Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sara Midda's South of France

Tomorrow I'm off early to Aix-en-Provence for Salon Cote-Sud Vivre
Does this look like Provence? It ain't. It's just around the corner from here on 'villa Juge'. Any street in Paris called villa will look a lot like you just stepped into the provinces - villagy and cosy with bright colors and shutters, so keep an eye out for 'villa' streets...
I've been collecting Cote-Sud magazines for years. They're simply gorgeous and full of visual inspiration. They were the hardest thing I had to toss when I moved here...
So I'm pretty thrilled to be actually attending the Cote-Sud event. I stayed in Aix eons ago for 6 weeks with Chantal Deltour. Bonjour Chantal!
Chantal took me for a delightful picnic on Cezanne's Mont St. Victoire. But it was impossible to sit down - all sharp thistles. I won't be doing that again. I will try to visit Cezanne's atelier this time...
I'm staying 2 days so perhaps I'll get to a marché...I still have the necklaces I bought at the marché...hmmm
Here's my assignment - to eat as many local specialties as possible. Do you have any favorites I shouldn't miss out on?
My absolute favorite book on the South of France is by Sara Midda.
It's maybe my all time favorite book.
Formated like a casual sketchbook yet every page is evocative and exquisite.
I dream of making my book like Sara's...
Sara Midda is British and a bit of a mystery. She does still illustrate many wonderful books but nothing quite as intimate as this one IMHO. A quiet genius. Definitely a labor of love.
If you've never looked at Sara Midda's South of France you have a big treat in store. It's an utter delight and there's nothing else like it out there either. Or else just go to Salon Cote Sud Vivre. Even better!


  1. Anonymous12:10 PM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the Sara Midda book!
    Meg Fairfax Fielding

  2. How delightful, Carol!

    I loved the market in Aix, it is really huge in every sense of the word. I hope you find the time to make a visit. They open very early, very friendly sellers, you can go there almost at the crack of dawn! ;-)

    Wishing you a wonderful trip down south and looking forward to hear and see all about it,

  3. I used to have a Sara Midda planner that I LOVED. Hmmm.. Wonder what ever happened to it. You could definitely do a SM type book about Paris! Think about it. It would be wonderful! Love the South of France. Have you ever had socca??? A yummy chick pea pancake cooked in a big pan, sold in the street. Look for it. You won't be sorry.

  4. thx, i've been absent the last crazy months but this post was so for me!

    i went to school and (of course) fell in love (with LOTS of things/people) in Aix. And am an old Sara Midda fan. There's another one you should check out, it's up your alley ..... I'll come back with a link.

    Bon sejour Aixois et bonne route!

  5. You won't believe this..My post for tomorrow is ready..I should post it today..but in the middle of my garden collage is Sara Midda's In and Out Of The Garden..I LOVE my little book..and now you have introduced me to another.Thank you:)
    You will love that expo..that blog I sent Cannes.. well she goes every year and shows us..You will LOVE it..
    Oh have fun..I love Provence!!!
    I use that word way too I just do.

  6. Forgot to your colors.

  7. Anonymous3:11 PM

    I have that book! It's so inspiring.
    Thanks for reminding me!
    Love your blog. As you already know.

  8. Anonymous3:17 PM

    My favorite book also and has been for years! I'm always trying to emulate her....too bad I can't paint:
    I love your work and read you religiously, and pass the best on - thanks!

    1. Mikki,
      We would like to be Sara Midda...

  9. As we met over my Sara Midda post, I'm glad I didn't miss this.

    Sara has found my post, contacted me and commented. I'll make sure I will email yours to her.

    1. How I wish...
      Probably not a snowballs chance in hell...

  10. Love Sara Midda's book! And loved your horses last post that in my email took me to this one. Go figure! Glad to see you out and about checking it all out, Carol! Have you gone to Giverny? Maybe you did and I somehow missed it. If I have time, I'll check to see I've seen all your posts. Enjoy! xo

    1. No Giverny yet
      It's on the to-do list near the top

  11. Aix-en-Provence: merveilleuse.
    Can't wait to see your photos and illustrations.

    Love Karen and Biff xx

    1. 4am getting ready for the TGV!
      Oh what ballerinas to take?

  12. I, too, have Sara's book ... in the pile of Favorites on my nightstand. And my iPad is close by to check your blog daily ... several times, of course, to read comments. You light up our lives, Carol. :-)
    Thank you!

  13. Patricia5:31 PM

    "I dream of making my book like Sara's" ... does that mean you're really doing a book? Yippee! And I'll look for Sara's book. You've steered me to many an interesting read.

  14. .. I have loved my Sara Midda book for a very long time. Over 10 years ago I had a Sara Midda address book that I adored. I taped it's torn pages until there was just no more saving it, but I remember it will.

    I have a few other of her things, but she is an artistic idol as far as I am concerned. Enjoy your time in the south ...

    Karen in CT

  15. Michelle5:42 PM

    I also adore my "In and Out of the Garden", so now I have a new treasure to look for.

    Leaving for Paris in two days!! Yippee!

  16. I love that opening watercolor, Carol; really beautiful.
    I'm sure that you'll love the south of France & I'm looking forward to the pics!

  17. Carol, I think that you will have a wonderful time down south in France. I know that I did.

    Since I saw the first part of this post, I've been on a search through my bookshelves for my own Sara Midda book. Haven't found it yet, so the hunt will intensify.

    I do think that she and you might be kindred spirits.


  18. Anonymous9:55 PM

    I just love your painting! How wonderful. I would love to travel in all of these directions!
    Thank you,
    Chef Ann

  19. Carol, you could do a lovely book: "Parisbreakfasts Favorite Things, 2013" and it could be a sort of diary of your year featuring favorite places, things, events... And since it would be your favorite things for the year it wouldn't have to be ALL of your favorites at once and it wouldn't be something that would "expire" like a zagat guide. I would need to buy one every year to collect all of your favorites! Love your work and enjoy seeing Paris through your eyes!

  20. Absolutely LOVE Sarah Midda's much that I've acquired a few additional books of hers...she has sucha signature style.

  21. Anonymous10:47 PM

    Enjoy your trip and thank you for this delightful post :)
    Off to check that book, looks wonderful *_*
    Greetings from an Italian in Ireland.

  22. You must see Cezanne's atelier. So inspirational and lovely. It was my favourite place in Aix.

  23. "South of France" looks exquisite! Thanks for the recommendation. Impulse buying in 3....2.....1....

    1. Her figures are perfect for you R!
      You'll love it or ill eat my hat.

  24. What a lovely book, one I'd never heard of before. Enjoy your trip, it sounds wonderful.

  25. I love my "South of France ~ A Sketchbook" book! I also have the "South of France ~ A Book of Days" and "In and Out of the Garden". I've always been captivated by her exquisite, intimate watercolors. Hoping your dream book becomes a reality!

  26. I've known and loved Sara Midda's work for years. Your work is on the same high plane! Enjoy Aix and of course, report back. Jeannie

  27. thought i better put this here too:

    i blogged about this quite old (already!) book beautifully done by leslie forbes in 2011.

    of course i bought it at the strand!

  28. Gosh, I love how you can go off galavanting in Paris, around Paris and now to the South. I'm always wishing I could change the decor of my house to anything from Coté Sud magazine but somehow in Paris it doesn't look quite right chez nous - unfortunately we don't have a Villa! Enjoy Aix. Was there for Xmas to visit family. It's so much better in the heat.

  29. Oh I love Sara Milda too! I have all her books, but the South of France is definately my favourite, I always find it so inspirational and fresh.
    Am really enjoying your posts. I live in an island just off the Normandy coast (Guernsey) so am lucky enough to be able to pop over to France a few times a year, actually can see it from my bed room window!!!!
    Thank you


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