Now on to my new love and all of its wonders…
Archive for the ‘French Gardens’ Category
As I alluded in my last post, I have recently moved. After seven years in New York, an opportunity unexpectedly presented itself, and I decided to take it. So, here I am, in a big house in a small town, close to my family and far from my work. But those stories may require a whole new blog, and I just wanted to explain briefly why I have not been keeping up with this one. Now, back to the program…
Over the last several years, I have been to Paris several times, both for work and personal endeavors. Most recently I took a last-minute two-day trip, primarily to meet a client at a job site. But I had a whole extra day, so I went looking for inspiration. It’s Paris, though–inspiration is around every corner. I don’t want to wax poetic about a city that has received centuries of more eloquent words than mine, but being there fills me with a sense of pride to be a theoretical descendant of the designers that envisioned such a beautiful place.
A recurring theme in Paris is the incorporation of art–sculpture, specifically–into their garden spaces. They are usually bold yet simple pieces that heighten the experience of the thoughtfully crafted spaces and carefully manicured plants.In the Tuileries, a curving sandstone sculpture stood in the cross-axis of the pleached allees of lindens. The contrasts between the crisp lines of the tree canopies and the undulating form of the sculpture are even more apparent in the dark shadows cast on the light gravel.
At the Palais Royale was another example of the organically-shaped sculpture juxtaposed with the crisply pruned trees. These were not my favorite pieces, because they are obviously taken from the despised Drawing Class 101 exercise of accurately shading a crumpled piece of paper.
In fact, I did that very drawing exercise while studying drawing and painting in Paris in 2006. At that time, this odd sculpture was in the Jardins du Luxembourg.
The most impressive aspect of any of these spaces is that they are all public, and that the French obviously consider both art and gardens to be central to the experience of their capital city. And just in case there were any doubts to their dedication, there are these charming reminders: