Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Lovely Loire


Our annual visit to the Loire has finally come round. A week spent with friends relaxing in their small house in a tiny village near Candes Saint Martin. When we first started coming here the children were little so we would start the day earlier than we chose and our days were spent moving from one activity to another. Now, the kids are older and we have seen most of the nearby Chateaux, it feels like the daily rhythm has changed to a more leisurely pace. We go for strolls and cycle rides, swimming and accrobranche. We make it up as we go along.

We like to visit old haunts. On our first evening we went on a cycle ride to some nearby caves. 


Last year in the fields on either side of this small track grew sunflowers.



Near the caves are a beautiful collection of quite grand houses. 



I love this grass roofed dovecot.



No shortage of bees here.



Or vineyards.



Big skies.



Good sunsets.




What's not to like?

For more Loire posts from previous year, click here.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Wonderful Windows

I've written about Paris doors before (Doors Galore). Lately I've become preoccupied with windows. Their different shapes, the reflections they create, their surround, their positioning within the facade of the building. Once you start looking, you realise how many variations there are and how much there is to see.

Here is a fairly typical Parisian facade. Only the windows on the lower floor have shutters. I wonder why?


The next road along, an apartment building catches the soft morning light. Shutters on all floors.


A cat watches the world go by from her window.


In the south of France, most windows have shutters. Everything is done to keep out the heat from the sun. Here are some shuttered windows in Arles.

Open.



Closed.



Trompe-l'œil.


And ... I'm not even sure what this is about. 



In Paris there are many huge north facing windows, designed to get as much light into the building. This amazing apartment block in the 14th arrondissement was designed by architect André Arfidson and ceramicist Alexandre Bigot.



Here is another beautiful glazed window on Avenue Junot in Montmartre.



Many Parisian windows at ground level have security bars. Here is a plain one. A street artist has felt the need to liven it up.



Another plain set of bars. This time it's the sun that has livened it up.



Curly bars.



French windows with elaborate metalwork balconies completely transform the way this apartment block in the 12th arrondissement looks when they catch the sun.



The way light reflects off windows can change the way they look. Here are some fiery windows at dusk.



Some windows detached from their frames are for sale at the Marché Saint Ouen. Lampposts and their shadows are reflected.



A stained glass window in the Église Saint Pierre diffuses the light from outside into the cool low lit church.



The dormer windows of Chateau de Versailles are some of the most ostentatious widows I've ever seen!



And finally, some bespoke burglar bars on a window in Montmartre. Even Spiderman is intrigued by these.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Felice Varini at La Villette

Born in 1952, Felice Varini is a Swiss artist based in Paris. He is known for his geometric perspective-localised paintings on buildings, streets, rooms and other architectural spaces. He uses projectors and stencils to achieve these amazing works. He has an exhibition at La Villette at he moment. Three of the pieces are in the Paul-Delouvrier gallery. Entry is free. When we was there last Wednesday afternoon there were very few people and we were able to spend time finding the 'right spot' to see the completed forms. 

This is the first one you see when you first enter the Paul-Delouvrier gallery. Fragmented.



Complete.



Blue picture frames. Fragmented.



Complete (well almost ... ahem).



Fragmented.



Complete.




I was with my 10 year old son and he really enjoyed finding the right place to stand, though he was a little short to get it spot on all the time. For this one in the arcade of the east gallery of La Grande Halle, however, he was able to. Maybe the huge scale if it allowed a bit of 'give'.




So clever! 

The exhibition runs until 13th September 2015. More information on the exhibition can be found here.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Spring Shadows

Chilly mornings with the sun struggling to burst through hazy (polluted) skies. But when it does there are shadows. Beautiful, crisp shadows.

A lamppost in Parc de la Turlure just behind the Sacré Coeur.


Another lamppost on place Ravignan.



Rue Caulaincourt.



Saint Patrick's day shadow bunting outside Corcoran's Sacré Cœur Irish pub.



Rue Gabrielle.





Le bateau Lavoir, Place Ravignan.



Rue Burq.



And then moving out of our neighbourhood, a tree on the roof terrace of the Louis Vuitton Foundation. 


And my favourite shadow so far this spring.