Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Delacroix was a cat person

There's a new retrospective of EUGENE DELACROIX (the first since 1963) at the Louvre. Its on until july 23rd. DELACROIX'S self-portrait looks a little cat-like. Oui o non?
Cats big and small show up in his paintings repeatedly. So does this gent show up in my photos. Grrrr
A watercolor sketch with the anatomy well-defined, yet subservient to the emotional power of a resting cat about to attack.
The attack! Roiling cats get the better of these poor soldiers. How did Delacroix get the poses so perfectly? I wanted to lay a paw on this gent...
Marvelous lively cat doodles fill the margins of Delacroix's lithographs, yet have nothing to do with the litho's subject matter, but they definitely enliven it.
Horses too are a favorite subject
Delacroix was also a lobster man.
And an Orientalist par excellent. This painting is huge. The figures slightly larger than life-size.
Serene and graceful, the details create a lush, exotic atmosphere, little still lives hidden within a bigger picture.
A wonderful small oil study of Moroccan slippers, baboushes. Delacroix traveled many times to Morocco along with French diplomats, all expenses paid, as every artist would prefer to travel.
His Moroccan sketchbooks are reknown for their intimate views of quotidian life. Delicate pen sketches and superb watercolors are a stark contrast to his energetic, often violent, big ambitious paintings.
Then again here's a perfect, small study of a reclining odalisque with oriental touches.
Delacroix did many loose oil studies in preparation for the bigger commissions.
Like this complex composition.
I didn't know his big flower paintings before seeing this exhibit. Not your usual pretty paintings, they're full of energy.
Viewing the Delacroix retrospective was my break from an Urban Sketchers workshop in the Louvre courtyard.
Our assignment - paint the gazillion tourists racing by. I decided to focus on subject matter standing still instead. Please TAKE A LOOK on Etsy. And let me know if you'd like to get mail from Paris. Have a Bonne Week PBers xxx

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Why visit Paris 5-star palace hotels?

I asked my savvy New York friend, Allie if she ever had the nerve to go inside the creme de la creme hotels for a look round?
"All the time. Whenever it rains I drop in and people-watch in the lobby till the rain stops", she responded.
"How brave". Turns out there are many other good reasons why you should visit Paris' 5-star 'Palace' designated hotels. The bored lobby-sitter is by 17th century watercolorist, Louis Carrogis Carmontelle.
For the May Palace hotel map I was planning on a border of gold filigree
Like the golden grand staircase you'll see in Hotel Shangri-la, formerly home to Prince Roland Bonaparte.
Instead with Allie's advice I drew lobby armchairs for a border. Lately I'm chair mad...
Le Crillon has finally reopened after a 2-year renovation to bring it up to 'palace' high standards. The 1758 exterior at place de Concorde is thrilling.
Bear was thrilled with the interior - elegant and serene.
Hotel Meurice is more chic perhaps thanks to the eccentric decor of designer Philippe Starck.
For a fabulous splurge have tea at the Meurice's Dali salon. Top pastry chef Cédric Grolet's creations will seriously blow you away.
Flower lovers must make the rounds all of Paris 5-star hotels. Jeff Letham's arrangements at the Four Seasons George V hotel are divine.
An abundance of orchids
Bear enjoyed every luscious moment
Especially gazing into the George V courtyard
Most palace hotels are clustered together in the 8th and 1st arrondissements, so stroll from one to another. Nearby Plaza Athenée, another recent renovation.
Bear would have loved to stroll into Alain Ducasse's dining room there but we were too late. Tant pis
Would you like your portrait in front of Hotel Plaza Athenee? Do let me know s'il vous plait.
Voila! The May palace map is in the poste. A BIG MERCI to LIVING FRANCE for featuring my Paris maps in the June issue!

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Bisous, bisous, Carolg and Bear<🐻

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Ritzy May Paris letter

Some months the Paris letter art comes easy peasy. Some months not so fast.
May is Mother's day, May day in Paris. And all that Ritz fuss. I thought I'd do Ritz tea cups...
Then I wandered into a closet-sized book shop, LIBRAIRIE MICHAEL SEKSIK at 10, rue du Cardinal and saw these liitle figures taking tea. So fun, so Mother's day...
Here's a closer look. Jane K. said, why not make them drinking afternoon tea at the Ritz? Bonne idée.
While in New york I found my old collection of flea market finds, many of them made in Paris!
Ah ha! Why not make the May letter 'perforated', a sort of cut-out and fold letter?
First some old Ritz research

I dropped in for a casual waltz through, hoping I could buy some Ritz blue ribbon in the gift shop
Peonies are in season.
A look in their garden. I did not get arrested.
Guerlain does a new muguet/lilly of the valley bottle each year for May day. I grabbed some perfume touches at Galeries Lafayette for letter envelope souvenirs...
Google helped out with lilly of the valley borders...
I always start letter art with one detail. If I can get that right its usually smooth sailing from there.
Don't forget to do your thumbnails or timbres as the French call them.
More trial and error, bits and pieces...
Et voila. At last finished and in the post yesterday. No perforations or folding this time. À la prochaine peut-etre? Oui o non? You tell me.
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