• James Eric Fristad

Time for Sketching Fresh Dreams

... all the while holding onto the existing, core dreams for Springtime upcoming, that is.

Part of this dream-forming process is sharpening our peculiar focus. Not just determining those places where our sleeping/cooking/chose-de-la-toilette will be, day to day, nor even what we hope to see and take photos and videos of. Sure, from this distance those are cozy little mental nooks to curl up in, as intervening days tick past. But I'm thinking more about what should be the size of that acreage of options we look particularly hard at, as we seek to define just what areas of interest we'll pursue. Too large and it's hard to go deep; too small and you miss stuff.

Here for instance is a tour that will speak hyper-saturated volumes to any Van Gogh fan. Which I am one of.


I don't know that we will visit St Rèmy-de-Provence, actually (it's a touristy place, all in all has been discovered, alas), but this is a hint of the feel of the impressionism-seeking day's quest.

The thing is, we have determined already that this Supertrip thing is going to be in part a pilgrimage to revel in aesthetics. So because an important section of our alotment of days will be in the Provence city of Avignon, we need to read up on Vincent VG ahead of time, and Gauguin likewise -- regarding paintings of both, but also their sometimes volatile friendship. So that while we're in that neighborhood, we can better try to experience some of the nuances of ambient light that especially transfixed Van Gogh. Arles (somehow magnetic to his painter's sensibilities) is just a brief train ride to the south, after all. Too bad that during the month of April the area's mesmerizing hectares of lavendar won't be fully lit up yet with blossoms. But I'd like to visit the Roman & medieval cemetery, Les Alyskamps, where these two painted side by side. Here's one of Gauguin's pictures from that period:

Curious, as I look at the objects in Paul G's vividly colored painting ... it looks like the promenade is lined with benches. And while one of those low and narrow flat-topped things (the yellowish object) is indeed a bench, all the others are stone sarcophagi. Stone boxes to put dead bodies in. Ha, what a place to stroll in your French finery, towards the close of the 19th century.

One trick of many that I need to learn, will be to try to capture bits of the essence of the extraordinary light that will be playing on those pastoral spots. [Photographic principle: the light here will be interpreting objects for our eyes, and in the process shaping our emotions, now as it did 140 years ago for those scruffy yet passionate painters.] Should make for some remarkable photos for me to come away with and, I desperately hope, some heart-tugging videos.

Begging you friends, even this many months ahead, for any insights or clues or snippets of learning that you may have. Please don't feel shy about sharing those things with me, okay?

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