Friday, September 10, 2010

A Walkin' in Paris 17/7/10 Day Six

A day off! I have been drawing almost steadily for four days straight. Time. For. A. Break.

Even though I have not finished blocking in the entire book, I am close enough to the end to finally treat myself to a big set of Sennelier pastels. Em & fam gave me a nice set for Christmas but I did not want to pack them plus I wanted to see what Paris offered.

First it's off to Sennelier located along the Seine on the fringes of the Left Bank. It is such a wonderful art store. Emily & I shopped here when she & Marty brought me to Paris. The store reminds Donny & me of Welch-Anderson, a former art store in Richmond where you could buy anything and everything related to art. The aisles were tiny and the shelves full of all sorts of art wonderment.

A nice walk along the river brings us to Sennelier and the shopping begins. Most of the clerks do not speak English so there is a lot of gesturing and pointing. The aisles are even smaller than Welch-Anderson's, the only thing spacious here being the high ceilings. The stairs are tiny, circular events. Donny elects to wait while I go up to the second and third floors seeing what is available up there. I locate the disposable ink pens on the third floor and make my selection. The clerk needs to write up a ticket for me to present downstairs at the main counter. There I explain that I want pastels. Whole, half? Oil, water? The clerk brings me a box. Bigger, I indicate. He brings another. Again, bigger. He smiles and heads to the storage room where he returns with the perfect size box. I select a few tubes of watercolor too because my home supply is low. We pay and head across the Seine toward Rue de Rivoli and Angelina's.

It's hot chocolate time at Proust's favorite watering hole. We get a pot of Chocolat African plus a Mont Blanc to share and later partake of cafe to ease the massive sugar intake.

By this time it is close to dix-sept heures and we are worried that Fachon will close before we can get there. We are on an herb acquisition mission. It is not far and we start power walking. We round a bend of a side street and spy what we decide is the Palais Garnier also known as the Opera. We need to be near La Madeleine which is a few blocks to the left of the Opera. We start walking faster. The streets are like bicycle spokes and you cannot see what is around a corner or even if you are headed in the right direction. We have a map and try to consult it while still walking. We identify where we are and come out around the square from Fachon. To the right is La Madeleine looking suspiciously like the building we had hastily identified as the Opera. Suddenly I remember, the Opera de Paris has a dome, this building does not. We were in the right place before!

We rush around the circle and into Fachon. There is only prepared food for sale. I ask a clerk where the herbs are. Across the way she points. We have sailed right by the part of Fachon we need. It is only two stores away. We hurry over and in. Ah. Not much time to spare though. We know what we want and find the herb section. We are sad to see the fun pottery containers are now glass. I ask and the clerk says that it is true, the low fire ceramic pots are a thing of the past. We make our purchase helping to close the store.

We stroll homeward along Rue de Rivoli. We see many Art Deco buildings with the Samaritaine marque. Cousins I suppose to the main store that graced the Seine before it was closed in 2005. We pass Cafe Benjamin and take a picture for Benjamin. We reach Pont Louis Phillippe and cross to home where we unload and head downstairs for dinner.

Not once did I pick up a pencil today! Yay!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Paris 16/7/2010 Day Five

I am very excited to have dreamed how to present the traditional Santaland scene in a new light. This part of the book was tentatively supposed to be illustrations of chairs and decorations but that format was just not evolving to my satisfaction and so I opted to cover all the bases by showing the entire scene instead of vinettes. That was coming together better but still not creative enough for children and it was really bothering me when I went to sleep. It was so blah.

Now, I position the refreshed reindeer in the foreground viewing the newly created Santaland with utter delight. Blitzen is trying to tell her good friend the Snow Queen (she is going to be Maid of Honor in the Snow Queen's wedding) an idea that she dreamed about for the wedding but the Snow Queen is so enchanted over her new chair that she does not hear her. The other reindeer are talking among themselves oohing and aahing over everything they see. The drawing is perfect! Still so many pages to go though, including the line. I could draw out of sequence but choose to follow the story thread as it unfolds so I am only halfway there.

Donny has a plan. "Let's stay longer."

I am delighted. "What do you have in mind?"

"Well, if we stay until Friday that is only two more days but the following Monday will let us see the end of the Tour de France."

"And allow time to complete the illustrations in Paris," I have already resigned to putting color on back at home although I want to buy supplies in France. "Let's do it!"

"What about your show?"

"I'll call Glenn and let them know." I have two big prints yet to pull but Glenn had said that Jason might pull one and if that happens good, if not, no worries. Like Pat says, I'm easy to get along with.

Donny gets to work making the ticket changes and I make a few phone calls. Everyone is surprised to get a call from Paris. Mobile goes right through. Mindful of the cost all chats are quick and to the point.

I get a text from Jessica asking about the art show. It is fun to text her back that we are in Paris.

Later in the day we venture out for a stretch. After all, hours of art broken only for some erotic moments (we are in Paris, we must keep up with the lovers) need a change of pace.

We view the stunning sunset from our bridge. We wander across to the Right Bank and stroll a bit. Finally we settle on Chez Julien for dinner. It's late but everyone eats very late on weekends. We pick an outside table and proceed to have a delightful and very French meal.

Later after cafe and paying we start across the rue toward home. Suddenly I decide to take a picture of the restaurant, it looks so charming. We turn back. Our waiter is finished for the evening and is enjoying a smoke. He tells us that Chez Julien was the setting for the filming of a Gossip Girls episode last week. We ask if he was in it. He tells us no but doesn't seem disappointed. He suggests that we go inside and look around. He tells us that the restaurant has been in that location since the turn of the century. He also tells us the Paris Plages are due to open on Sunday, just across the way. Bikini time!