Awakening to the Visual Pleasures of Paris

Walking the Tuilleries Garden

Walking through the Tuilleries Gardens

Bonjour everyone,

It occurred to me on my first trip to Paris, that everything is deliberate. Very few things are accidental in Paris. Careful manipulation of the environment one would imagine is the work of intense control freaks, but when you are standing right in it, it’s as if you are in the middle of a Renoir painting. Each stroke of colour and shape and light and movement defines a moment in time and all meant for visual pleasure. Just for you.

Look at Nature for instance.The French manicure their gardens with buxus hedging and dark green topiaries of cylindrical shapes are especially trained in knotted parterre gardens. Buxus hedging and the technique of pleaching is used  throughout many of their major gardens. These pleached rows of trees are often formally aligned on both sides of a gravel pathway to direct one’s eyes onto a focal point such as an urn or prominent statue, such as those seen in the Gardens of Luxembourg, Rodin’s Museum, The Tuilleries and many more gardens throughout Paris. Absolutely amazing!

Such deliberate visual artistry is everywhere. Outside many Parisien apartments, I can also vividly recall the unique black wrought iron lacework of balconies dotted against a sea of yellow limestone walled buildings and the patterned tiled flooring of centuries passed, of Sacre Cour, in Montmartre  and many other churches  provided me with much inspiration to my designing and quilt pattern making throughout the years.

France in particular had a shocking impact on me and all my senses. It opened my eyes, my tastebuds and my soul to a different way of life. I was never to be the same again. The can of worms was well and truly opened!

Best wishes, Therese Waddell

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