Ten years ago I embarked on a year-long travel around Asia, Australia, and Europe, visiting and meeting up with friends and family in various cities and spending a few months alone in France. The mostly solitary period in Europe was an immersion of art of every kind, a feast to the eyes and the soul.
Living in Los Angeles and New York, it’s easy to find and appreciate art, but the US is relatively young in its history of art and you have to look for it, whereas in Europe, art is everywhere and part of nature and daily life, from street lamps and subway stations to historical buildings. And the museums! I got lost happily in Louvre, Orsay, Rodin, Pompidou and Giverny, among others. I breathed art in Barcelona. I made the trek to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim and to the tiny town of Albi for the Toulouse-Lautrec’s museum. The whole island of Capri is art, from nature to the food and the jewelry. My soul felt expanded and enriched.
Since then I’ve come back a few times to Paris, Rome, London and Barcelona and visited other places but it’s that decade-old trip that remains most memorable. Perhaps it’s because it was the first time I was exposed to so much beauty, and all of it on my own. Art is certainly most enjoyable in solitude.
The photos below were taken with an early version of Nikon Coolpix, with only 2 megapixels. It’s amazing how small the files are in kilobytes, as compared to today’s multi-megabyte files.
“The richness I achieve comes from nature; the source of my inspiration.” – Claude Monet