Monday, November 20, 2017

18e Rendez-Vous du Carnet de Voyage

Sometimes you hit it lucky. In the pitch dark Saturday morning, 6:00am I was desperately trying to find Gare de Bercy train station from line 14 exit. I saw a woman ahead and asked her the way. Of course I didn't understand a word but followed along anyway, wishing and hoping. The words Clermont-Ferrand were spoken - my destination and town of the annual November Carnet du voyage (travel sketchbook) exhibit. Remember last year's post? Not only was Françoise going but she's a terrific sketcher! She fills a new beautiful sketchbook on every trip.
Françoise was meeting her friend Jane, who does walking sketch tours in Trouville! I'd taken a picture of Jane's poster last June but was a day too late. And Françoise and Jane were staying at my hotel Republique. We talked sketching/watercolors for 3+ hours and arrived in no time.
130 carnetistes (sketchbook artists) had stands displaying their work at the Polydome center.
Everyone is friendly and chatty - Santi Sallés.
I love shooting the tiny paintboxes. Lord knows how they achieve so much with so few colors?
This spanish artist, Hugo Barros Costa told me proudly he never cleans his paintbox. I heard that a lot...
He was in New York for a year teaching at Parsons and produced a terrific book, NEW YORK GRAPHIC CHRONICLES.
Most sketchbook artists have books for sale either self-produced or published.
There is a mind-boggling huge area of artist's books to buy.
Then you bring it back to the artist to sign, usually quite elaborately. Bring a hairdryer.
Artists are drawing, painting, coloring
French artist Marielle Durand is giving a visitor's sketchbook a crit.
Artists have glass display tables showing the range of their work.
So many sketchbooks.
Meet my architecture Professor Jeremy Soheylian. I love his book. You can get it on his facebook page.
He signed a print, 'To my best American friend'. I think I may be his only American friend...
The town of Clermont-Ferrand is in the Auvergne. Many Auvergnoise left, came to Paris and opened all the cafes and brasseries you love to frequent like Cafe Flores and Les Duex Magots.
The volcanic black lava cathedral in town is worth visiting night or day, if you can tear yourself away from the exhibit.
I was so inspired by everyone madly painting and drawing. Back in my hotel room I had a field day painting pastries. Rendez-Vous du Carnet voyage show IS inspiring. Françoise and Jane never stopped sketching. We have an open date to sketch out my window and later in June in Trouville.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meet Aquarelliste-Reporter Noelle Herrenschmidt

Last week I met brilliant watercolorist/reporter Noelle Herrenschmidt by chance. Find her on Facebook here. And at the French Sénat.
I discovered this morning her wonderful interview on Youtube at the Boston French Cultural Center. Coincidentally I had my first watercolor exhibit there in 2009.
Good things happen when you take the bus in Paris. As #89 rounded the bend at jardin du Luxembourg I couldn't believe my eyes.
I jumped off to see rows and rows of watercolors from the French Senat plus other stunning architectural renderings all from her book, DANS LES COULISSES DE LA LOI.
I love Herrenschmidt's loose, casual sketchie quality. Don't you?
Leaving areas unfinished, unpainted, you feel you are looking over the artist's shoulder. These are painted onsite not from photographs later in the studio, Noelle reveals in the Youtube interview.
"What gets done onsite is the finished artwork." She does not rework later.
So they have a 'fresh' intuitive feel to them - characteristic of the best watercolors IMO.
Here the Palais du luxembourg and the actual building below caught through the grills.
Noelle Herrenschmidt's watercolors are up on the Luxembourg grills till January 14, 2018 Do go look.
I was delighted to see Noelle would be having a book signing Saturday.
I ran over in the pouring rain.
Hollington is a très chic mens clothing store 9, rue Racine 75006. I wish they did women's clothing.
You can pick up Noelle's illustrated catalog there and she has many wonderful books on Amazon US, FR.
I bought her 'In the halls of the Law' (in French only) Over 200 pages of her watercolor illustrations.
Of course I was fascinated by her art materials. Look at her super mini seche cheveau (hairdryer)! A very rare find she said...we talked shop in my broken French.
Her paintbox! Heaven.
While others got lengthy, written messages in their books
I got dabs of fresh color straight from her paintbox. 
Visit Noelle's site and like her on facebook. The French Cultural Center video offers a good French leçon too. I brazenly showed Noelle a few of my watercolors. She approved. 
Merci Noelle pour tous!
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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Le Grand musee du Parfum, Nov Paris letter, Miss Dior

Last Sunday I finally went to the new Le Grand musee du Parfum at 73, rue faubourg St.-Honoré.
Definitely a don't-miss visit if you love French perfume.
A sensory immersion discovering how and why we love perfume
Displays of celebrities from the past who influenced perfume makers and trends.
My fav, the old graphics from past French brands and bottles.
Historic illustrations of 18th century miniature perfume flacons
Currently on a show of legendary perfume bottles by designer Pierre Dinard plus the stories/sketches behind each bottle. Who knew that the red inari bottle specially designed (and rejected by Kenzo) would become the adored and celebrated Opium perfume bottle of YSL? Many secrets of the perfume trade revealed.
On the main floor two glorious shops, one for perfume books
The other a splendid cornucopia of the best French perfumes
You can test out
As you wish.
For men too...try out Boucheron's famous and costly Jar scent.
Your ticket to Le Grand musee du Parfum includes a chance to partake of atelier classes. Book online.
Leaving the museum, I waltzed down rue Saint Homoré, a string of perfume shops looking for ideas for the November Paris letter.
Inside Galignani book store, inspiration and the solution. Why not focus on Miss Dior perfume, this year celebrating its 70th anniversary?
Just across rue de Rivoli and a few blocks down a quickish run back into the Dior exhibit at musee des arts Decoratifs, (still madly mobbed and free on the first Sunday of the month).
A look again at the 'Miss Dior' flowered dress..
More Paris letter inspiration from Dior's favorite illustrator, Rene Gruau...(and mine too) with his wonderfully fluid, black ink lines.
Miss Dior perfume first appeared in 1947, capturing othe essence of maison Dior and became the fragrance of haute couture. It was named after Dior's beloved sister, Catherine, a representative of cut flowers at les Halles (mandataire en fleurs coupée) flowers she grew in Provence. Legend has it when Catherine burst into the salon unexpectedly, Dior's muse called out,
"Ah, here's Miss Dior!"
Chrisitan replied,"Miss Dior, now there's a name for my perfume!" 
FYI Miss Dior is sprinkled daily in the 30 Avenue Montaigne salon.
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There's a new bonus watercolor - a Miss Dior bottle with your name on it!
Bonne week-end PBers.