Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole Letter, a work in progress

The last day of May I got the Paris letter in the post📮Everyone loves Au Vieux Paris.  I shot this in April 2017.

Heather suggested I paint the facade for the next Paris letter. I’m always open to Letter ideas by the way. I made a few sketches, thinking why not? A “piece of cake” surely. Not.  

Last week I ran over for lunch (it’s close to Notre Dame)to take more pictures. Too late for their famously lush wisteria.
The lunch formule (22€) was a mistake. Only one choice and no substitutions. 
Chicken curry is not a fav unless in India. All heavy cream and not much curry. Dessert was even more cream—Fondant au chocolat in creme Anglaise + confit d’orange + a dollop of creme fraîche. I cleaned the plate. I’m sure dinner is better. 
The decor is pleasantly medieval-churchy with pew seats, angel sculptures and stained glass reflective of nearby Notre Dame. The building dates from 1512 and is a registered historic monument, one of the oldest documented restaurants in Paris.
Hmm…now to face the music. Not so easy after all. Much trial and error was required.
I gave up drawing the Andrea Della Robbia Florentine relief sculpture. 
Too small and too detailed to do capture properly. 
Next how to draw wisteria? Look on instagram.
Research, research… Japanese woodblock prints are a good source for flowers, design and color direction.
Practice, practice making wisteria marks. So many scraps of paper.
Bonnie suggested adding one lone romantic girl. I considered Gobelin bears, birds, a cat? 
I searched for color reference ideas—pink and green… 
Enfin/finally at 5pm on Monday it was finished. I hated it😳 Too many black lines, too much detail, too labored, the paper was all wrong.
Quickly I did a test sheet on heavier paper. Next trace/paint on top of the bad version to sketch ✏️in the main elements, but leave out the details. Simplify!! By 7:30 I raced out the door, (my copy shop closes at 8)took the metro one stop, and got a smile on the face of my copy shop guy(the required seal of approval on any letter art)🤸‍♂️👏😊 What had taken a week plus of “blood, sweat and tears” was completed in an hour and a half. I celebrated with a chocolate madeleine. Please share PB with your friends and visit my Etsy shop for lovely Real Paris mail 💌 in your mailbox 📮  You can subscribe to ParisBreakfasts newsletter here.  ✏️✏️💌Bonne Wednesday PBers! ✏️✏️✏️



Sunday, May 29, 2022

How I became Parisbreakfasts


  People often ask me how come I moved to Paris. Was it my secret dream? And how did I become Parisbreakfasts? I left NYC because of breakfast☕️🥐 

In 2005 I went to a watercolor workshop in Provence.  Everyday they took us to a different hilltop town to paint. While everyone else was joyously painting the landscape, 
I would joyously find a cafe, 
Order a petit dejeuner ☕️🥐
And paint it on site. A habit was formed. 
When I got back to Paris, after the workshop, I ran around ordering 2-3 cafe petit dejeuners every morning, setting up still lives. This last trip in Provence I thought I’d commemorate the habit and find a grand breakfast like I did in Cannes at the Carlton
I have a feeling I may never find another breakfast the Carlton—a jam-lovers dream.
Still I fell in instantly love ❤️ with pictures of Hotel La Mirande’s silvery coffee pot. It doesn’t take much...
Hotel La Mirande is certainly the grandest hotel in Avignon. But, I was told non-hotel residents may not partake of their superb breakfast buffet(30€) malheureusement. 
I was relegated to the palm court for coffee (5,50€). 
There are worse places to have a coffee☕️
I made a few doodles onsite.
That gorgeous silver coffee pot did not disappoint. 
On my way out I stopped in La Mirande’s gift shop for a look at their jam jars. Nice bonnets.
Outside a grey cat (also a non-resident of the hotel) was sitting in the middle of the street holding up traffic. That’s how things go in Avignon.
A delivery truck carefully drove around the cat. 
Well that’s the end of a long story. I hope you’re enjoying breakfast as you read this. 
I’m still painting breakfasts 17 years later. I’m awfully glad the ☕️🥐habit stuck. 
A Big Merci to Brit writer 
Viv Groskop of the Guardian, FT + at least 4 books, for giving me a shoutout in her fun and interesting Friday newsletter. You can read and subscribe here.

Shout-out to newsletter subscriber, Carol of Paris Breakfast. Click here for her beautiful watercolour paintings and her mail subscription, Paris in an envelope. So cheering. Wonderful gift idea. 

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🐻🍓🥐☕️Bonne Dimanche PBers☕️🥐🍓🐻

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Yesterday in Paris

 

Yesterday was one of those stunningly gorgeous perfect Paris days.

Sunny with a light breeze. A blue skies day.

Everyone was out…looking for Mother’s day gifts for May 29.
The tourists are back. En force.
50 shades of Kelley green.
Girls dressed in ruffly pink cosplay caused a stir on rue de Rivoli. We were all caught off guard.
Angelina has a big pink heart cake for jour de maman with a child’s handprint on it.
And a pink set of drawers filled with bonbons for Mom. I’d like that. Are you listening Bear 🐻?
Angelina’s chariot à glaces was mobbed.
A French girl wearing a nothing white T-shirt (or it could be a nothing white shirt) with nothing jeans + Chanel bag + a fluffy dog in her arms=the Look.
I liked the aquamarine nail polish.
For jour de maman, Lenotre’s flower window reveals 
A very pretty ‘Flower Cake’ with marzipan ‘flowers’ -a collaboration with Miss Maggie’s Kitchen and their MOF pastry chef, Guy Krenzer.
I studied everything over and bought a mini Brioche. It had to be the prettiest brioche I explained. I planed to paint it. The guy behind the counter does not want to a ‘Champion de monde’ of pastry but is a graphic artist who also paints. 
I must get to the Louvre soon to look at Chardin’s exquisite ‘La Brioche’. 
It was hard not taking a bite of this fluffy brioche all day. It’s gone now😊
Are you coming to Paris soon?
Please share PB with your friends and visit my Etsy shop for lovely Real Paris mail 💌 in your mailbox 📮