Friday, September 27, 2019

Degas À l'Opera, musee d'Orsay

Can you ever see too many Degas dancers? The new exhibition, DEGAS À L'OPERA opened on Tuesday. I ran and arrived just in time to sneak in the back end at The ORSAY before closing.
The colors! And extra long compositions with a diagonal slant to them.
Astonishing combinationsof Vermillion red, viridian blue-green, yellow ochre combine to create magic.
Degas would put down a layer of pastel color. Then spray it with fixative before laying another color on top. We used those same little bent metal pipes in art school  to fix our charcoal drawing. The smell was horrendous. I stopped immediately and switched to watercolor merci deux.
In 1899 he invited Julie Manet (daughter of Berthe Morisot) to visit his studio to see "some orgies of color I'm doing right now".  She was surprised and wrote in her diary (I saw a copy at my bouquiniste) "he never shows what he is doing". He was always a private insular man.
Degas planted himself at the Opera Garnier, backstage, front and center, sketching during rehearsals (every artist's dream).
He was around to sketch the gentleman admirers, top-hatted in tails, waiting for the teenage ballerinas to accompany them to dinner etc. after the performance. Epstein's keen interest in young schoolgirls isn't something new. Rodin too surrounded himself with young Indonesian dancers.
A box at the opera painted by Degas in orange reds and olive greens. The Orsay exhibit is a collaborative effort to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Opera Garnier, where the dancers performed.
Try the tour at the opera when you're in Paris. Always thrilling. The Degas/Orsay exhibit is on through January. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast and pleas share with a friend. You can receive Paris letters in your mailbox 📮. Take look on ETSY . Cheers Carolg and 🐻 in Paris

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Les Marches Flottants du Sud-Ouest, quai de Montebello

Have you been to Tarn et Garonne? Anyone know where it is? I don't except that its in the Sud-Ouest of France. If you're a gourmand or gastronomique you'll have already visited in pursuit of foie gras and other divine local specialties. 
Never mind. It doesn't matter. As long as you're in Paris 3rd week in September you can partake of all the regional goodies at LES MARCHE FLOTTANTS along the Seine by Notre Dame at Quai de Montebello. 
You get a paper bag upon entre. Then get on line to collect free samples of local apples, heads of garlic, pears, Chasselas grapes.
It puts you in a happy frame of mind to go buy foie gras, Cassoulet etc. Last Friday I guided two California PBers THE FESTIVAL. They'd visited the year before but just looked.
This time they jumped in (with a tiny nudge from 🐻) and tasted, tasted, tasted. Strawberries, melon, poire-william, the same one sitting in that bottle of eau de vie, duck breast, fresh chevre..the list goes on and on.  
Local prunes from Agen, a highlight, are always at the fete.
Most producteurs have a variety of products and they would love you to taste as many as possible. A very generous affair. There are tasting plates of cheese and charcuterie but after many petite gouté/little bites you'll be full.
Two young girls behind us came equiped with a traveling set of everything you need at a foodie festival.
Oh la la, The Jam Man. Taste away!I went home loaded with pears, a melon, sparkling pear juice, prune preserves, mi-cuit prunes.
I returned the last day at the final hour for a grilled duck breast sandwich and more. Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Subscribe to Paris letters 💌, maps and watercolors🎨 sent from Paris to your mailbox📮. It is not the same as subscribing to the blog posts darlings. Xxx 💋from Paris🐻

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Festival de Loire d'Orleans

On Thursday morning, a day after I got back from Maine, I was at Gare de l'Est on the train to Orleans.
For the FESTIVAL DE LOIRE. The trip took just 1 hour.
We passed through Place JEAN D'ARC .
Walking through town down to the Loire river. 
And stopped inside the beautiful gothic Cathedrale Sainte Croix d'Orleans. 
Arriving at the 5-day delight of boaty and watery events for the whole family. Sea chanties, rope knots, fireworks, boat races, antique boats, Dutch making smoked herring, English jacket potatoes, Cancal oysters.
You can  spot guest mariners wearing their red neckerchiefs and black pirate hats.
Of course there were plenty of scenic rides on the boats. The French call this a 'Balades en bateaux' meaning a ride, tour, promenade (not to be confused with a romantic song in English).

A few years ago I took a 'balade' to see the famous cliffs of Étrétat, imagining it to be a gentle romantic boat ride. Instead it was a bouncing, rocking boat with no getting off till the end of the tour. Not to worry.
These are very gentle boat rides along the Loire. I wouldn't say I'm very boaty much as I love seafood and clams, but this was all around a lovely experience.
And I loved all the little flags and banners waving in the wind. Great fun to paint. Sunday the 22nd is the last day until 2020. Definitely worth a day trip if you're in Paris. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you enjoyed please share with a friend. *Get monthly subscription Paris letters, maps and watercolors in your mailbox at ETSY xxx💋Carolg and Bear 🐻in Paris🇫🇷

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Home in Paris

1st day back in Paris. What do you do? I was greeted by none other than Mona Lisa when I got out at metro St. Paul.
A look into a patisserie is always a good idea.
My remedy for all that ails you (colds and flu you can pick up on the plane) is pomegranate juice. Squeeze it yourself at any Franprix hypermarché (3,99€). They have orange juice of course (1,89€) and pink grapefruit machines too.
Take a look at the cheese display for instant Parisian gratification. OK a real fromagerie is better bien sur. Still nice to inhale.
A walk over Pont Marie.
And a look at the Seine is de riguer.
The boat symbol of Paris will greet you,
"Fluctuat nec mergitur" (tossed upon the waves but doesn't sink, how I feel at the moment) at the base of the lamp posts.
The Autumn bears are out in force.Boulanger has a new sandwich onboard. Duck sausage with violet moutarde...I had to try it. Pas mal. Happy to be home again and off to the Loire today to LAMARINE FLUVIALE! Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. I mail 📮 out Paris letters and maps subscriptions every month + watercolors from my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻🇫🇷

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bonne Maman, Maine

This is going to be short and sweet. Wifi is intermittent in my lovely, enormous room in Owl's Head, MAINE.  I've been here a week. When I arrived my host made a fatal error. They bought 5 BONNE MAMAN blackberry jam instead of hard-to-find raspberry. I took this as a sign to paint French jam instead of Maine rocks all week. Hooray. 

Meanwhile I brought them 4 boxes of divine French chocolates + some bars.
I can happily recommend Pierre Marcolini (yes, he is Belgian) if you need chocolate gifts. Perfect in every way: variety, color, flavor, number, price. 

My hostess Katherine in front of The Mariner's Grill in Camden. 

Where I ate a single blueberry pancake chock-a-block with Maine's tiny berries + real maple syrup. 

Of course I had a lobsta roll on a bun(?) and a pile of mayonnaise with some slaw included the day before. 

One cannot visit Maine without going for a whole lobster at Archer's. 

Oh and those rocks. 

I was attending David Dewey's Fall watercolor workshop

But mostly I was up at 3am painting jam jars. I stayed on Paris time (and got poked during class for snoozing. Zzzz)

Per usual I made a mess in my enormous bathroom with all my painting stuff. If you're into Bonne Maman there is plenty lurking in my Etsy shop. Is Lavender a flavor? It is now. Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Paris letter and maps subscriptions + jam watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris (back on Wednesday)🐻