Friday, December 21, 2012

St Nicolas Brioche

Paris bakery, Pauls, brings out St Nicolas Brioche in December.,,

I favor the ones with chocolate hats and shoes!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Touring Small French Villages

Small French villages in the south of France call out...
Linger and Enjoy!

Golden grape vines in December...

Built in 1571!

Market days....

Picnics for lunch...

Stone signs warning of the "chien"... the dog.

Walking to dinner with lanterns lighting the narrow village streets..

So much beauty...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Would You Want a Mannequin To Pose For Your Portrait Painting?

Lay models were a favorite of 19th century portrait artists.....

The life-size models were dressed and posed same as the woman sitting for her portrait...
Allowing their subject to only pose when the artist painted her face and hands.

No sitting still for hours and hours....what a luxury!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Next Life!

I have known for years....
I want to be French in my next life.

After seeing all the love French dogs receive..
Maybe a French dog could be a good life!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How Much Do You Love Croissants?

This "croissant loving dog" sat posed and ready....
Every few minutes, his owner broke off a piece of croissant, dipped it in coffee and dropped it into his waiting mouth!

Then after many croissant bites...the owner picked up napkin...
And wiped the crumbs from the dogs lips!

Do you love croissants this much??

Friday, November 30, 2012

Do You Decorate With Dogs and Black Forest ?

Contact me at to add to your home...
My contacts are unique!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fig Crepes, Apricot Juice, Normandy Cider

My first fig crepe..."Crepe a la Figue"
and walnuts were mixed in the fig jam !

Avignon, in the south of France, was having a weekend street fair featuring products directly from the producers....

Apricot juice, "Nector de Apricot"

Cherry juice, "Nector de Cerise"

Fresh walnuts from Perigord....the walnut tree is to the Dordogne region of France as olive trees are to Provence.


Cider from Normandy...

All presented in lit chalets in the center of Avignon.
Soon to be the home of the December Christmas market.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book Pages Turn Into Art

The French Artist cut book pages and created art...
The paper bottles caught my eye.

I LOVE This Italian Bathtub

Paris's shop windows are full of new ideas.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Join Me at the Bastille Antique Fair in Paris

The Bastille Antique Fair in Paris....
hundreds of dealers from all over France ..
stands set up under tents lining the Seine River.

 Twice each year, May and November.

The fair opens to the public November 8 for 10 days.
Follow me on Your French Buyer
next week and find a piece for me to ship to your home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Join My Next French Buying Trip, November 5

Come along on my next  4 week French buying trip, November 5, 2012.

You don't have to buy a plane ticket, pack a suitcase, or alter your life...

I will be taking photos of special pieces as I travel through France...
its warehouses, fairs, auctions.

Tell me your wish list.
I will send photos and you can buy while having your morning coffee at home.

What did my clients from June Buying Trip say??

" It has gone incredibly well"

"Yeah, that is a great one!"

"Ok, go ahead and buy this one. This has a good look."

4 weeks of seeing all of France....join me.

Did You Select This Frame?

Which frame did you select?

This is how she hangs at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Monet's "On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt", 1868

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to Frame a French Painting?

                                           Monet's   "On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt"

In 1868, when Monet was in his late 20's, he painted his future wife, Camille, on an island in the Seine River.

The following frames are on various French paintings at The Art Institute of Chicago...

Which one would you choose to frame the above Monet??

Return and see my next post...
 see how the painting is framed at The Art Institute of Chicago....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monet, Master of Light

                                     Monet's "Vetheuil", midday (The Art Institute of Chicago)

                                 Monet's "Vetheuil", sunset (The Art Institute of Chicago)

In July, 1901, Monet escaped the heat of his Giverny studio and rented a home for his family across the Seine River of Vetheuil. Here he painted a series of paintings of Vetheuil from his balcony.

The subject is not really so much about Vetheuil,
 but rather
the inverted reflection of the village in the water!

He chose an almost square canvas that added a decorative effect and used visible brushstrokes that made the paintings "sparkle and flicker".

I favor the colors and diffused images in the sunset....which one speaks to you?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Great Master Painted Blue-Violet Waves?

Would you have guessed these waves were painted by Renoir in 1879?

Recently moved to Chicago and today explored one of Chicago's Best....
The Art Institute of Chicago.

The museum, located in Grant Park, has one of the most notable collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in its permanent collection.

I have often been to the best museums in Paris...but The Art Institute had me never wanting to leave. Artists, I have seen many times, now seen in a new light.

Renoir chose blue-violets to paint the Normandy beach waves in his "Seascape". His light touch gave us a nature "tamed and poeticized"...
a painting about mood.....absolutely stunning!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Discovering Berthe Morisot at Paris Museum

                                         Girl with Greyhound (1893) Musee Marmottan Monet

Last week while buying for clients in France, I discovered Museum Marmottan Monet had a special exhibition of the works of Berthe Morisot ( 1841-1895), who along with Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt were the great women of Impressionism. The crowds were huge and security tight....even special sensors to detect and prevent phones( definitely no photos allowed).

The large exhibition of perhaps 50 works was astounding....arranged to show how she developed over the years...landscapes, portraits, garden settings, boating scenes .... even large scale decorative painting for her drawing room in Paris.

Interesting that her art career started  at 16, when her mother enrolled her,along with her two sisters, in drawing classes...wanting them to create Christmas gifts for their father. Later, becoming a classical copiest of Louvre and then went to study with Corot, who started her painting outdoors..plein air. Later passing her love for outdoor painting to Edouard Manet, convincing him also to become  plein air painter. At 33, she married Edouard Manet's younger brother, Eugene Manet.

Like Mary Cassatt, Morisot focused on domestic life and portraits.... using family and friends as models.
Her sister, Edma, and only daughter, Julie, were often subjects of her is Julie in the above painting with her whippet.

Morisot died at only 54......while caring for her daughter, Julie, with pneumonia...Morisot also developed pneumonia and could not recover. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

10 Year Old Chef!

Life can bring surprises!

After over an hour train ride and 30 min car drive to small village north of Paris to meet with a specialist of black forest...

I discover the dealer's 10 year old son is quite the chef...
Mom teaches French cooking and even at 8, the young boy could prepare complete dinners including appetizer!

He welcomes me to his father's shop carrying a tray of espresso, chunks of brown sugar....and his own mini macarons in assorted flavors
I have eaten macarons from the most famous makers in Paris...and none top his.

His two younger brothers are obviously his big little hands and big smiles quickly emptied the tray.

It is moments like this that bring me to France.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

L'Estaque...A Village With Past And Present Charm

L'Estaque, a small fishing village near Marseille, captured the souls of great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artist. Eight enameled plaques, sprinkled through the village, allow us to stand where the artist painted.
Cezanne discovered L'Estaque in 1864, returning often, always taking a room in the same house...painting 60 pieces during the next 10 years. He wrote to a friend of the red roofs and blue sea...adding how the terrific sun silhouetted objects in red, blue, brown, and violet.
Renoir visited and the two great artist painted side by side....capturing the same scene in their individual styles...leading Renoir to was the most beautiful place in the world.

Today, even a rainy Sunday did not stop this father from fishing with his children..

Or interfere with 3 friends fishing nearby..

3 young boys dived into the sea...never thinking of the raindrops...

And I found the perfect dry view...dining, overlooking the many boats beyond..

Enjoying the terraced houses that rise up the hills...
The sun brought the artists...but even rainy days allow its charm to shine through.

Location:L'Estaque...Its Past and Present Charm

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