Friday, August 19, 2016

Savignac of Trouville and The girl on the beach (not the train)

                             Girl on Trouville beach - watercolor on ETSY
Jill Butler asked me if I had seen any of local graphic artist Savignac posters whilst in Trouville. I saw many and thought I'd share them with you. I often heard about Savignac from a French guy I went out with whose own artwork was influenced by him. Savignac is iconic for France by the way even now years later.
I wanted to make this Savgnac poster into a watercolor but it took me all week...ahem
Why didn't I get better shots of Savignac's posters that line the boardwalk (la planche) now called 'Promenade de Savignac'
Another affiche
The library has its own specially signed Savignac. By the way you can not get away from the gulls in Trouville so don't even think about it.
Savignac did many, many menu designs for Les Vapeurs, an outdoor cafe along the main street.
Here a hotel poster painted on the wall (more gulls note svp).
I imagine they have an annual exhibit of Savignac's posters. The hall to the right of the tourist office (filled with consistently UNhelpful staff. This seems to be often the case in France).
This year's exhibit is food-based.
Savignac is known for his visual wit.
There's always a joke or visual pun lurking
Amidst the terrific design.
Simply fun!

Don't ask me why I didn't buy a Savignac mug Please. I'm kicking myself.
The only picture I could find of Savignac was on the postcard stand! He does look droll.
I am still painting beachy scenes FYI. France has 3000 miles of sea coast.
I intend to visit and paint them all. 
Your suggestions are most welcome if you've been to Biarritz or Dieppe, etc.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Les Halles aux Poissons, Trouville-sur-mer

A bit more on Trouville and the wonderful seafood. Non-seafood eaters may want to leave now. I didn't go into the Casino. Don't know why, but it was right outside my window. Renovated in 1937. You don't have to win at the Casino to eat lobster in Trouville btw.
Maybe Monet would have loved the light changing on the Casino me thinks...
Les halles des poissons is quite a large building. I discovered it by chance and curiosity.
Typically Normandy-style split timbers (faux).
They open at 8am and go to 8 pm in the evening, but if you want to eat sur place get there by 6. I missed out on the famous 'Jeanette's soupe de poisson' sadly.
Its another kind of promenade like the boardwalk at the beach (la planche).
Everyone is doing it.
The choices are delectable.
If you want the other local specialty, moules et frites, you must go elsewhere to a restaurant or cafe. They don't cook to order at les Halles.
The metal basket the waiter is holding will contain your choice of seafood.
After the weigh-in it comes back to you like this heaped on a bed of ice.
My last lunch in Trouville (about 18€). You won't find melted butter for your lobster etc. here, but the most divine seasoned mayonnaise. Miam!
Bringing your own bib is not a bad idea. Or wear old clothes. Bring your own baguette too. Everyone does. Bread is not served FYI.
Time to tuck in. All hands on deck! Making a mess is de rigeur.
Trouville's lovely harbor. Note les Halles in the background. You can't miss it.
I hope you're tempted to take a short trip outside Paris. I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Lobster Sale and Trouville-sur-Mer

Last Saturday I dipped my toes in the Atlantic in Trouville-sur-mer, Normandy. And you must too soon. I know its been quiet around PB HQ, but I've been drawing and painting a slew of lobster watercolors and now they're up on Etsy. Do go take a look.
Grappling hand to claw for 5+ days. For a while I thought the lobster would escape uncaught in aquarelle...
The battle began in my room(on the beach at Le Embruns). By the way I arrived with no hotel reservation on Saturday. Did I say delightful Trouville is just 2 hiurs away fom Paris? The local tourist office was not helpful. They suggested I find accomodation in Caen or back in Paris. What? She sent me off to a place that was already 'complet', Fortunately I spotted a post lady dans le rue and asked politely if she might have a room to rent? Or even a 'placard' (closet or armoir). We both giggled and she suggested I try the hotel around the corner. Bingo! They had a room and an even better one the folllowing night. So now you know how to find a room in the height of the season PBers. Just ask a post person!!
Seafood is outstanding in Trouville.
The place to go is Maisons des Poissons, housing 8 seafood stands. Just make your choice
There is every crustation under the sun to choose from. They weight it and prepare your food on a bed of ice with accompanying wine, champagne or water. Then you are served at tables accross from the stands. I ate here four times! Not expensive really but it depends on your choices. More pictures to come.
Come summer time you see these cute old-fashioned cabanas in Paris shop windows.
But you don't imagine they still exist like in Eugene Boudin's Trouville beach paintings.
But in fact they very much do. Enchanting.
And the colors!
I couldn't resist painting them. So fun.
Beyound the beach is the boardwalk backed by simply wonderful 19th century architecture.
Many of the same houses Monet painted here
Big posters around Trouville remind you how it used to be
In many cases only the swimware has changed.the water is delightful. Come on in.
Back to the architechture mostly built in the 1830s and onwards.
Parisians and artists, writers flocked here to holiday and built such fanciful summer houses.
More back in the hills behind the beaches. Some very narrow but still wildly striped and decorated.
Looking down on the beach (la plage). The steeets above are all but deserted while everyone frolics in the sand. Building sand castles is hot here. You can wander aimlessly admiring the homes
Definetely consider a 2-hour side trip to Trouville, though July/August is jam-packed. What was I waiting for? And Yes Deauville is just across the narrow bay. I will do a post soon, but its a snobbier, more posh resort in my opinion. Not as relaxed or casual. Meantime grab a lobster on Etsy. Its the season