Paris. Whenever I saw Brigitte Bardot, I noticed she was always more captivating than the thing they were trying to sell. For quite a long time now, she has devoted her life to animal rights…how worthy and inspiring. A quote:
“I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals.”
I did a new piece on her; it is now available here, in my etsy store.
I just returned from my vacation, and I was very much inspired by the art, enviornment, and style in Paris (as always!) We have a flourishing art scene here in Los Angeles, no doubt about it, but I was happy I was able to see the “Elles” exhibition at the Pompidou Center, along with a retrospective of Nancy Spero (more on that soon.) I hear talk that we have style here, but I don’t see much of it. Not like those Parisienne girls…dressed chicly and smartly, cold weather be damned! I was a wimp about being warm enough, but women in Paris know how to do it all. So envious.
I was also very fortunate to see the Takashi Murakami exhibition at Versailles. I had seen pictures of the first attempt of a contemporary art juxtaposition at Versailles, with Jeff Koons. I was so intrigued and felt the pictures couldn’t replace the experience of actually being in the King’s Palace and seeing the art. I certainly admired the guts of the curators, but ever since the Eiffel Tower was built and I.M. Pei’s Glass Pyramid outside the Louvre was constructed, you understand that Paris is willing to take risks!
My opinion… is that I loved it! I like Murakami, and saw a great retrospective of his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles a few years ago. The juxtaposition of his fabrications and the gilded opulence of the Palace was somehow unsettling and stimulating at the same time. Here are some pictures, see what you think. I really admire this kind of risk taking curating, especially in Europe which has a reputation for being “old and set in it’s ways.” Ha! No wonder those girls have such great style!
More posts coming soon. I already have lots of new photographic art pieces to add to my etsy store from my trip!
I’m very excited for my upcoming trip to Marbella, Spain, and Paris. While I am there, I will undoubtedly take lots of pictures, see lots of art (there is a Basquiat and Monet special exhibition, as well as “Les Femmes” at the Pompidou) and bring home lots of new inspiration for new work. I’m just a travel junkie who gets VERY depressed whilst watching “Househunters International.” I thrive on being visually over stimulated.
Here is one of my shots of Paris available for sale in my etsy store. Buy it for a holiday gift for all those people you know who love Paris!
Of course, being the retro loving gal that I am, I picture myself looking like this as I traipse through “les attactions touristiques.”
Needless to say, packing is very difficult. Lots of black. I think I should bring this, but if I decide not to, look for it in my etsy store “Trolleyla Vintage” on November 1st!
I seem to work with faces and places a lot as my subject matter. Iconic places (like the Eiffel Tower or Ferris wheels) are always fun for me to reinterpret. One, because I get to reminisce about the time I took the picture, and two, because I get to add a “feeling” to the image. The bad part is how sick I get about not being there (anywhere) RIGHT NOW! But what is truly amazing is that a simple tree or photo of flowers can be just as interesting as a shot in France or Austria.
Here are some nature shots I took and edited in my iphone. They are from my trip to Colorado and I did them on the 2 hour flight home! Good thing I had these apps, because I had already read the Southwest Airlines magazine.
Please check my etsy store to purchase these in a larger size.
I only had a few days after participating at the Renegade event in Los Angeles before heading off to beautiful Colorado to visit my family and do some communing with nature. I lived in Colorado for a short time, and have visited there very often, so I have a special place in my heart for it’s wide skies and quick access to majestic beauty. While there, I attended the last day of “Cheyenne Frontier Days”, the 114th annual rodeo in Wyoming. It was very nice to be in Cowboy Country and to be reminded that there are (quite) a few other ways of living than just big city L.A. In fact, there is a “retro country” style that I could explore and add to my work. You know, like 1930’s and 40’s western style…
Here are just a few pictures of The Rocky Mountains and the rodeo (altered by me for enhanced effect!)
But of course, the best part of all was spending time with my family…who I miss and love! I’m glad they live in beautiful Colorado so I can visit there and be part of it for awhile.