Le Havre [Loo Ah-v-ruh] is a French seaport in Normandy. The town was almost completely destroyed in World War I, so architect Auguste Perret undertook the job of redesigning the city so that it would still feel French, but with modern considerations in mind. Thus, Le Havre has remarkably wide streets and building facades that... Continue Reading →
The Rithmatist is a YA novel by Brandon Sanderson. The story is set in a steam-punk alternative United States, called the United Isles, where magic-wielding rithmatists protect the people from creatures called chalklings. I will admit, seeing that past sentence in letters on the page makes the book sound super nerdy. Any I suppose it is.... Continue Reading →
If you follow the Seine River out of Paris and wind north-eastward toward the English Channel, you will pass through a quaint town called Rouen [Roo-ahn]. You might recognize it (if you are good with European history) as the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake or (if you are an art... Continue Reading →
Perelandra is the second book in C.S. Lewis' space trilogy. The book tells the story of the second adventure of Professor Elwin Ransom as he travels to the planet Venus (called Perelandra in the story). Where the first book in the trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, focused a great deal of energy on philology and providing... Continue Reading →
Whenever the catacombs have come up in conversations or stories, I've always wondered where they came from. It's a little odd to have miles of underground networks tunnels full of bones underneath a bustling city. Today I learned where they came from. So what exactly are the Paris catacombs? Simply put, the catacombs are a... Continue Reading →
Places to Go
Of all the places I love most
I like the ones along the coast.
I like mountains in between.
I like to see the plains turn green.
I like to see the cityscapes,
the inlets, islands, glaciers, capes,
the forests, fog, and ocean foam.
I love to go and come back home.
My wife, Courtney, is officially launching her blog on traveling and art today! Go on over and check it out!
Please enjoy this short Q&A about why Paintings & Places is so important to me and those who understand (or are trying to understand) the importance of travel and art!
1. What is Paintings & Places?
Hello, bonjour, hola! My name is Courtney Mortenson and please allow me to introduce you to Paintings & Places. As a student of Brigham Young University studying languages, specifically French and Spanish, my classes focus intensely on grammar and literature. This makes sense for those trying to learn words and how to put them together, but in an effort to gain cultural literacy, more than linguistic mastery is required. With this in mind, I’ve set out to visit as many places that I can that speak these languages (and any other places I happen to be able to visit along the way) in order to learn more about people and what they value from…
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One of the places I wanted to visit most in London was King’s Cross Station. I wanted to see the hustle and bustle of the train station where Hagrid took Harry Potter for his first trip to Hogwarts. I wanted to see platform nine and three-quarters. The great arched roof of the station was so... Continue Reading →
On Monday, Courtney and I went salsa dancing along the Seine (rhymes with zen) River. Some volunteers from the organization Courtney works with met us outside the metro and showed us where to go. We walked cobblestone streets until we came to the green waters of the Seine. As a river, the Seine is not... Continue Reading →
Elantris was the first book published by now-prolifically successful author Brandon Sanderson. My first exposure to Sanderson's work was The Emperor's Soul, a novella which takes place in the same world as Elantris. Here are some of my thoughts about the book, spoiler-free: First Book Published - After having read more recent Brandon Sanderson books, it is clear that Elantris is an... Continue Reading →