Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Il etait Mardi en Paris

Started out our Tuesday in the workroom and got this face going, turned and all.  I put it on a background with an old European travel map that I actually got at an antique shop in Summerville, South Carolina!  I got the map for the cover of the book there, too.  I've been working in a set of two books that I made specifically for this trip using a couple different weights of watercolor paper and a whole bunch of my dad's old manila folders.  When I saw boxes of them at my parents' house ages ago, they were destined to be recycled via the big blue bin.  Instead, I've upcycled them into these journals using coptic binding that my friend, Bette, taught me.  The quality of the surface isn't fantastic for watercolor, but a little gesso or matte medium and it's wonderful!  I've been using all sorts of markers and paint on them to experiment and haven't been disappointed at all, even though some work takes more layers than others.
Anyway, back to Paris...where we walked and walked and walked to check out several shops for art supplies.  I took this picture just to capture the skyline so I can play with it later.  It's a view down the Seine and we were near Notre Dame, but we were walking quickly and I didn't record in my brain exactly where I was looking.  I'll have to check the google later.

A quickie Notre Dame selfie, just because.

Our first shopping stop of the day was actually a department store, but it was unlike any I've ever been in and the selection of art and craft and stationary goods was amazing!  We definitely left our mark (or our euro, I should say!  haaaaaa) at the Bazar de l'Hotel de Ville, aka BHV.  At the end of that stop, my backpack was full of bits and bobs that will be perfect for collage and other projects.  As heavily laden as we all were, we walked (and walked and walked and least that's how it felt to my feet!)  down the left bank to Magasin Sennelier. This is a pic of the tiniest art supply store I've ever experienced.  Sennelier is noted as the creator of the colors and pigments and pastels that the impressionists used in the late 1800's.  The business is still family owned and operated.

My friend, Robyn, took this shot of the pastels...oh so beautiful!  However, I was dressed for the walk (aka warm) and had a giant backpack on, so this tiny store was just about more than I could handle.  I left with a few new Prismacolor pencils and that's about it.  

I felt sheer relief I felt at being released from the shop back onto the cooler street.  I met up with my friend, Sam, and we continued down the street to the Musee d'Orsay.  We had a bit of a wait in line, but it was only about thirty minutes before we were able to get in and soak in the goodness.  She went to the Monets and I went to Van Gogh.  We only had an hour before we needed to meet back up and get back to the hotel for dinner plans, but I tried to make that hour count.  I did a quick sketch to capture one of the many sculptures on the second floor along with some of the architectural detail of this museam that was once a train station.  This is another place that I believe/hope will play a part in my art education with a return trip someday.
Sam and I found our way back via train and metro to our stop near the Bastille.  Now that we've been here a few days, I feel pretty comfortable reading the maps and navigating from point a to point b (via two other points, sometimes!)

A small group of us went out to eat dinner at a lovely place called Dersou with a prix fixe menu for five courses with cocktail pairings.  It was fabulous!  Most of my meals have consisted of baguette, croissant, cheese, fruit, yogurt or crepes, which is not a bad thing since they're all deliciously French. Anyway, the Dersou meal was fantastic--a bit of an Asian influence with French at the core. Since I know my mom is going to want to know what we had, I wrote all the courses down as we went, but now that I'm looking for that little slip of paper, it's nowhere to be found!  haaaaaaa  From memory, though, we started with a vegetable broth soup with tofu and coriander that seemed to have a hint of truffle and butter.  Then, oysters with a cabbage salad and finely grated cheese...all very tangy.  Next came a pasta with two creamy sauces and bits of lobster.  The cocktail from that course was delicious and was served in a glass coated on the side with hazelnuts.  The third course was my favorite: seared white tuna with leek and cabbage.  The meat course was pork with roasted apples and jalapeno peppers.  The pork seemed raw, which went against all the food safety I learned in seventh grade, but it was delicious.  Rounded it all out with a roast pear and some sort of other creamy deliciousness that shall remain nameless. haaaaaaa


  1. So enjoy following along on your adventure!

  2. This is so much fun to follow along! Thanks for sharing all the wonders you are encountering! Enjoy the day! Erin


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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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