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on looking for color & light in the streets of bastia

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ―Oscar Wilde

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint. ―Pablo Picasso 

When I wander the streets of the cities and the villages in France, I look for the light and color. During my visit to Haute-Corse, I was fortunate. Except for two days, when the dark clouds opened and drenched everything, every day had been sunny. September is a good month in Corsica. The light was good.

The colors in Corsica are often multiple shades of yellow, orange, and rose pink, maybe a burnt red, and sometimes shutters are painted blue. The blue sky and the blue Mediterranean Sea, which are ever-present when you are staying in the coastal cities and villages, is a canvas for those colors.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The sun light, when it baths the colors, flushes them, softening the definition that gives them texture. The hues, the pale yellows and oranges and the roches rouges, remind me of the stones and rocks of the calanches de Piana on the western coast of Corsica.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Some older buildings in Bastia, constructed of stone and brick and covered with plaster, show their age. They were painted but the plaster dries and crumbles along with the stone and brick underneath. What once was new has aged and now shows the cracks and weather-worn features of old age or neglect.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The colors outside live inside, too. The sunlight bursts through the painted glass of the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie located on the citadel of Bastia. They are muted as well and suggest the comfort of familiarity when one moves from the profane world to the sacred.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

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