Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Candy (Art) Store

I found this carton à dessin (portfolio) in the Marais and I liked it so much I bought two. The writing/ecriteur is by the artist, BEN. It says, contient peut-être un vrai chef-d'oeuvre/perhaps there's a masterpiece inside.
The jaunes pages in the upper left, I ripped out a few years ago. Don't follow my bad example. The adresses of Parisien art stores (les magasin du beaux-arts) are outdated but still fun to look at. I tend to save old scraps of paper. The watercolor is thé et chocolat painted in Paris.
This is my "candy store". It doesn't hurt that it's in Paris. Any art store anywhere is an adventure. Like the shop in Arezzo, it doesn't matter what you buy so long as you buy something. I found the Maison Gattegno by chance(permanently CLOSED), while looking for a nearby branch of Sennelier, which was closed.
It's on 13, rue de la Grande Chaumière is not by chance. Across the street is the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere attended by Modigliani and Calder. Paul Gauguin shared a studio with Alphonse Mucha. You can still walk in and attend a sketch class without registration fees.

A very traditional old art shop - the interior is dark. A flashlight could be helpful, but the owner knows his stock and can find what you can't see. I love the traditional plaster casts in the window. They remind me early days at PA Academy of Fine Arts, when castdrawing was obligatory. I regret not doing my value studies back then. This bulletin board of art class (stage, cours) ads hung by the door of the fermé (closed) Sennelier. Two art stores + an art school all on 1 street + artist's ads. A traveling artist's dream.Art stores fill you with nostalgia. You'll never forget the 1st time you paid for an "Artist" quality tube of paint and felt like a pro. Mel Bochner, a terrific artist, told me that Franz Kline was so crazy for the old,long-gone Torch art shop on 15th street in the village, that he named a painting after it, "Torch".
I'm amazed at this elegant boite d'aquarelle/watercolor box in the vitrine/window. Le prix/price is pretty amazing too. 924 euros. I was so excited to see all these Blockx godets porcelain watercolor pans or paint-filled 'ashtrays' that I saw at Café Deux Magots, my camera shook.  An art store will do that to you.


  1. Anonymous5:59 AM

    What a great, informative, and potentially very costly, post! Sennelier is the store I've been to most often, but it IS closed at an alarming rate. The one near there, the one that was also open the last time I went when Sennelier was closed, must be the one you mentioned not on rue Chaumier. The day I was there the inventory was very low, though maybe that is just the way it is. Comme la vie, tu sais.
    Wonderful photos and text, PB. What adorable little ceramic pans!

  2. your eye candy is delicious! You share it well!!

  3. Carol, you find the most FABULOUS stores and eye-candy!!! MY GOODNESS -- and I'm so glad you are generous in your sharing so we too can enjoy it all with you!

  4. Anonymous10:51 AM

    I loooove art stores. I can get lost in them for hours, and it's always easy to find something you just "have to have."
    Tempting photos...

  5. Your photos are so nice. They make me want to go to an art store so bad, but instead, I'm stuck at home finishing what I started yesterday ... getting rid of all my little pieces of paper I've collected and put everywhere in my studio. It feels good to see a clean spot, but ... no looking back now.

  6. Anonymous11:16 AM

    art stores. i could live in one. my husband heads for cover when he knows i'm a-going...

  7. Sounds like an absolutley dreamy day...going in and out of shops in Paris...and then stopping for a little luch, I can dig it.

  8. Anonymous12:48 PM

    I went to all the patisseries in Paris - I know where my artist sister is going!:)I love the shots of all the colors in their box - so much possibility. Did I tell you I used to collect the paint chips from hardware stores because I liked the colors?

  9. My yearning for Paris grows with every one of your posts.

  10. Anonymous7:35 PM

    I'm going to go to some of the fabulous places that I see in your blog - just not sure when! Thanks for allowing the rest of us to live vicariously through your blog and your visits!

  11. Oh...sigh, what a shop that sounds, that is truly my downfall all that must have stuff.
    Maybe one day...

  12. Anonymous9:03 AM

    I went in here to and got your paper! Wonderful shop Oh to be back on rue Grande Chaumière right this minute..

  13. The most fabulous candy stores I've seen in my life. The ceramics product suite at your coffee table.Paris known to the shopping capital of the world.Good luck with your business.


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