Thursday, May 19, 2016

Le Perigord à Montmartre

Last weekend in France was one of those 'bridge' weekends so the holiday ran over into Monday. It was also four gorgeous days of the annual May tasting the divine products of Perigord à Montmartre.
4 days of eating as many
Strawberries as possible
Even fresh strawberry juice made on the spot.
And the spot is right under Sacre Coeur in the 18th
Please take the funicular when you go up.
You will need every ounce of energy to taste everything on offer.
For the 10th edition there must have been over 40 stands of producteurs. Many have won prizes for their specialties. I bought a can of goose rillettes from this prize winner...note the red metal plaque. One taste and I couldn't say no. Course there isn't much I can say no to...ahem. My downfall.
I somehow resisted the honey
But I tasted plenty
I haven't used up my brew made in the Luxembourg gardens yet.
I did buy a cake of honey soap though...
Temptation again at the chestnut counter. The same Perigord fair takes place in winter. The chestnuts roasted on the spot are heaven.
I did buy a bag of shelled walnuts. Plus cepes, strawberries in the cup and in the box, the rillettes.
There's a very homey feel to the fete. This isn't la Grande Epicerie at all.
Much more fun.
Tasting, tasting. There is so much tasting at this fete. A rarity at Grande Epicerie.
I tasted but just admired the red caps.
No truffle tastes me thinks. Please mark your calendars for next May PBers. This is a don't-miss annual fair, usually 3-4 days long so you can return for more strawberries.
I did fall hook, line and sinker for this poster of Sarlat. Have you been? Do tell. I'm very tempted to go and paint there now that I got my feet wet in the Luberon. Should I go?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Watercolor Print-of-the-month and Goult 2

(Sorry to resend post. Links were wrong). I'm back in Paris but still thinking/dreaming of the Luberon. Goult is another small fortified hilltop village we visited.
The morning light was perfect for painting. The 'done' thing is to climb up to the old windmill (moulin) at the top and then paint the surrounding landscape. I got this far and turned back to visit the local grocery store...interest in local produce being the attraction.
OK I prefer shopping to heights. This is as close as. I got to the windmill. The small figurines are 'santons' made locally and a part of the Provençal Christmas celebration. I can't remember if 13 santons or 13 desserts are the tradition.
Note the wild boar figurine.
Boars adorn everything, not just your plate as sausage.
A charging boar plastered on a car window...the regional mascot.
The grocery store (the only game in town) has an annex across the street for fresh produce. You grab a basket, take what you want and cross over to pay.
Don't miss tasting local almonds. They're flatter, bigger, grown in the area and very tasty. 100 grams (3 ounces) should set you back 2,10€.
Small antique shops line Goult's main street, items spilling out into the street.
Cafe de la Poste is The place to lounge and grab a coffee. It may be the only place to do so in Goult.
Last time I was here in 2005 I painted my breakfast.
This visit I was feeling more ambitious. As kids my sister and I had to spit 3 times when passing a cemetary (we still don't walk under ladders or pass black cats). My father was adamant. I was reluctant to paint in Goult's unusual cemetery.
If only Ian Sidaway was here as a guide. He's a master of all manner of hedges among other things.
   Still I gave it a whirl leaving out all hints of the tombs.
The village buildings were more appealing.
Warm earthy colors.
I painted this melon/rust cottage against a cobalt blue sky.
Four Goult village buildings on one page - my brand new watercolor print-of-the-month available on Etsy.
The prints are on the same Arche paper I use to paint my watercolors so colors come out almost identical.
Ochre pigments from Provence were in art store, Sennelier's window this morning. Memories of last week's visit to Roussillon.
The Roussillon print is up too on Etsy with Provencal brochures added in the flat envelope. I may be visiting the US later this summer to paint in Maine. Lobster and cheese Danish beckon.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Musee du Jouet et de la Poupee Ancienne, l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Happy Mothers Day dear PBers!
Among all the antiques in the flea markets of l'Isle-sur-la-Sorge is a hidden treasure easily missed.
In the town center on 26, rue Carnet near the Mairie is a wonderful personal collection.
Musee du Jouet de la Poupee Ancienne opened 13 years ago but the pieces date from 1880 through 1920.
The doll collector, sweet Madame Huguette Jeanselme, in her 90s, is onsite to share stories.
A hat makers shop setup with chapeau, threads and silk flowers.
A perfumers shop filled with miniature bottles.
The Dione quintuplets dolls intact and complete in their gift box.
These old dollies have such character and mystery
Pure poetry.
This serene, sleeping dolly
With a twist of a knob on the top of her head, she becomes instantly grumpy and tearful.
Wonderful old children's photos line the walls. Doesn't this French girl look like Eloise at the Plaza?
Is this Madame, the collector as a little girl?
A huge gypsy caravan with all the accoutrement on the inside, pots and pans and what have you.
My favorite of course is the old ice cream cart.
Did your mother make doll clothes for your dolls? Mine did. She studied fashion design, so went at it with gusto. Maybe you didn't like dolls? I was addicted and wasted endless hours gazing longingly at unobtainable dolls in Wanamaker's, Philadelphia.
I hope you're having a lovely Mother's Day. As Bear's Mom, I spent mine painting the watercolor rose above over and over. Spring has finally sprung in Paris and the banks of the Seine are cluttered with picnickers. Here's a berry tarte from last Sunday, first of May with lily of the valley decoration.
I'll return to l'Isle-sur-la-Sorge to show you the real flea markets soon PBers, but if you should get the chance to visit don't miss the charming Musee du Jouet!