Monday, May 28, 2012

Amanda's Amblings #4: Beyond the Marais

All the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone as I haven't felt like carrying my larger camera with me. As a result they're a bit fuzzy at times! Naturally I blame all shortcomings on the equipment!! Actually I'm looking into getting a new camera...but more about that if it happens.

This week has been a big one: Monday and Thursday were spent at the bookbinding studio and I am progressing well with my first book and have the second underway.

On Tuesday I finally ventured over to the Left Bank (this refers to the southern side of the river Seine). I took my first bus trip in Paris rather than the Metro, and I am hooked. The reason? Well you can see things from the bus, which you can't underground on the Metro. This photo is looking down towards Saint Sulpice.
 I'm becoming addicted to photographing old walls.

Back on the Right Bank, I jumped off the bus here: Hotel de Ville (City Hall) and walked back home to the Marais. This is image is fairly heavily processed using the Iris app on my iPhone.

More of the above.
On Wednesday we celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary with a degustation menu at Le Bristol's 3 Michelin Hat restaurant. It wasn't really the sort of place where you could whip out the camera but by the last course the champers had done its work and I snuck the phone out to quickly snap this.
On Friday we headed to the Centre Pompidou, the National Museum for Modern Art, which is also in walking distance. They have 60,000+ of their works in their online catalogue. If you would like to take a look it's here.

View to the "you-know-what" taken from the top floor of the Centre Pompidou.

The restaurant at the Centre Pompidou.

I focussed on the display from the permanent collection, which was a chronological survey of modern art. This display rotates through works from their collection and I can't say I saw any of my long-standing favourites. Instead I was surprised to find that it was the room dedicated to work by Giacometti that caught my imagination. Above a sculpture, and below part of the wall from Giacometti's studio. Isn't it gorgeous?

It's a long week-end here now and the weather has hit the summery high-twenties. I've been taking it very quietly after the busy week, just enjoying the view from the bedroom window.

A bientot!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

5 Painless Fixes for a More Potent Artist Statement

A wall near the Luxembourg Gardens with a quote from Rimbaud.

A brief diversion from the travelogue to share a resource that I hope you'll find useful.

Posts about artists statements cycle around the blog-o-sphere and it seems that as visually creative people, writing about our work is something we all find very challenging.

Alyson B Stanfield covers the area in some detail, and has an ebook that you can purchase if you really want to go into the subject in some depth. However, there are also a number of free resources on her webite about artist's statements including this one: 5 Painless Fixes for a More Potent Artist Statement

One thing I particularly like about her approach is that she sees it as an evolving process. I know that doing my masters really helped me because I spent a couple of years writing and re-writing my statement and now I have something that travels with me. Of course I return to it periodically and edit out a sentence, tweek a word or two or add something new, but now the whole thing is far more pain-free for me. Given the amount you need a statement (ie with every application you submit) this has been a really worthwhile project. It also makes talking about my work professionally a lot easier too.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amanda's Amblings #3

This is an iPhone snap looking out the window tonight. I love chimney pots on rooftops, for some reason.
This is a view in through the glass window of Atelier du Marais, where I am going for bookbinding classes. You can see almost the entire work bench along the right side, where up to six studentsat a time can work. On the left you see two book presses. At the extreme left the wall is covered with shelves from floor to ceiling which are filled with the students'  "boxes". These are where we store our "bits and pieces" when we're not working with them. I'll try to get a photo of the boxes because they are quite beautiful, and they caught my eye last year, leading me to peer in and realize that this was a bookbinding studio
This photo was taken last week-end when the weather was quite warm and sunny. This man is rather a character of the Marais. He appears with this rather fantastical contraption on week-ends when the area is flooded with tourists. Everyone stops to stare and take photos - and he's not backward about asking for a little "something" in return.
The Marais is known as home for young fashion designers, so window shopping is a treat. I can't help thinking I'd need to visit the osteopath if I ever managed to wriggle myself into the straps of this bag. In my typical way, I failed to notice the designer's name.
This was taken during the week and it was much colder (Maximum 13 deg one day). This building is just a bank, but I like the way it fills the corner of the block.
This is a hotel in Rue Payenne. There is a beautiful green square opposite called Square Louis Achille. It isn't huge, but it is lovely, and there are always French children playing and making the most of the space.
Further along Rue Payenne is the Musee Carnavalet, Historical Museum of Paris. At the moment there is an exhibition of photos of Paris by Eugene Atget on there. It is on my "to see" list. This photo shows the corner right opposite, where the Historical Library of Paris is housed (I think).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Amanda's Amblings #2

This post is all talk, vision and music.


Back soon with more.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Amanda's Amblings #1


This is a view of one of the more eclectic stalls I saw today, and yes that does appear to be a life-size Egyptian sarcophagus of some sort (right in the centre of the photo).
This is the street in the Marais where we are staying. It's the same apartment we rented last year. The market today is just at the end of the street.
This is the staircase in our building. I love the worn stair treads, and near the front door there is another set of stairs leading down to a very creepy-looking (and musty smelling!) cellar. There is talk of these stairs being renovated, but I'm against it!
Here's a view inside our apartment. There's a separate bedroom and large windows that go almost to the floor. It was only renovated about 2 years ago, but the floorboards are original and beautiful (and extremely creaky, especially in the middle of the night).
This is the building across the road. Not sure if you can see, but it says "Public Hygeine Sociale". I'm not sure to what exactly that refers, but it sounds a bit unsavoury! Fortunately there's a gallery in there now and this sign:
which means of course, "The Love of Books", so I know I'm in the right place.

More soon.