Thursday, March 31, 2016

What I did on Easter Monday and a Fish Tail

Easter Monday in Paris it poured all morning. It even haled 'petit peas' and then the sun came out briefly mid-day. More about that later.
It's pouring right now by the way.
The sun came out when I went to the pool for a swim (without my umbrella). When I left it was pouring again. Public pools are open on national holidays in France by the way.
I went off to a different aquarium for some fish research. This time I brought my umbrella. Naturally the sun came out.
Aquarium de Paris is not in an art deco building. It is underground, huge and spectacular.
A winding labyrinth takes you from one glorious tank to another. Wow.
Later on I was invited by my landlord to attend a glorious concert of Russian orthodox chants by Les Choeur des Nouvelles Voix de Saint-Petersbourg singing Russian orthadox chants. Out-of-this-world gorgeous!
Sung in the very beautiful Église Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile.
Immediately after I ran to get fish of a different matter.
Chocolate fish (or fritures) to give my landlord, concierge and kind pool attendant.
L'Atelier du Chocolat has closet-sized shops all over France with 3 in Paris. They started in Bayonne, France's original chocolate city and their specialty is thin leaves of flavored chocolate (citron, ginger, pimente, noisette, etc.). You can buy bouquets of the various flavors. You can also pick up an excellent cup of hot chocolate while on the run.
I discovered L'Atelier du Chocolat created the crazy hen-sailors sitting on life preservers I saw at Bon Marché. They have a nautical theme for Easter. Clearly it was a special order. Hmmm...
I bought some of their fritures for myself as well to draw for the April Sketch letter.
Naturally none are left by now...
The sun came out mid-day Easter Monday. You would never guess what a wretched day it was weather-wise even if glorious in every other way. Here's a corner of the April Sketch letter. It's going out today after eating too many chocolate fish and tearing out my hair a bit comme d'habitude.
More fish tails tomorrow!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Paris Easter Chocolate Parade and an Easter Letter Special

Ta Da. The promised Paris Easter chocolate parade.
 Abstract chocolate bath duckies from Eclair de Genie. Do they melt in the bath?
Wild looking egg tins from Galler chocolates hide mini chocolate eggs inside.
Larnicol always has the craziest chocolate chickens every Easter.
Arnaud Larher features a whimsical chocolate circus this year.
Bon Marché's hens are dressed as sailors adrift wearing mariner T-shirts sitting in life preservers. Hmm...
Michel Cluizel has classic French goofy chickens  every year.
Jean-Paul Hévin takes chocolate chickens to new heights. Hens in the moon?
Gold hens and fish atop chocolate bells.
I love his colorful button chocolate eggs though I can't think what buttons have to do with eggs or Easter.
At Bü you can buy giant decorative eggs and fill them yourself.
I caught the master of Paris' chocolate jungle, Patrick Roger setting up his Easter window.
He was in the middle of a shoot but look at that chocolate gorilla sculpture! And those chocolate 'fried egg'.
My favorite Paris Easter window - Patisserie des Reves...a don't miss.
Please don't miss La Table de Nana's wonderful post on my Paris maps. 
Mille merci Monique!
And don't-miss out on the Easter Letter Special. Subscribe for 6 or 12 months and receive an extra previous Easter Sketch letter from 2014 or 2015. Plus an original chocolate bell watercolor.
Joyeuse Paques tout la monde!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Le Douanier Rousseau - musee d'Orsay

In times of great difficulty sometimes art can offer a respite.
Monday I visited a preview of the Rousseau exhibit at musee d'Orsay (March 22-July 17)
I can't say I was Rousseau's biggest fan before I went
Still his imagined jungle scenes are enchanting.
Considering he spent most of his life as a toll collector, never left Paris, relied on illustrated books, visits to le Jardin des Plantes and dreams for inspiration.
Edward Hick's Peaceable Kingdom is in the show, painted in 1826, so maybe Rousseau was aware?
Other artists were mad for Rousseau's naive paintings. Leger, Kandinsky, Gauguin may have influenced him. Picasso owed several portraits.
And copied Rousseau's frontal, spare compositions of children.
Robert Delaunay's mother commissioned the huge Eve painting after her trip to India.
His Odalisque in paradise ends the show with a splash
I'm imaginging going 'jungle' in my studio after visiting the Orsay gift shop. Bear is imaging going to Rio...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Salon du Livre 2016

Saturday I went to the annual Salon du Livre out at Porte de Versailles.
Every year it appears bigger and bigger
Or am I shrinking?
So many people. So many books.
So many authors a-signing books.
Most fun are the elaborate drawings some illustrators do for young readers.
French kids learn to love books early.
I too am in love with French kids books. Very free illustrations. Lots of wonderful nonsense.
The cookbooks are especially enticing. Picture books will always win the day for me.
I got to taste a terrific giant scallop at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier demonstration.
La Mere du Famille has a new kids book out
With fun Paris pop-ups.
Loved this book umbrella
After 2 hours I needed to run away. Too many people. Too many books to looks at.
Loved this old gastronomie illustration when my eyes could still focus.
And this tote bag, probably a freebie from the Maison Object show.