Friday, April 24, 2015

Rue Cremieux, 5 Great Paris-Brest, Boulangerie BO, Jill Bakes Choux,Arom, Paint a tulip

Yesterday was perfect to go exploring.

Solli said I  must go to rue Cremieux,75012, just 18 minutes walk from my house thanks to Google Maps.

Paris has quite a few of these hidden enclaves. You feel you landed in a French country lane like Le Vieux Belleville and rue des Thermopolyes to name a few.

All exploring should include a little snacking no?

Paris By Mouth announced on Tuesday the 5 Great Paris-Brest to be found in Paris.

Fortunately Boulangerie BO, 85 bis rue de Charenton, 75012, #3 winner in the contest is just 15 minutes walk from rue Cremieux.

Baking choux at Jill Colonna's house on Tuesday makes tasting all choux obligatory doesn't it? Note the crumbly, crunchy topping on this delicious winner.

'Craquelin' is very popular these days in Paris patisseries.

Jill calls it 'crumble topping' made from salted butter, flour and light brown sugar.

It adds zing to the plainest choux surface.

Bear is Very fond of it.

The coffee pastry cream is nice too. Soon you can make your own when Jill's Teatime In Paris comes out in May/June.(page 72)

Back to exploring the 12th. Arom, 73 Avenue Ledru-Rollin, is a divine fleurist, perfect if you're getting married.

More wonderful tulips

I thought I'd give you a tulip painting demo in case you'd like to DIY.

I started out using a photograph, making a value study with the help of app My Sketch. I wasn't happy with any of these, so tossed them into the circular file.
Best to work from life directly,

Drawing the contours with a Japanese Pentel Waterbrush.

Then just adding loose washes of color

on top of color

I'm never satisfied so I redraw it again.
1st subscriber or renewer gets the demo.
Or the pinks or another tulip watercolor of your own.
Voila. Your turn.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Paris Spring Fever

It hits you hard. You want to snooze but Solli said, Come to the Rodin garden.
The bunnies were bouncing around undaunted.
There are still chocolate Easter bunnies in many windows btw. These at Jacques Genin, rue du bac.
The cavalry come out in full regalia for Spring in Paris - la Garde Republicaine holding up traffic on my street.
Stripes are out in Spring green.
Les marinieres shirt tails are hanging out.
And les trenchs.
Get out your denim jacket please. It's Spring.
Some people are going a little overboard with the warm weather maybe?
Almost no shoes.
Striped shoes that cost a fortune in Bon Marche windows.
Red shoes work it.
There's a cheesy scarf store in Metro Chaussee d'Antin. Last month they had terrific graphic black and white Audrey Hepburn scarves. Yesterday fun fashion illustration scarves....almost bought it.
 Les fraisiers are out big time.
Les radis are out all year long in Paris but especially vibrant in Spring.

The first pivoine/peonies.

A lovely fleurist

In the Marais, Vertige.

Yesterday Jill Colonna of Teatime in Paris gave me a lesson making choux. (More to come on that). After baking Jill took me to Parc Corbiere, le Pecq. You pick tulips and make a donation to cancer research.

They trim and wrap them up for you. I've been painting tulips all day instead of going outside  for more Spring Fever.
If you want a tulip watercolor you can renew or buy a new subscription to Paris Sketch Letters.
Are you having Spring Fever too?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Van Gogh Museum, On Being Late, GWP

This post is mostly about visiting the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and very little about anything you might see inside since it is absolutely verboten to take any photos (except in front of a few large blowups of THE SUNFLOWERS on the landing you can taket a selfie).

Solli was navigating that morning and promised it would take us just 15 minutes from our B and B to get to the Vah Gogh.
Ha! One hour later we arrived at the Rijksmuseum just in front more or less of the VG museum...mostly less.

When you travel with a tall person you must run to keep up. And No, I did not lose any weight with the constant running because we kept eating Dutch apple cake.

Granted we did take

The scenic route

To the VG museum.
Admittedly ALL of Amsterdam is scenic..

Once there by 10:00 the lines were already horrendous.
We had special passes that got us in entrance #4 fortunately. Still picking up our passes was no easy thing since the Staff Entrance was completely covered with renovation never mentioned to us. Luckily some staff came along and let us in. We got our special passes and then had to go around to the front of the building (another 15 minutes) to enter.
Oh la di da

This is the main floor of the Van Gogh museum - shhh a stolen shot.

This is the 2nd floor - another stolen shot taken from the elevator.

A shot inside of the Van Gogh museum elevator! Was I being filmed?

A close-up of one of my favorite Van Gogh drawings on the elevator wall. Solli and I split up since I have visited the museum maybe 10-15 years ago and that was enough for me.
I went straight up to the bookshop on the 3rd floor.

I drooled over several books, buying a couple (in Dutch and for kids) because I liked the pictures. My fav still life again.

Have I mentioned we are both congenitally late?
The plan was this:
We would meet up in 50 minutes at 11:00 on the ground floor on one of the two big benches Solli designated.  
I even arrived 5 minutes early.
No problem.
At 11:15 I figured, OK, give her extra time with the Van Goghs. Be a little generous. Who knows when she will be back again?
No problem.
At 11:25 I was beginning to steam.
I bent down to pick up my Kiehl's yellow polka-dotted bag on the floor and I hear my name called out,
There is Solli sitting on the other big bench. She has been there since 10:55. What to do?
One isn't even allowed to be annoyed when the other person has not in fact kept you waiting.
Very frustrating to say the least.
These things happen when you have a traveling companion. You simply have to laugh it off. Haha

Outside that VG museum Solli spotted big pots of tulips.
Our chance to get some tulip pictures!!!

I agreed,

Though frankly I could have cared less.

Still I knew I would have a bargaining point up my sleeve

To request we visit the Van Beek Art supplies shop, not so far from the VG museum. The folks in the bookstore gave me directions.

And a very lovely art shop it is too

With items on SALE, something you rarely see in France in any store except during the Solde. In fact they had those extra large pans of Winsor and Newton watercolor I like so much but left behind in NYC.
AND they were on SALE! Hooray.
I painted some little Van Goghish versions of the teapot still life for anyone who wishes to subscribe or renew their PARIS SKETCH LETTER SUBSCRIPTION. A little gift-with-purchase (GWP) you might say.
So that was our mostly uneventful visit to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.