Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, Tous à la plage! Oct ParisLetter

Yesterday was the preview at Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine of 'Tous à la plage' at Trocadero. More pictures on FLICKR.
When I saw the preview posters around I said, I am not missing this!
And neither should you when you come to Paris. Its on till February 13 2017.
Playing in the sand is part of my DNA. Summers spent in Surf City and Beach Haven, NJ left sand in my shoes forever.
Why ever did I leave behind my sand bucket collection when I moved to Paris. Perfect for holding watercolor brushes too. Why oh why...
The exhibit is historically organized starting with the first cabins des bains often pulled onto the beach by donkeys.
What to change into in your cabins des bains. Stripes.
A whole range of architecture was designed for beach resorts some of it very grand pavilions and palaces.
What to sit on the beach? More marine stripes.
Loads of film snips from cinema and newsreels to watch, though no actual sand anywhere.
Glamorous pools were built right on the beach at Trouville and Dieppe.
Everyone in! The old posters are terrific.
The view out my window at hotel Les Embrans in Trouville of that same pool.
One way you could go to the beach.
Or take the train in style.
In the far upper left the Deauville-Trouville train station looks exactly the same today as in this 20s poster.
I'm thinking should I take the train down to Brighton next trip to London?
Or Blackpool.
Benidorm, Spain. At first I thought it was Rio de Janeiro.
Remember Club Med? And the beads? Did you go? I went to quite a few. They're still in business on boulevard de l'Opera. Below Florida looks very sane and serene. Altogether a wonderful exhibit full of nostalgia for those sand bucket days. Time to plan for next summer.
October's Paris letter went out enfin Monday! Its a What's on in Paris letter. enjoy and thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, buy my Paris letters and watercolors or forward this to someone who might enjoy it. Cheers !

Thursday, October 13, 2016

JMW Turner:Adventures in Colour, John Akomfrah's Vertigo Sea - Turner Contemporary, Margate UK

Last week at this time I was in Margate in the UK previewing the new terrific JMW Turner and color exhibit at Turner Contemporary. This week I've been trying to paint watercolors like Turner (see above)...ahem.
The museum was built exactly on the spot of Mrs. Sophia Booth's boarding house frequented by Turner more times than I can count. They were 'an item' you could say.
Inside you're looking at exactly the same views Turner saw and painted frequently, so its quite thrilling even on a grey, cloudy day. Not that Turner was one to shrink from painting grey, cloudy days. All kinds of weather was his favorite subject.
I saw the same exhibit in June in Aix-en-Provence but the rooms were so dark, and all descriptions in French. I felt I had to see it in better surroundings. Being in Turner's home away from home, Margate, made a huge difference.
And many of the paintings are of Margate. We were not to shoot very close because nearly everything belongs to the National Trust.
We were lucky indeed to have Ian Warrell take us round, one of the top Turner experts. Many 'new' Turners were discovered during and just after the Second World War. They were found whilst taking inventory, lurking in museum storage rooms covered in dust cloths neglected. What a lovely surprise!
Of course I was glued to the case holding Turner's travel set made of leather of all things. As an aid he made little post-it like pads of paper to test out color swatches. Brilliant.
Love this wall panel of miscellaneous information.
I did catch a few shots of Turner's marvelously atmospheric watercolors.
But they're near Impossible to capture with all the reflections bouncing hither and thither still you get the idea. Turner was completely innovative at capturing atmosphere and weather with layers of washes, sometimes made by dipping the paper in paint, (called 'color beginnings') working on several at one time. Critics of the time drew cartoons ofTurner painting with a giant mop on his canvas.
It's said Turner tied himself to the ship's mast to experience all kinds of weather the better to paint them. Not my cup of tea. He made something like 25 foreign tours between 1817-1845. That's much more appealing. He was constantly searching and testing out new pigments and papers. A particular blue-grey paper he used may have been to curb strong reflections from the sun. Well if you will insist on tying yourself to a ship's mast...
The exhibit ends dramatically on a series of swirling vortex pictures and a ' Great Deluge' painting of a sinking ship. Strangely you hear the ocean crashing behind you.
The next room over, John Akromfrah's triple screen,'Vertigo Sea' perfectly dovetails into the Turner exhibit.
A shattering visual meditation on man's destruction of the sea, whaling, immigrants, climate change.
Powerful. The perfect companion to the Turner exhibit.
I ran out after the preview to look for classic fish and chips in Margate.
I settled on dressed crab though I wouldn't have minded undressed crab either.
The Shell Grotto is another must-do in Margate.
A mysterious subterranean passage no one can quite explain but well worth seeking out. I loved Margate and hope to return when skies are blue and sunny. A typical British seaside town just 1h25 train ride from London. Do consider going to the Turner Adventures in Colour on till January 8, 2017.
By the way there's a new mess of watercolors up on Etsy.Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, 
buy my Paris letters and watercolors or forward this to someone who might enjoy it. Cheers!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Where's Bear

3 guesses where I am?
LONDON! You got it PBers :) quite a few of you have been inquiring for my where abouts. Not to worry!
I'm in London to see the new Turner exhibit in Margate tomorrow but first Noriko gave us a fab tour of some London art stores. Yay! Have you ever been to Green and Stone?
On 259 Kings Road. All the buses stop nearby. A positive treasure chest of artists goodies
If you Love art supplies that is and who doesn't? Yum Yum
Green and Stone has been in Chelsea since 1929 though might you might think even longer.
They have simply the most gorgeous antique art supplies. Drool.
Then Noriko took us on the metro...ooops make that Tube! to Putney Bridge, Fulham
To Jackson's Art Supplies for more shopping. Art stores are better than candy stores by the way and less (no) calories too.
Nearby was this So British traditional cafe which Noriko says I must call a 'caff'. OK
Look! Bubble and Squeek with 2 fried eggs and bacon for a mere £4.95. Do not ask me what that is but it sounds terribly British doesn't it?
Isn't this cat So British?
I'm sure Constable painted here. We're in Western London near Chisick something or other. Noriko says we must come back and visit darling Turnip Greens or was it Turnham Greens?
Don'r you love British bouquets? There's a new map of Paris art supply stores up on Etsy. I'm thinking maybe we should do one for London too non? Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, buy my Paris letters and watercolors or forward this to someone who might enjoy it. Cheers !