Monday, February 18, 2013

Scratching at the surfaces



We are still in winter, this much I know despite the light beginning to whisper me otherwise. For I find myself still nombril-gazing, shuffling, wearing that strange perfume, a miasma of this year and that. So I go out searching, scratching the surfaces. Looking for the colors of the past that will stick to the soles of my shoes this spring and those which will fade with my tread as I keep on walking, quietly, for it is that time of year.










33 comments:

  1. Heather, what a creative approach to this post. You've got me thinking that I need to scratch the surface more often when out exploring. (I am laughing though as I thought this would be a post about Kipling's healing process!) Have a great week. J. xo

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    1. Jackie, I was giving a not so subtle hint (although kindly delivered) that not everyone is as dog crazy as we are and to not only talk about Kipling--which I understand. It is just a bit of a challenge as we are still not getting out and about as much while he is healing. So it is up to me to use my noggin'!

      Have a great week...
      xo,
      H

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  2. I had to consult the dictionary -- nombril seems like such an SAT word. How did I not already know it? You have given us much to gaze at here. I am always caught up by your photos of the details: the textures and the colors. That last photo is a little row of said nombrils.

    And speaking of details and the soles of your feet, I have to confess that I have been admiring the low-heeled black boots you were wearing in your first post about Kipling.

    Happy trails to you and the dogs this week!

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    1. I can not believe that I didn't notice the row of belly buttons!! And I know that word because...it is French! :) But so much better than belly-gazing (!!).

      Ahh, about those boots, sadly they were last season and this will kill you: I bought them for $10 on sale at the Gap during a visit to the States. They are lined in a thin shearling but are tough, durable--I knew well enough not to wear any good stuff to visit the shelter and sure enough my back, my feet, my legs were covered with paw prints...

      Happy trails to you too, Miss...

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  3. OK, I now know a new word... I feel better too that you take some of those photos not everyone might appreciate, because in the right mood and the right place, I take pictures of things others don't seem to care to notice.

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    1. Oh Shelley, thank you so much! As I see this is not quite one of my more popular posts, I do appreciate to know that, like you, there are folks who like what they see and see what they like!

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  4. Spring is stirring, Heather. I can feel it. Scratch some more and, before you know it, the world will burst into light and colour.

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    1. It is, Loree. I can sense it but not see it. Both Remi and I are taking note of the changes of the light daily.
      Bisous to you in Malte!

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  5. Lovely post Heather...and photos. In Hyeres with mimosa blooming in the region...delightful.

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    1. Oooh. My. So close and yet so far...lucky, lucky you!!!

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  6. On my first visit to Ireland, I found myself staring and thinking about the unknown and very distant past as I saw small rocks, moss and lichen embedded in the trunk of an oak tree. This post reminds me of the photo I took of the little scene - I wonder where it is now.

    These photos are absorbing.

    Sue

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  7. I have just started reading and viewing your posts...and join the delighted others!
    These photos are really wonderful..the last one ( with the 'nombrils ) is like a piece of jewellry.
    Perhaps I see that because , besides being an art dealer...I am a (self-taught) jewellry designer....but then photos are really quite magical...and one can project so many visions on a simple print.
    Need to catch up on your earlier posts....so I can speak about Kipling and Ben with some knowledge...and then introduce them to Maxi and Toffe..the two Miniature Poodles who reside with me!
    Thank you so much for sharing a moment of your life ......

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  8. beautiful photos. and it doesn't feel like winter when i look at them.
    it feels very meditteranean :-)
    when i look at berlin walls in wintertime they are all... (make a guess)... grey! :)
    but i am not complaining.
    without shadow there is no light.
    without sadness no happiness.
    and without winter no summer.
    sending love* julia

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  9. I like the idea of scratching a little deeper when life's beauty seems to be a bit stingy. The photos are full of interesting textures - fun to look at and imagine where they might be situated.

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  10. Love all the patina in your photos and next time take the men, doggie's like to scratch the surface too!....;)

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. Heehee. Sneaky one. Ah, they were with me Debra, trust me!

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  11. What a thoughtful, poetic post! I like the bits of color - in Ann Arbor (and, currently, Columbus!) it is nothing but GRAY! (dark, light, brownish, but gray). And some of us like to hear about doggies endlessly (!!), but it's good to scratch at the surfaces sometimes, too!

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  12. Heather, I keep looking at your photo, wondering why it isn't me. I share your interests so much, it's uncanny. I love crumbling surfaces, I've even made a living doing them for my clients in NYC. I have 2 dogs, and a darkly handsome husband. I love Golden Retreivers, trees, and France. Who are you???

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    1. That made me smile hugely, Marissa. But as I just wrote to another blog friend, that is one of the things that is so amazing about being in contact with people thanks to blogs and the internet--it opens us up to finding people with really similar interests to our own that we would never have been into contact with otherwise. That is so completely wonderful and I never take it for granted--especially in this day and age when "every man for himself" seems to becoming the norm. You know? And while you have the world at your fingertips in my beloved NYC, I really can't say that there are so many people that I have met here in the region that I feel sympatico with in terms of tastes and interests. So why not look out to the world?

      And we do have things in common, it is true! :) Both Remi and I are completely and utterly fascinated by patina and the old crumbling stones--it is one of the biggest reasons why we moved here. Just to be wrapped up in history. But you are actually creating the effects of history, how amazing that must be. I would love to see some of your work! And what do you think about Penelope's comment below?

      Bisous et merci,
      H

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  13. Whoever you are, keep it up, I love it!!!!

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  14. As much as I adore dogs; and adore your blog; this is probably my absolute favorite post in ANY BLOG!!!!!! Because it teaches what needs to be "taught"!!!

    In the US; just about everyone gets the finishes WRONG!!! They try; they "want the old world look"; but they get it WRONG 95% (or more) of the time!!

    There is more to learn in this post than in thousands of other blogs on "design"! This is IT!!!
    The colors; the natural pigments, the peeling paint. the one picture of the "peach ochre (they used to mine it out of the ground in Rousillon !!!I bought 75 bags or something; I bought out the entire town's supply of their natural pigment to tint the plaster outside; and color the "limewash" inside on our walls!!! What a difference!! People who know not one thing about design start touching our walls!

    People here in the US try to reproduce what they love in Europe; and they fail miserably! Most often; a big part of it is exactly what you have showed us! I am printing it out and putting it in my "IMPORTANT" file! What a gift!!

    You have no idea! ( When we were building our house 14 years ago; I bought these old gates with rusted hinges and peeling paint from France; ) my husband says, "Now, let me guess! We are not going to 'fix' them! Right???" Bingo!! YES!!! We Americans (it must be in our DNA) just do not "get" the beauty of the finishes in Europe! We love them when we see them there!
    Then something happens! we forget!! We think they need to be "fixed"!!!

    When researching building our house; we spent weeks right near where you live ;
    and the photos I took (before digital) were of hinges, roofs; doorknobs, shutters! (many like yours! ) That is the authenticity! It was difficult to find the workmen here who understood! The "roofer" who "got it"!! And he did! He said: b "I get it; you want us to DO what all the rest of the people make us come back and FIX"!!!

    In a word; as Brooke and Steve so beautifully write about; it is "Patina"!!!

    Such a fabulous post!!

    Thank you so much!!!

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    1. Penelope, I would say that this response made my week but in honesty it was Kipling's getting the all clear from our vet last night! But I can not thank you enough for your generosity of spirit and perspective. I feel so fortunate.

      And of course, I could not agree with you more and am fascinated by the psychology of why things are in the state that they are here in France. Certain corners were worn away by carriage wheels and never repaired. Bits of Roman column (!!) are used on another corner to keep cars from running into a building on a narrow street. And as I was told before moving here: "Never, ever go by the facade of a building. Owners leave them looking as beat up as possible so as not to draw too much attention to thieves and passerby. Sometimes the most falling down looking hold a castle inside!"...It is wonderful, isn't it?

      And our mutual appreciation of patina is what brought Brooke and I together! :)

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  15. oh this is right up my ally so to speak, love anything aged, textured and touched by time!
    ciao lisa

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  16. These images are stunning. (One of the reasons I miss living in an older part of the US, and especially, miss France - is the lack of tangible history that remains.)

    I am reminded of impasto, and how drawn I am to a painting's surface as part of its pleasure.

    Poetic, Heather. Absolutely poetic.

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  17. First let ma ask how id Kipling!
    Second, let me thanks you again for the most wonderful illustration of the real, authentic Provence. the provence of my childhood with its peeling paint, the washed colors, the ochres and the red...i am getting so homesick as i look at your beautiful photos

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  18. Please forgive my horrible typing... I am still in the office and getting emotional...really miss Provence :(

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  19. Oh my goodness! I am just catching up here on all your news -- a new pup! So exciting! I'm sending my warmest welcome to handsome Kipling and a hug to big brother Ben. Thanks for sharing news of your new family member with us!

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  20. I'm just catching up on your previous posts and had to stop and scrolled very slowly enjoying the pictures and your updates on Ben and Kipling. Pure joy seeing them both adjusting and bonding with each other. I see the gorgeous patina of those old walls and surfaces which have withstood the true test of time, and it makes me think of the phrase "truth unvarnished". You do have a beautiful mind, Heather.

    XO
    Amelia

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  21. Oh you've made me want to go out and get closer! A lovely series you've put together. Love the colors and textures. Yummy!
    V

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  22. Heather - we didn't follow the Rules (such as they are - or if we ever Have we can't recall doing so) but we'd love to hear your answers to this post (scroll down) here: http://teamgloria.com/2013/02/21/at-the-request-of-dear-aubrey/

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