October Squares

one of a kind

My mother sadly died 25 years ago this month – had she lived she would have just turned 101. This photo of her was probably taken when she was in her mid twenties and looking very happy, smiling for the photographer.  It was probably sent to her then fiancé, my father, who was serving in the RAF as an Air-Sea Rescue medical officer. Of course the original photo was not given the pop art treatment – this is very much one of a kind.

KindaSquare is the theme this month as Becky is hoping we might, in the final squares of 2020, encourage and promote kindness.  A year I don’t think any of us will forget in a hurry. If you would like to join in then visit the link – you can always post 31 squares tomorrow!

And thanks once again to our wonderful host, the gorgeous Becky, who must have square eyes by now!

Playing with Swirls

I was interested to play with some photo effects after reading a blog post on one of my favourite sites – The World According to Dina – about swirls and twirls.

I don’t have Photoshop, but I do have a version of Photoshop Elements so I thought I’d give it a go. I selected two photos that aren’t the best compositions.

(1) Tulip – I was interested to see how these colours would transform

I followed the video linked to in Dina’s blog, but I made some changes and stopped when I got this result because I rather like it.

Changing the colour hues makes a very different image

(2) Dusk – this was a fairly poor shot of a sunset and I dislike the trees at the bottom of the photo, but thought the streaks might work well.

And this is the result. I kept it very soft and pastel.

While we can’t go out to create new photos, or at least photos of different scenes, then using photo editing software to be creative is one way of enjoying photography at this time.

Thanks Hanne for the idea.

Paris Focus: Art and French Lessons

When I saw this painting (well actually NOT the painting as that had been loaned elsewhere) but a copy of it in the Musée de l’Orangerie I was immediately taken back to 1968 when I was a young teenager in a Grammar School near Leeds.

There we had an amazing French teacher who earned himself the nickname of ‘Lurch’ as he was a big, tall chap with short cropped blonde hair and for some reason reminded us of Lurch, the butler,  in the Addams Family programme on TV at the time.

He was a wonderful teacher, making our French lessons fun and interesting, with great humour. One of his comments in my end of year report has stayed with me all my life: “Jude is an excellent conversationalist, just a pity it is not in French“. Saying that I loved languages and especially French, so much so I even went to work as an au pair in Geneva several years later. He unfortunately for us, left to teach in Chad at the end of this school year, leaving us to do our French O level with a rather disappointing replacement.

But back to the painting. One of the ways he taught us the language was by studying scenes or paintings and this was one of them. The teeny  dog, or was it a cat? The family in the cart – where were they going? Who were they? Is that a child or a pet monkey? Such a painting could stimulate many a conversation. In French. Of course 🙂

Paris Focus: Claude Monet’s Water Lilies

This third photo essay about Paris is of the wonderful Water Lily paintings by Monet seen in the Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France

During the 1920s, the state of France built a pair of oval rooms at the Musée de l’Orangerie as a permanent home for eight water lily murals by Monet.

Outside the museum is the Rodin bronze statue of the ‘Kiss’ (Le Baiser) ‘The Kiss’ was originally inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy and depicts two of its characters; Paolo and Francesca. The sculpture is located just outside the entrance to the Orangerie Museum and is adjacent to the Place de la Concorde.

The bronze sculpture of the ‘Lion crushing a Serpent’ is by Antoine-Louis Barye (1796-1875) in the Jardin des Tuileries close to the back of the museum.

“According to Claude Monet’s own suggestion, the eight compositions were set out in the two consecutive oval rooms. These rooms have the advantage of natural light from the roof, and are oriented from west to east, following the course of the sun and one of the main routes through Paris along the Seine. The two ovals evoke the symbol of infinity, whereas the paintings represent the cycle of light throughout the day.”

I don’t quite know what I was expecting to see, but it wasn’t this.

The Water Lilies: The Clouds

The Water Lilies: Morning

“The painter wanted visitors to be able to immerse themselves completely in the painting and to forget about the outside world.”

The Water Lilies: Green Reflections

The Water Lilies: Setting Sun

“The first room brings together four compositions showing the reflections of the sky and the vegetation in the water, from morning to evening, whereas the second room contains a group of paintings with contrasts created by the branches of weeping willow around the water’s edge.”

The Water Lilies: Morning with Willows

The Water Lilies: Clear Morning with Willows

The Water Lilies: Trees Reflections

The Water Lilies: The Two Willows appears in the header image.

A tip: if you want to visit this museum and Musée d’Orsay, buy your joint ticket here to avoid the usual long queues at the other one.

Source: Musée de l’Orangerie

~wander.essence~  Photography