Monet in Giverny

From the train window on the way from Paris, fields of brilliant yellow bordered by ones of deep green unfurled along the landscape. I could picture Vincent or his cronies sitting out with their easels and paints, feeling the color fill them up and overflow onto the canvas. This post is continued from Cézanne inContinue reading “Monet in Giverny”

Rouen and Le Havre

Rouen It was a gray day with intermittent drizzle when I visited Rouen. That wonderful, vibrant Impressionist sunlight remained hidden behind blanketing clouds, elusive. As I wandered dark cobblestoned streets with crooked Tudor painted-wood framed houses, outlined in deep colors with light between borders, I pictured shadowy figures slipping in between doorways. This post continuesContinue reading “Rouen and Le Havre”

Van Gogh in Auvers

Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch artist and probably the best known of the Impressionists today, came to Auvers-sur-Oise in the last year of his life, yet he painted seventy-seven paintings there before he died of a gunshot wound. Debate still continues as to whether his death was a suicide or murder. This post is continuedContinue reading “Van Gogh in Auvers”

Paris as a base

Paris was my base for visiting towns that inspired the Impressionist painters in the north of France. Each of the sites I chose were within a day’s round trip by train. This post is continued from Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence. The taxi from the train station climbed the steep street to my little studio apartment inContinue reading “Paris as a base”

Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence

 “I was thinking of you while I stood in Cézanne’s studio, looking at all the little things on his shelf that appeared in his still life paintings… it felt kind of spiritual being there. Thank you for encouraging me to do this journey,” I wrote to my artist friend, who helped me decide what citiesContinue reading “Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence”

Semana Santa

No one celebrates Easter the way Antigua, Guatemalans celebrate Semana Santa, Holy Week, with rituals that date back to old Spain. Magnificent, ephemeral festival art comes to life and is lovingly trampled. Along the streets, people cluster in groups around artists creating beautiful but fleeting works of art in the form of carpets on theContinue reading “Semana Santa”

Basket women of Chilascó

After weeks of torrential rain and mudslides, I joined a friend to visit artisans in a remote village, detouring around road cave-ins under reconstruction until, after a four-hour drive from Antigua, we reached the turn-off to Chilascó in the central Guatemala department of Baja Verapaz. There stood an old man with a worn backpack, hisContinue reading “Basket women of Chilascó”

Parramos & Pastores, bootmakers

Returning to Guatemala for a visit after living in other countries, I joined a Habitat for Humanity build in the pueblo of Parramos near Antigua. To be accepted by Habitat for a project, applicants had to meet certain requirements. They had to be a family rather than a group of individuals, own the land, andContinue reading “Parramos & Pastores, bootmakers”

Comalapa, Guatemala, town of artists

The most amazing sight in Comalapa is the mural along the cemetery walls. But it is also a town of artists with many painted walls and galleries of local arts depicting village scenes in bright colors. Many of the villages of Guatemala specialize in various arts and are peopled with artisans. I had come with some friendsContinue reading “Comalapa, Guatemala, town of artists”

Lotus of Ueno Park, Tokyo

The Zen of lotus leaves: graceful, reaching, curling, budding, nurturing, blossoming, caressing, open and welcoming, hiding, labyrinthine, blanketing. Several of my fellow bloggers have recently written about Ueno Park in Tokyo and others about the concept of wabi-sabi (Travels and Trifles, Albatz Travel),  and some of my older photos popped up on Facebook to remindContinue reading “Lotus of Ueno Park, Tokyo”