Friday, September 04, 2015

La Rentree, Tour Jean sans Peur, les Pommes Française

It's that time of year in Paris - La Rentrée.
The kids are back. Getting off the Metro I nearly got run over by 4 racing kidlets scrambling for some empty seats. Their mom reminded them, "DOOCE-A-MENT"(gently). I haven't heard that word in 2 whole months. French kids were out of town building sand castles.
It's time to covet gorgeous school supplies specially designed for French kids.
Art supplies are on sale big time. I have to remind myself I do Not need another paintbox.
Families are out scarfing up colorful cahiers (notebooks). Papetterie are like rainbows.
This is a once a year event. Get it now or forgettaboutit.
The tournasol (sunflowers) are back in flower shops.
Ina Caro in PARIS TO THE PAST  talks about visiting Tour Jean Sans Peur at 20 rue Etienne Marcel. It's one of the last remaining bits of the original ramparts of Paris outside the Louvre. Each branch of this column/tree represents a Burgundian aristocratic family.
Look put the window of the tower and you'll see right into a French school playground, jump ropes and all.
I'm not tower climber so I didn't make it to the top of this one. But as part of my search for Medieval Paris and following in Ina Caro's footsteps, I felt obliged to venture up.
There's an exhibit on till 15 November ' The Medieval table'. This harvest scene looked Fallish..
Sheafs of wheat still decorate Paris restaurants and boulangeries to remind you where your croissant came from
The weather the 1st week of September has been absolutely glorious.
Fall transitional clothes are out for the OFG (Older French Girl) and the Ados (adolescents).
Scarfs are out too.
Apples and apple sauce are the flavor of the month.
My favorite tarte fine aux pommes is beckoning. Almost healthy since it's just a thin slice of crust loaded with thin slices of apple.
I get quizzical looks from the French when I mention the American tradition of 'Bringing an apple to the teacher' at the beginning of the school year. 'Won't her table be covered with apples?'
Never mind. The September Sketch Letter is full of French Fall apples plus a tarte fine and the Apple Lady from Marché Grenelle. I wanted to include the names of the French varieties but it looked awful according to the boys at my print shop. A scowl from them and I'm back at my drawing board.
I got interesting envelope stuffers including the concert schedule at Sainte-Chapelle this month.
This Fall's project - testing out new watercolor papers. 
This months gift-with-purchase of a subscription or renewal is a sample apple watercolor. I have a feeling I won't be switching but it's fun to experiment.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Paris Bleus, Saint Severin, les Pommes Rouges

The intense blue of the French tricolore
Is everywhere in Paris. Have you seen this this witty card by Camille Soulayrol?
The same illustration is in Leslie Jonath's terrifically visual compilation of Paris illustrations, EVERYONE LOVES PARIS. Me too. Loads of fun and a great gift book.
Practicing my blue notes in Leslie's book.
Mariniere blue stripes in Paris. You can't miss em.
Perfect metaphor for la mer at the marché fish stand. You see blue stripes? You get fish.
Cobalt blue worn with blue denim. Or dress your date in red.
A red and blue ensemble can not go wrong in Paris. People worry too much about wearing brands. Just wear blue and you're covered.
Toute en bleu.
Should be in this bleu shoe shop.
Or this corner shop on rue Montorgueil.
Why is a lemon blue? You tell me.
Café Etienne Marcel has turquoise tables, chaises.
Am I at the piscine?
No, Metro Jussieu.
To improve your stroke in bed you'll need blue sheets. I have to try this.
Blue shirts look good on everyone.
I was walking by eglise Saint Severin for the 800th time and decided to look inside. Beautiful blue, blue stained glass windows by Jean Bazaine (added 1970). Note the unusual twisted palm tree-like pillars. Perfect examples of the 'flamboyant' Gothic style (flaming according to Malcolm Miller).
This is a lovely, intimate church I'll bet you've passed by in the Latin Quarter behind Shakespeare and Company. On rue Saint-Severin not far from Notre Dame minus the crowds.
Just bring along some choral music for company.
The pale blue out my window at dawn - a lovely distraction while I slave away on September's red apple SKETCH LETTER. Many apples were eaten.
Back to work.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Paris Map Diet


I went on the PMD back in May so begin your Paris Map Diet with Baba au rhum as a starter
At Maison Stohrer. By the way you can eat your Baba any time of the day. NO time restrictions on this diet.
L'escargot are a must for lunch and do not miss one iota of buttery sauce please.
The toast points will reach into every nook and cranny of those darling little shells. 
A fabulous deal on rue Montorgueil of 5 different hunks of cheeses for a mere 9€
At Fromagerie La Fermette No. 86.
There appear to be dozens of cafes on this long pedestrian street.
Frankly I couldn't tell the difference one from the other.
I will say my lunch of 'Roman' tartine at Café du Central was amble enough to feed a party of four.
Moving right along, there must be 5-6 places to buy ice cream on rue Montorgueil (an essential ingredient on the PMD).
I tried Charles Chocolatier though they are especially renown for their fab hot chocolate a l'ancienne served from a copper pot in winter.
When I see the two words citron + framboise offered together in the same cone I can not simply walk on by.
How did I miss this 'Petal Rose' ice cream?
Or fruit de la passion?
Since I started drawing the PARIS MAPS there has been some serious belt loosening.
It seems required to research and taste the 'fruits' of my labors even if my scale doesn't like it.
These two French girls are NOT on the Paris Map Diet obviously.
They get their 'glace'/glasses at this street cart selling fancy lunettes/glasses.
This Frenchie IS on the PARIS MAP DIET with her heaping cup of gelato from Grom. Plus she's training future PMD converts.
As Oscar Wilde said, 
"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it...I can resist everything but temptation" 
And there is no better place to start than on rue Montorgueil.