Source: Paris Inspiration
It was lovely to visit Paris recently with my daughter, Lucia. I enjoyed the culture, the beautiful buildings and the art. The Louvre was fascinating and displayed some beautiful paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Goya and Velasquez amongst many great masters.
Notre Dame’s stone carvings and stained glass windows were awe inspiring.
Versailles was so beautiful with its gold and reflective beauty. The Hall of Mirrors is a magical world and takes you back in time. The Sun King era is fascinating.
Montmartre was interesting and reminded one of Edith Piaf and you couldn’t help imagining Picasso and the turn of the century artists of 1900 sitting and philosophising in cafes. The Sacred Heart Basillica at the top of the hill is a spiritual and mesmerizing church.We walked around it in wonder.
Two things happened on our holiday that caught us by surprise. My legs were aching a great deal from so much walking. I couldn’t go any further. We managed to get a bicycle taxi to the Eiffel tower from The Monument. It was quite amusing!
We also lost eachother in Versailles. Lucia and I were walking through a crowded chamber out towards a staircase when I suddenly couldn’t see her. I looked everywhere. I decided to walk through a corridor but Lucia had ran down the stairs and searched elsewhere. Finally we found eachother by chance within a rapture of laughter and relief.
Photos of Paris by Alice Lenkiewicz, March, 2017. (C)
In the last few years, I have started to paint issues that are important to me.
Painting and video art have been useful mediums for me to express some of my concerns about society and the way things are declining or not being discussed. Some of these issues have included, animal rights, the environment and equality for women.
My latest painting is called, ‘Stop the Black Snake’ and is a protest painting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This has been of particular importance to me because of the negative environmental consequences the pipeline could have. If the oil spills, we not only have polluted water but also environmental destruction of living creatures. animals and land. Polluted water will also affect the physical health of people.
Not only is this an environmental issue but it is also a heritage issue to do with the land belonging to the Sioux whose ancestors are buried within this vicinity.
Since the peaceful protest began, this was met by authorities and DAPL with violence and abuse towards the people protesting at Standing Rock. There has also been little mainstream media coverage to show this terrible situation.
When I see this being ignored and misunderstood, I feel sad for the future of our environment and I am also saddened to see people being so badly treated and abused. What does this violence say about democracy and the right for people to stress their thoughts and ideas peacefully in our society? It doesn’t offer the world much hope.
Sadly this means that unless respect of the land and others doesn’t take place there will always be discontent and divisions. This is never going to move us forward.
To achieve greatness, I feel politicians need to be inclusive and listen. Without this, I feel there is not much hope for society. So, what does one do? People can’t accept what they don’t believe in. Therefore, people will continue to raise awareness, to protest and express themselves because that is what makes us human and brings meaning to our existence. The water and environment are very important to me and therefore I say NoDAPL. Water is Life. Stop the Black Snake!
I have had a strong yearning for all things untouched lately. The quiet sounds of nature are such a rarity these days. I went walking through Rimrose valley along the canal on Sunday. It was so quiet and beautiful. You could hear the movement of the grass in the gentle breeze. I took my dog, Poppy and she was so happy rolling in the grass and bounding over the vast space. I can’t believe they want to build a motorway through this natural reserve that serves so many people in the community. Building a motorway through it will create an ugly gash right through the beauty of it all. It will hardly be worth walking there anymore. There are so many wild flowers and animals. It is a stunning area of peaceful beauty. There have been petitions against the motorway being built.
On my way home I gathered these flowers and put them in a vase. I thought I would paint them. I used acrylic on canvas.
This is the first still life I have painted in many years. I am so in love with Van Gough’s paintings of flowers. I just had to paint some of my own. It wasn’t hard but I realised there is a skill to painting flowers. You have to try and find a way of making the flowers come alive and hold personality on the canvas. Each stem and petal has character. I hope to improve my skills at painting flowers and making them even more vibrant with life and personality as I continue on my journey.
Rimrose valley is so beautiful in the summer, I find I am spellbound. I sometimes film the movement of the flowers and trees in the valley. Here is my latest film of flowers at Rimrose Valley.Look at the wonderful yellow and graceful movement of this patch of unexpected wild flowers.
Rimrose valley must be saved. Please do not destroy this area of outstanding natural beauty. News article below on this campaign to protect the valley.