Sunday, October 5, 2008


When I looked down from the plane on the way to Nice, I wrote down some amazing things I saw.
There was forest that looked like dust, and red fields with dark veins all through them, and a lake the most amazing shade of turquoise. I wondered if I'd find out what all tehsethings were.
In the last two days my sister drove us along a route she'd worked out, and to my utter amazement I saw all the same sights again.

Here's the fields.

The earth around there is refined into pigments for painting: ligt ochr, yellow ochre, red ochre, brown ochre.

It's a bit like walking in a paint-box.


We climbed up to a tiny church where I lit a candle.

Heres the view. I don't know if you an see quite how turquoise the lake is.


Stephanie Roth Sisson said...

So beautiful! Does it make you want to move to France?

Stephanie Roth Sisson said...

So beautiful! Does it make you want to move to France?

Stephanie Roth Sisson said...

2 times??...I don't know why.

Viviane Schwarz said...

Because it's that beautiful! :D

On the first day I thought: why the heck would anyone live anywhere else?
But I'm missing some London things, especially since my sister got unwell and all she needed was some aspirin and a taxi and there was no way of getting anything on a Sunday afternoon. I must be a city person by now, because I was just plain baffled...
It's funny how I keep being amazed how cheap the French wine is here until I look out of the window and see the growing vines again. I don't think I quite understand that I'm in France yet, the plane was too fast for my brain to catch up!

Viviane Schwarz said...

Somehow the weird colours aren't oming out... that landscape is actually red and yellow. It's very very odd.

Eric Orchard said...

Beautiful sketch of the church, I love your line work, both sensitive and energetic. And I really can't get over you standing in the pigment! That's amazing! I knew such a thing existed but it looks so strange, like a story book.

Viviane Schwarz said...

:) Thank you!

I forgot to say that the church is in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, which is a curious place. It's kind of built into a cliff, with a waterfall going right through the middle of the village and in the evening the whole place glows pink for a few minutes when the sun goes down (I missed that, was in the shower). The church has a little metal star suspended above it on a wire between cliff-tops, apparently in gratitude by a crusader who got away from the Saracens long time ago. So oddly you can always see a star when you look up at any time in the day.

It's intensely touristy (I read something like that there are only 60 people actually living there) but I think it's always been that way, although it used to be pilgrims rather than tourists. Like that guy with the star on a chain.

The pigment is way weird, isn't it? I really loved the ochre museum (the outdoors part of which is where you see all the people in the dust). They had a pigment shop with colours from all over the world, too, stacked high on shelves all around the room.