More stories and photos in the ebook "52 weeks" (see info on the right side under "new in 2012")
A trail in the countryside is like an invitation to travel. You know you will not go really far as you are on foot today, yet it is still worth following it. You can, after all, find adventures anywhere if you are ready for them. You have never walked on this trail, it could be disappointing, but from where you are now, it looks inviting. In your stomach you already feel the expectations of all there is to come. You see a grove not far away, and you wonder what will lay there: a pleasant place to read a book hidden in wild grasses, a tree with fruit nobody will claim except you, or a hare that will jump in front of you and make your day? Most likely, the trail will just go further without anything special to remember, but at that point, it will be too late to turn back. Your legs will have warmed up and told you they are ready to go further and further until you know that you have had a really good walk. Even if you saw nothing in particular, you will realize that you just enjoyed being outside. You enjoyed feeling the alternatives of sun and shade on your skin as the clouds passed quietly in the sky. You enjoyed feeling your body relax and your mind forget what was bothering it. It is quite possible that there was a nice place to lie down and read a good book, yet you did not see it. You even forgot to look for it after a while. It was enough to walk and daydream. The quest was just an excuse to get you started. If you want to read, there are plenty of places where you already know you can go. The problem is, you do not have that much time to do it anyway, and when you are outside, you prefer walking and seeing what there is to see. The hare, oh yes, you saw one which was fun, you also soon forgot about it. There were no fruit trees, but you do not eat that much fruit to begin with, so it does not matter after all. In fact the reasons you may have to do something will not always be the reasons that will make you finish it. There is a magic at play in daily endeavors that will sometimes transform the way they are perceived. It is surely why life is good, and full of uncertainties waiting to be discovered.
More stories and photos in the ebook "52 weeks" (see info on the right side under "new in 2012")
I just finished to color and number this woodcut, a view from one of my favorite place on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy in Canada. I usually do not try to depict a particular location but this time, along with this print, I did nine others (they all are in the Prints 2007-Present page). I plan to exhibit them on the island, but also anywhere else I show, so I will see whether it was a good idea or not.
Taking care of a dead person using rites contrary to the beliefs he had when he was alive, is it jeopardizing his well-being in the other world he believed in, or is it only a honest mistake than can be forgiven?
You are hungry, it is like you have not eaten for days, and you can nearly smell this bread. It has been baked this morning just before the opening of the market. It is warm and crusty. What you need is some butter to put on it, or even better, some homemade jam, the one your grandmother used to make with the fresh strawberries that she had picked from her garden. Just thinking of it makes your mouth water. It is not that you do not like corn flakes or donuts but once in a while, you crave for bread. It has an old world flavor that you sometimes like with some real orange juice, dark Colombian coffee, white napkin, shiny silverware and assorted plates. It makes a one of a kind breakfast. Even better than croissants that most of the time look tastier than they are, except of course if you are in France where there is nothing like them on a Sunday morning with a newspaper. But if it were here exactly like it is in France, there would be no incentive to travel, would there? The point is, eating is a wonderful pleasure when you take time to choose the ingredients of your meal, arrange everything neatly on a table, give yourself some time to savor each bite, and forget about everything else. In fact, it is an art but you do not have to go to a fancy restaurant to appreciate it, a large round loaf of bread, some cheese and smoked salmon, a glass of white chilled wine, and you are done. The best part of it certainly starts at the outdoor market where you have a chance to see the colors and smell the odors of food, sometimes taste some bites of it, and where you go from one vendor to another in search of the perfect combination for your future meal. If you do not have an outdoor market near your house, a grocery shop will do, do not worry. Then at home, it will be time to plan your next moves: how are you going to set the table, will you be inside or outside, will you need candlelight or not. It seems complicated but in fact, it takes just a few minutes to organize everything, especially if it is a simple meal, and it builds your appetite and expectation. Once seated, everything within reach (it is always so annoying to realize that you forgot something on the kitchen counter!) it is time to enjoy. Bon appétit!
Story # 4 from my book Images, Voyages, Impressions (also available as an eBook, see post on the side or tab eBooks)
I made this image around 1986 after a trip in a small plane above the Epinal region of Les Vosges. It reminded me of how Paul Klee started to paint his colored squares, as I had read it was after flying over Tunisia. I used a zinc plate and some acid to draw the image, and the whites had been protected beforehand with varnish.
I am operating in the red, I am operating in the black, is finance only a question of colors?
_ _ Today you will go to the islands, the ones you thought about many times but never had a chance to visit, always too busy doing something else. You arrived way too early to embark. The ferry was not here yet, the benches were empty. You knew it would be so, and you wanted it that way in order to fully enjoy the excitement of the wait. Not the wait until deciding on the trip, that one was lost in the day-to-day concerns of your life, but this wait. Now you know you are going, you must enjoy every bit of the adventure and it begins right here, right this minute, on these old benches. You are eager to see how your other still unknown companions will settle around you. Your guess is the first ones will most likely choose to sit at a distance; you will discreetly glance at each other to get a sense of who you are, yet as time passes, space will become scarce, some people will have to be next to you. Will they be young, old, alone, couples, with or without children? Will they be nice, interesting, grouchy? Will you make friends right from the start, not that you need new friends at this time, but who knows? Will they ignore you, which is perhaps what you would prefer, as it will give you more time to be spectator? In any case, you do not want to miss this part of the trip, this expectation that is the sure sign of a special day. Here they come, two young guys with a bag each, but they already prove you wrong. They do not sit on the benches, they lean on the railing in front of the sea, next to the chain that closes the way to the embarkation dock. Could they be students coming back home for a vacation? Seasonal workers hired to help in a restaurant? You do not have time to find the answer: a group of adults and children is coming noisily towards your seat. For sure they are going on a day trip to the island; you can see that they have everything they need for a day at the beach. Yet they go further and disappear behind a corner. Never mind, you start to smile as you contemplate all that has already happened in such a short while, and you know you were right to come early. It is going to be a memorable trip.
Extract from the ebook Images, Voyages, Impressions, available on iTunes for your iPad, iPhone, iPod, Amazon.fr and Amazon.co.uk for your Kindle
This is one of the new photos I will show this year; why did I choose it, and not another one, I do not know exactly, it is always difficult to decide. There was something in the landscape that I liked, the lines, the dots made by the trees, the variety of greens, it reminded me of an impressionist painting. I also have been hiking there very often when I go to France, yet it is the first time I have an image that captures the essence of the place, so it could be another explanation. What do you think?
Asking a question defines a topic to concentrate on, is it a good way to control the thoughts of others?
_ It is fall again, the geese are back. You always hear them before you see them, it is the reason they are the delight of the apprentice hunters. Luckily for these here, they are flying over conservation land so they are safe, at least for now. As they trumpet their approach, you search the sky to locate them, and here they are. They make you dream. You never grow tired of watching them fly in their V formation, sometimes a perfect V, most often a rather loose one, you must admit. For you, they symbolize freedom. They remind you of a novel your teacher read to the class when you were in fifth grade, if the day had been good. A novel from Sweden, or Finland, or one of these far away places, with two main characters, a goose and a young boy. Why was he flying on the back of the goose, or was it a swan, you do not remember? Nor do you remember where they were going, or what exactly was happening to them, yet you vividly remember that it was a riveting story, whose plot you were carrying home with delight. Flying over countries, meeting good and bad people, seeing new things everyday, struggling against the winds, the rain, the unexpected, what an odyssey it was. More recently, you saw a movie about some other geese, no words spoken, just their cries and their mimicries. It was as if you had entered another world without borders, without limits, except the distance you can fly in a given day. It made you realize that indeed there are parallel worlds, not in another dimension, but right here, in all the creatures that surround you. Do they even notice that you are here? Do they care? These geese have their own agenda, going places to mate and feed. You are mere disturbances along their way. A city here, a factory there, sometimes they get caught in a situation they cannot cope with, because it is too foreign, but basically they fly over. Other predators and events are much more important than you. It is refreshing and humbling at the same time, is it not? So when your gaze follows them for a long time, are you sure it is merely to identify them?
From the book "52 Weeks" on sale now as an ebook on iTunes, Amazon.fr or Amazon.co.uk
Dominique lives in the Boston area where he taught philosophy and theory of knowledge for a long time before deciding to devote all his time to his own creations.
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The books Images, Voyages Impressions 1 & 2 are sold out. The book about Grand Manan is available on the main site for $27.50 or $30 (depending on shipping costs).
Ebooks are available on iTunes, Amazon.fr and Amazon.co.uk for about $8
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