Thursday, May 11, 2006

Réflexions au Café de FLore II

Another advantage to French cafés besides the boiled egg is all the shiny stuff they set down on your little café table. Water carafes, water glasses, ashtrays (like it or not), silvery spoons, trays, milk jugs, your cup and saucer, sugar cubes, jam jars (confiture) etc.
And don't forget the baguettes and croissants add even more light and luster to this still life.

These contrasting textures play off each other. On la terrasse the sunlight has a field day.
Just look at what the Dutch painters did with shiny objects.
This is all quite seductive. I know I'm smitten.

Jonathan Miller has written an excellent book on how the eye perceives reflected light called, ON REFLECTION.

Miller says, "Another factor which influences the visibility of lustre or sheen is the curvature of the surface from which it is reflected. Highlights which are thrown off from sharply angled surfaces come and go with captivating abruptness, should either the object or observer shift. This is why diamonds glitter or scintillate..."

And he says here, "Another characteristic of lustre is the fact that it seems to hover somewhere below the surface in which it appears."

This quality of light is what all painters and photographers are seeking. The magical light that glows from within. French painter Georges De La Tour was the master of this inner glow.

My suggestion to American cafes is, please get some inner glow on that table!

And if you want to bring home some shiny café things, the Café de Flore Boutique is just around the corner at 26, rue Saint-Benoit.

Just don't try to shop before noon.


  1. Anonymous2:16 PM

    this is just such a dream site in every way. What a treat you're giving us! Not only superb watercolors, photos and text but art background too. You're spoiling us crazy.

  2. Anonymous2:23 PM

    YOU are so entertaining Ms. Gillot!!

  3. A friend wrote..Love the inner glow thing, I have always loved anything that shines or sparkles. I get mesmorized by fish tanks filled with adorable little jewels with waving fins, I just get captivated! Even my apartment wallpaper has a sheen on it to make the walls dance with light. Any metal surface gets to me and of course all jewelry is completely intoxicating.. I also love the glisten of wine or champagne as it is poured in to the glass, it is so sensual, and then so tasty! So, I totally love and understand your inner glow thing!

  4. hey Carol, I like all your paintings, but I think this one more than the rest. This one is very abstract in places, it's all about the color and shapes! Good job!

  5. Anonymous12:46 PM

    This is like walking into a dream.
    Maybe better...


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