Saturday, January 11, 2014

Visual Feast VII


The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. 
- Pablo Picasso 

While others are battling breathtakingly wild snow storms and digging their way out of mountains of white, while romantic flurries swell and intensify into a blizzard like a bad mood seething hot, smoldering until fierce and out of control, while others are building snowmen and having snow days and stuffing tiny hands into mittens and little paws into booties, we are experiencing one blustery, uncomfortable, dreary, gray, ambivalent day after the next. Weather that simply cannot make up its mind. Weather that simply does not want to turn into winter. I peep out the window every morning to see what I can see, to take the temperature, figuratively speaking, of the day ahead. Tar black or a deep rosy glow, soft, pale blue or angry gray smeared with menacing puffs of charcoal clouds. It is impossible to plan the day, inconceivable to know what to cook.

Rare moments of sun, a gentle glow or a blazing light flood the apartment and invite us outside. As usual, I grab my camera or my phone to capture moments in the life of my city. Phone in hand, I see objects as more than simply modes of transportation or a quiet place to sit. Each and everything is a work of art, a story being told, an emotion inspired, a laugh evoked.


What fun are our days if everything we pass is just ordinary?

Graffiti becomes art, bicycles a study in color. Chairs tell a story of souls no longer present, edifices loom up a canvas against the sky. Light and shadow, color and texture change and move; day moves into night and ghosts appear, and everything around me tells a new story.

Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life. 
- Oscar Wilde 


How often do we stop and look around. We walk the same roads each day, pass the same buildings, the same street art soon blends in with our surroundings and we no longer see it. How often do we take to the streets rather than being hermetically sealed in a car, tuned out to the outside world? My own city is small in comparison to those tremendous metropolises, quiet next to the noise and bustle, the swarming masses of larger urban hubs. My city is a model of sameness, predictability. Faced with the everyday of our lives, we no longer see the beauty, the movement, the energy of our city, our town, our surroundings.

Yet open our eyes; stop and pause. Look around, listen, feel and suddenly everything comes to life.

The rain begins again and I sit at my desk and write, distracted too often by the veil of fog outside offering a mysterious, romantic landscape, absorbed by the tickety-tick of rain on the sill. The mood outside suffuses the room with a sadness, yet I am cheered by the progress I make, of my articles being published one by one, as plans for the Plated Stories Workshop take shape. I was astonished and thrilled to be interviewed by and featured on RDV Des Arts Culinaires, an incredible bilingual website dedicated to gastronomy Cellar Cooking Table, as well as having my favorite Chocolate Spice Cake featured. My article Nantes Now on Nantes’ evolving and exciting new food scene has appeared in the Food & Wine issue of France Magazine. And more pieces have been finished and submitted. I have also been asked to speak and offer a workshop at an important food blogging conference in 2014 and am more than excited.

With all on the table and driving my life hard and fast, I love nothing more than sneaking outside with my iphone and discovering and rediscovering my lovely city.


Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

This is absolutely a treat to see. Love those blue chairs arm and arm together, perhaps just like the couple that left them.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love looking at the world in colors, and it's amazing, once you start doing that, how much fun it is to sort things in that way. The little bursts of pink are my favorite, so unexpected.

Jenni said...

I hope that one day you will get to make joyous snow angels in Nantes. Until then, thank you for bringing us all your pinks and blues! 2014 is definitely the year of Jamie!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lovely clicks and details! We have similar looking trams here in Geneva...



Betty Ann @Mango_Queen said...

Lovely post, such beautiful photos! I can get lost in your site and just travel the world through your eyes. You just inspired me to plan my next vacations. I can't wait to go back to Europe again. Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

Elizabeth said...

I love living vicariously through your wonderful photos, Jamie!

Even though the crushed bicycle wheel breaks my heart.

And I can't believe there needs to be a sign telling people where they shouldn't wash their cars! It reminds me of that song from the 60's "Mommy never told me not to mow the carpet... so I did"

How I would love to have your grey and rainy days! Yesterday, after sweeping a half inch or so of newly fallen snow from our treacherous front walk, I spent an hour or so chipping away the inch thick ice that was revealed. Today it is raining. I'm scared about what will happen tomorrow.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

Am I the only one who quickly scrolled to the end of the post to find your feet??? LOL NO feet!

Great photos and every time you share Nantes I want to go there one bit more.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

How exciting to see your article up! Congratulations Jamie, what a fine achievement. Having been lucky enough to visit Nantes I really want to read it :D

Barb | Creative Culinary said...

All of your hard work makes seeing your dream comes true a blessing for you and your friends. Well done Jamie!

Taste of Beirut said...

Are you turning into a Dada ? you remind me of André Breton

Jill @ MadAboutMacarons said...

Love how you take time out of your busy schedule and share some arty views of Nantes, Jamie. Bravo with your continued writing success!


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