Archive for August, 2019

France

August.16. 2019

There’s something about French art that attracts me.

Maybe it’s the impressionistic quality, a certain preference for the obscure rather than the clearly defined, the magical as opposed to the logical, the sensual as opposed to the mechanical.

French art, I find, is more about poetry rather than structure.

By art, of course, I mean all forms of art.

Writing as well as music and painting.

And so it was that in my youth, seemingly without any reason whatsoever, I found myself gravitating to Francoise Hardy, to Marguerite Duras, to Chopin (I see him as more French than Polish), to Leonard Cohen (Canadian French) and of course to all the impressionistic painters.

In my guitar playing, I find myself strangely influenced by Richard Clayderman. (I know he’s not considered ‘legit’ by ‘serious’ musicians, but listen to the phrasing in his solo performances and you will hear a rare sensitivity that you don’t hear in anyone else.)

This summer, I found myself finally making my way through France.

And the experience did not disappoint.

There’s an unreal quality about the country.

From Verdun, to Paris, to Pont-Aven, to Fougères, miles and miles of beautiful farmland, punctuated by small picture-book villages.

Even the speeding ticket I got in Rennes, after I returned from my trip, did nothing to mar the memory of that experience.

 

River Seine from Pont des Arts
River Seine from Pont des Arts

Pont-Aven
Pont-Aven