Van Gogh’s Paintings Come Alive In Provence And On Film

The Starry Night at The Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum, St-Remy-de-Provence

Forget the fact that he cut off his own ear. Just remember the sunflowers and the other colourful paintings Vincent Van Gogh did. He was a tortured genius and I have learned so much more about the man and artist through the film, “Loving Vincent” and during my visit to two towns in France: Arles and Saint-Remy-de-Provence.

It is in these two towns in particular where you see van Gogh’s paintings come alive in Provence and learn much more about the artist : through the Van Gogh walking route in Arles and the walk from the centre of Saint-Remy to the Saint-Paul asylum (hospital) where Van Gogh admitted himself. Continue reading →

My Big Mistake: Missing Some Of Lyon’s Traboules and Fresques

Lyon's Traboules and Wall Murals are everywhere. Here is the Fresque de Lyonnais (J. Chung)

I recently made a big mistake during my recent trip to France: I missed seeing some of Lyon’s traboules and fresques. And there are many. Lyon has so many hidden passageways (traboules) and wall murals (called fresques or frescoes) that I guess I’m going to have to return. I did, however, see many interesting things like the Lumière Museum, a museum dedicated to the Lumière brothers who brought us cinematography and the Resistance and Deportation Museum in honour of those who fought the resistance against the Nazis and the Jews who were deported to the death camps during WWII. Continue reading →

Celebrating Cinema At The Lumière Museum In Lyon

Poster at the Lumière Museum In Lyon

When I was a child, my parents took our family to Rochester, New York to visit the Kodak Museum (called the George Eastman Museum).  If there was ONE thing that I remember, it was this round cylindrical device that showed moving images. (I’m positive I saw it there!) It was called a Zoetrope and it was invented before “film animation” was created. Since then I have always been intrigued with movie-making, so when I was in France recently, I was able to discover more about the history of cinema at the Lumière Museum in Lyon. Continue reading →

Seeing Optical Illusions At Fondation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence

Optical illusions at Fondation Vasarely

When I was in Gordes, Provence the very first time in 1978, the Château de Gordes had an art exhibit highlighting the work of Victor Vasarely, the father of “Op Art”.  Op art is a form of abstract art where the illusion of movement is created by the combination of geometry, colours and patterns. What results are amazing optical illusions. I bought a print of one of his paintings but I gave it away many years later. I have always regretted this, which is why, I suppose, I returned to see those optical illusions at Fondation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence.

Perhaps I wanted to feel the same joy and excitement that I had during my first trip. But sadly, it was a disappointing visit and not because of the art.

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15 Reasons Why You Should Travel To France More Than Once

Rocherfort-en-terre, France

Why should you travel to France more than once? Easy answer: It’s just incredibly beautiful and there is SO much to see and do that you can’t see everything you want in one trip.  It is the world’s top tourist destination with over 84 million visitors and the country has diverse landscapes where you can see sand dunes, mountains, inviting coastlines, picturesque hilltop villages, sculptured gardens, and volcanoes. The list goes on and on. Continue reading →