Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wednesday, March 24

Today is our free day – no scheduled events. I have been making a list of ideas of what to do with this day for months – all of them revolving around shooting outdoor pictures. However, when the day arrives it is overcast and going to stay that way. I already know what those images will look like (boring), so I junk my plans and start over.

First I go to a small park behind some government offices, the Palais Royal. The combination of the gray skies and trees that are just beginning to bud make for an uninteresting scene. I do enjoy the sculpture garden, where there are a number of children running around amongst the columns. It reminds me of the Cat Stevens song, “Where Do The Children Play?”

From there I walk to the Louvre and stroll around the grounds. In my opinion, the space beginning at the Pei’s Pyramid and running thru the Jardin des Tuileries, across the Place de la Concorde and thru the beginning of the Champs-Elysees is one of the most beautiful man made open spaces in the world. Even on a gray day like this it is a joy to wander around. I stop and have lunch in an outdoor café on the grounds of the Tuileries, watching the people go by.

Eventually this brings me to my goal, the Musee de l’Orangerie, home to Claude Monet’s masterful, massive Water Lilies canvases.

This is a fabulous space within which to few these huge, endlessly fascinating canvases. I like the second room a little better, as people don’t stay as long as in the first, so it is a little quieter. Lately, I have been observing these painting while listening to Keith Jarrett’s, The Koln Concert. There seems to me to be a natural synergy between abstract impressionist painting and solo improvisational jazz. You can almost see their respective muses directing their work. (Technically, only for Jarrett [the muse of music, Euterpe], as there is not a muse for painting per se.) I enjoy this for a long while, until eventually the mood is spoiled by a bunch of just-teen school children, noisy and disinterested and I leave.

I am beginning to think that I may be coming down with a cold. The fact that the weather as been changing wildly, I have been in constant motion and have not been eating well are beginning to take their toll.

It is very hard to be a vegetarian in France. The French think that anyone who does not eat animals must be crazy. In addition, I have forgotten one of my most important reference books, a French to English restaurant menu translator. This is incredibly stupid of me and has made an already difficult situation all the harder. I hunker down for the evening, to save my strength for tomorrow.

About the images:

1. Children playing on the grounds of the Palais Royal.

2. The second gallery inside the Musee de l'Orangerie.

3. & 4. Detail from the Water Lillies.

No comments:

Post a Comment