Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Joyful June Letter and the Creative Process

You know it's summer in Paris when the ice cream cases start showing up in the street, even in front of the most ordinary no-name boulanerie. You never know. They could make fabulous ice cream. I found one on rue Monge yesterday...I must go back and get the name and another dip of Praline.
Instant love for all the French ice cream accoutrement.
And the sweet little printed cups. Do you save yours too? Nuts really.
I decided in March to do a letter on Ice cream. I thought it would be easy peasy. Ha.
Seeking last minute inspiration at Berthillon. Paris' crème de la crème of ice cream makers is just a dangerous block away from me.
I tried to color match the cassis sorbet (and apricot) when I got home.
If you're going to do  an ice cream sketch letter it goes without saying you Must do your research.
I'd read a lot about Classico Argentina's helados/ice cream.
The vanilla/dolce de leche combo (2,50 euros) did not disappoint. I asked how it was different from other Paris ice creams?
"Our chef is from Argentina".
"Oh OK".
Still it was excellent.
I was forced to try La Mere de Famille's new tubular popsicles (4 euros) - pistachio covered in their divine milk chocolate = highly recommended.
Bet you haven't tried frozen food supplier Picard's double mini cups of almond ice cream (3,50 euros) with macarons and brandied cherries (I toss those out). Coco Jobard loves this too so it has got to be good. Try it.
Even with all the ice cream-eating I found myself still scratching my head how to translate French yumminess into watercolor.
Plus the boys at the copy shop said it should be 'joyful'.
In desperation Sunday night I ran up to the Louvre Carrousel not for more ice cream but looking for joyfulness. I found it at Printemps. Yes!
Framboise-colored marshmallows = joyfulness.
This watercolor-splashed purse said 'Joy' to me.
Pylones is never short on joy and general silliness.
Back to the drawing board to sketch, sketch, sketch.
Pamela Druckerman has a terrific essay on the difficulties of the creative process, a must-read for anyone struggling with finding inspiration to creative solutions.
Some of her excellent lessons:
'You need to be blank, and even a little bit bored, for your brain to feed you ideas. (Why I love the pool)
The poet Wendell Berry wrote that in solitude, “one’s inner voices become audible.” 
*Figure out your clearest, most productive time of day to work, and guard this time carefully.

Your first attempt will be terrible.
It’s O.K. to be an obsessive. (Does that include ice cream?)
Louis C.K. said, “Anything you do should be better than anything you did before.”
This herculean extravaganza is totally worth it.'
Why does painting ice cream require a 'herculean' effort is beyond me but it did Sunday-Monday.
My landlord helped out suggesting a colorful wash to the background btw.
The boys at the copy shop said the June letter was "joyful'.
Hooray too for those of you who signed on to the new PARIS MAPS letter series. I know they look a bit alike but try not to sign up for the wrong series. Any suggestions are most welcome PBers!


  1. I bet the boys at the copy shop have put on weight since you arrived, Carol. All these beautiful artworks that you produce are so deliciously tempting!

    1. They are both bean poles.
      I cant do a thing to chnge it and I would like to very much!!!!

  2. Lovely!

    Ice cream pretty lovely!
    I am really liking seeing all the steps to your finished letters../..creations..

  3. Carol, it's turned chilly here, so my first NYC 2015 ice cream is still waiting to be scooped. Meanwhile, I loved this post, and kept wondering why Paris has more flavors that do appeal to me. (Carol...that question is surely a softball toss to you!)

    Your ice cream pictures are surely joyful, and I admired the glow of the background color washes well before I read about the copy shop boys' comment. Honest.

    The Pamela Druckerman link is another gift to your readers. Having that quiet place is surely key.

    There is a funny (in both ways) article in today's NY Times about Uber's Parisian difficulties. Do check it out.

    Now I will drift away to my own quiet place. xo

  4. Allie7:38 PM

    You are making me .want to run out and get an ice cream.XXX

    1. Do it
      Why not
      Today is my first ice cream-free day in weeks

  5. You're killing me! I could eat ice cream every day of the year. I can't even imagine how good French ice cream must taste.

    1. Oh boy. This is why you have to come over here!
      Extremely creamy and intense flavors.
      Not as much sugar usually.

  6. Love it, the reflections on process, the sketches, the links...Used to love eating ice cream, allergies now, but it sure is pretty...easier to eat than to paint, but just as delicious in the painted coming shortly re. the maps...the printed cup with the ice cream wagon is adorable...

    1. Isn't that ice cream cup a keeper? I can not throw it out...I would miss it ;)

  7. Anonymous12:28 AM

    my fav ice cream in Paris was Pozzetto from Torino gianduia choccolate the best ever italian ice cream is number one !!

    1. I am in love with their Pistache.
      I can not try another flavor. I am devoted.

  8. I adore Berthillon's cassis sorbet (and Pylones).

    1. A new discovery for me...I avoided the sorbets...what a mistake! Yummy

  9. It was so chilly and rainy when we were just in Paris that ice cream was not as appealing as it would normally be and we only tried two - I guess we need another trip to concentrate on the ice creams (instead of the pastries, caramels and chocolate).

  10. Wow!!!!.. Fun to c your inspiration and final
    product. Love it!!

  11. I noticed that during your color matching, your ice cream was melting. If you freeze a nice thick plate (actually I have lovely glass pattern samples from work) and put a tiny scoop on the frozen plate, you should, in theory, be able to eat every last bit! In fact, just use 2 frozen dishes, swapping them out as they start to melt. I'm only thinking of you.....

    1. To eat
      Or Not to eat.
      That is the question.
      With ice cream I eat. But good idea anyway J!

  12. Just a gorgeous post! The colors are so vibrant and the locations so alive with color.
    Great one, Carol!

    1. You got it!
      I knew it had to be colorful = joyful= summer

  13. Today I made my first batch of ice cream for this summer. A crunchy chocolate. I think it might become Frowny Bear's favorite this year.
    If I were a block from Berthillon, I would eat my way through their menu! Keep us posted, please.

    1. That Was my original plan...maybe there's a book in it? Haha

  14. My favorite ice cream in Paris is from Turin . . GROM . .. yum yum yum . . . .although Berthillon is of course excellent!!

    I love that the boys at the copy shop are part of your Paris family and give you counsel on your artwork!


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