Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Artist’s Paris: A Sketchbook Exploration with Susan Abbott

1st stop was the Promenade Plantée, a green walkway built over the Viaduct des Arts in 1993 and a model for NYC's similar High Line.
Our group of 14 students plunged in to do blind contour drawings of the magnificent greenery.

The Promenade is in the 12 arrondissement and surrounded by Baron Haussmann architecture(some of which you can see right in the windows). Don't ask me why I've never been up here but I'll be back. It feels like you're out in the country.
The flowers and greenery are not formally arranged

Amy G.'s perfect blind contour - you're to focus on the object, never your paper.

It was a short walk over to Marché d'Aligre. We had an assignment to find 6 things.

By 'find' Susan meant for us to draw them. One item being something red.

She did not say we were to buy or eat them (my raspberries are gone). Oh well my 1st day sketching. I need practice..

We were to find something to wear on our list. There's a flea market at d'Aligre on Sundays. Fortunately I just looked and did not buy.

Find something to eat inside the covered market. I found red cherry jam. Gone.

We met back at the fountain inside and took off for lunch.

La Square Trousseau is nearby and perfect for Sunday lunch. 
1, rue Antoine Vollon 75012

I had a blanquette de veau

Susanhad the seared Salmon

We all shared lemon meringue tarte, raspberries, & chocolate mousse.

Some people can not leave their water glass alone, even though chalk was provided and the tablecloth was paper just waiting to be drawn on

Time to pass around our sketchbooks.

One of our finds was a bit of paper on the ground we could thencollage onto our sketches. A glue stick was passed around

Julee P.'s sketches.

Instructor Susan Abbott is a pro at this.

Susan's sketch pages from the Luxembourg gardens

I was inspired to go the following day to sketch

Susan paints in the gardens at every opportunity

I had high hopes of doing the same but my focus is easily distracted. Still it was a wonderful day and I've promised myself I'll go back to marché d'Aligre to draw ✏️& not eat. 
Thank you Susan & Karen for letting me tag along!!


  1. Hmm. My comment may have disappeared. If it shows up twice, just hit me over the head.

    This looks like such a fun day! Any time there is wonderful French food it is a fun day. Seeing your watercolor sketches is fun, too, of course!

    1. I am in complete agreement with you Bill!

  2. Carol, what a lovely recounting of our day. Thank you. It's such fun to look back through your lens. If I weren't already there, I'd surely want to go!! Encore merci from all of us, for the pleasure of your company!

    1. So kind of you to let me come ;)
      And lots of new places in Paris to explore.

  3. I would be so over the moon with this day. It would be my perfect day in Paris. Just perfect. I love every single bit you showed!

  4. I love all the sketches and this looks like just the kind of thing I'd do! I like the idea of some structure to the sketch crawl. Maybe next time we are there...

  5. What a great post for me to read and see.
    The eater glass tickled me pink:-) I have never seen that..Is everyone excellent?
    I know of sketch groups too far for me anyways but you have to be apart from far..I know my limitations.
    I would have loved to do this with Nancy..
    When I did take that class years ago and so loved the group..she taught us that contouring..brought back the idea of adding paper ..stubs etc..
    Your work is you..:-)
    And that blanquette looks well quite Nigel/Nigellay..delicious.

  6. Now that looks like a fabulous way to spend days. Great idea, I'll do it here in Carmel-by-the-Sea...

  7. "Some people cannot leave their water glass alone." Too funny you are! Another fun way to get to know your Paris more deeply! Bravo, Carol! (& thanks for sharing it, comme toujours...)

  8. I have a sketch crawl tomorrow - and I love the idea of assigning things to "find"! What fun! We consider the snacks at the end the very raison d'être!

    1. FIND:
      1. something RED
      2.something found on the floor to collage with (paper)
      3.something to eat
      4 something to wear DRAW IT!
      5.Look up & draw it.
      6. Note 5 smells

  9. So convivial and such talents. I really love all the different rouges you used in your strawberries. O the lunches look good there, I am always squirming, I can never finish my portion , except that coffee to the last drop and not a crumb of macaroon to be seen, no matter what flavor.

    1. They served mini meringues with the coffee and not a crumb was left thanks to yours truly.

  10. It looks like a fabulous way to spend a gorgeous Spring day. I wish we had a raised walkway here in Providence - it's such a great idea!
    I love your photos and sketches and watercolors, so bright & full of Spring.
    Hemingway used to cut through the Luxembourg gardens on his way home from the Seine - he loved to linger there.

  11. Absolutely enchanting!

  12. A really nice blog post...the class will be delighted too. Did you get that ice cream after we said goodbye?

  13. A 'dream' day out.

  14. Hi Carole, SO beautiful! I stayed right across the street from the Luxembourg gardens and they are just stunning. You're livin' the dream, my dear.

  15. what a wonderful art lesson - blind contour has always been a favorite activity for getting students to "see" what they are actually drawing rather than drawing what they think they see. : ) Couldn't ask for a better studio than the streets of Paris. I loved today's posting; well, of course they're always wonderful. Happy Thursday to you.

  16. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I walked the planted walkway with my husband in a rainstorm (we were the only people on the path) but we couldn't not walk it just because of a little water! It is beautiful and now we need to return for a walk in the sunshine with all the flowers. What a great day you had!

  17. reading about your day sketching with Susan Abbott and Karen Kane, I wondered if you know of any drawing/sketching classes that would be the same sort of thing but that could be taken for one day at a time. If you know of anything like that, would you please let me know - I have a dear friend who would love that, and we are talking about returning to Paris in the next year.

  18. Your post today is (once again!) a breath of fresh air
    for the spirits.Your colors are as gorgeous as the Luxembourg Gardens! Blanquette has me drooling!(it used to be my specialty) What a fantastic day!
    PS Is that the Place du Jardin with the Hausmann architecture? Looks identical to the background on Caillebotte's Rainy Day!

    1. François10:04 PM

      it is not a blanquette but a escalope à la créme.

    2. Merci Dieu for French readers!!

      I should have shot the menu and forgot...
      a la prochaine

    3. Close NATALIA R but no
      There are many corners like that in Paris.
      Thank you Baron Haussmann
      There is no dome in the painting..

  19. Your posts always bring a smile to my face! What wonderful experiences you have!

  20. Van Andrade8:35 PM

    I loved all sketches! Congrats all! They are lovely!!
    I love Luxembourg garden! Acctualy, it's impossible to don't fall in love for Paris... and for sure: Berthilon ice cream :3


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