Thursday, August 25, 2016


Sonia Rykiel has died at the age of 86.
She was a personal icon of mine.
I loved her wild red hair and wonderful
casual Parisian style.
Here is an old post I wrote in 2009
after a week in Paris.

Here she is ... the other grande dame of fashion. And like her other fashion counterpart, Coco Chanel, Sonia Rykiel had no formal training but did have a wonderfully creative mind and an understanding of women. She is known as the "Queen of Knitwear." Her clothing lines are so beautiful and flattering to women but most of all, they look so wearable and comfortable. I adore her clothes but most of all, I love Sonia Rykiel's personal style.
So I played around with my image of Sonia at an earlier age and painted it on a tote.
Here's a picture of the completed tote and I thought it would be a great way to carry a pair of Sonia's great shoes. Check out the shoes I posted below.
When I was in Paris a month ago, I was meandering through the 6th arrondissement which is the St. Germain-des-Pres area and saw this fun window in a small retail shop. It happened to be Fashion Week in Paris and the city had visions of couture everywhere. That wonderful red hair sets her apart, doesn't it?
Now, here are the shoes of the season from Sonia Rykiel's Fall Show. You must go to her website and see the unique fashion show she created. Very intimate and classy and what made it so different was that the models would say a line or two as they walked through the audience.
Her fashion show this year was all about words and I just love this knit pullover sweater. It looked great with her pants and the shoes above.
My apartment where I stayed in Paris was just around the corner from Sonia's flagship store on St. Germain. Everyday, I would walk by the windows and just drool. I'm sure the Security Man was saying to himself ... "She's back again."

For 3 weeks, it was so much fun being a St. Germainy Girl like Sonia. Long live Sonia Rykiel.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sibella Court ... International Stylist

 Who would have thought that a trip to IKEA yesterday
would introduce me to Sibella Court, an inspirational
stylist, author and world traveler.  I have owned the NOMAD
for a number of years but it is only recently as I have been thinking
about my changing home decor style that I started to pay closer
attention to her book.

But back to IKEA.... there in the rug department were collections of 
sumptuous hand woven rugs from Turkey in the most glorious
rich colors.  My heart soared when I saw all the different patterns
in both the rugs and the woven pillow covers.  Lately, I have been
consumed with Bohemian design on Pinterest and I am trying
to incorporate my own Bohemian loves into my own home. 
The new rug just pops on my white floors... it is like
art on the floor.  I want to put more layers of color
and texture into my home this Fall and Winter.
It is fun to try something new.

This afternoon, I treated myself to another of Sibella's
books... GYPSY.  Very similar to NOMAD but
covers different exotic countries.

Here is Sibella's website.

 Ms Court guides you on how to travel and "see" more when
you visit a new country.  Each country has it's own personality
that can be described through their textures, smells, foods,
arts, crafts, architecture just to name a few elements.
 What was most interesting in these two books
is how Sibella assigns a ten color palette to each city
or region that she visits.  This is her palette of India.
It represents old paper posters, faded paintwork on
buildings and furniture, textiles and celebrations of
a local wedding.
 The patina of both the spoons and the rustic
table of a home in Turkey.
 The colors of an old settee in Transylvania, the
patterns of the pillow and comforter along with the
delicate texture of the lace curtain 
make a beautiful setting.

 This cozy bedroom with all the warm
colors just screams Scotland. 


As I continue to learn to paint canvases of
my trips, I see how each area does have a color palette
and atmosphere filled with textures, smells, colors, patterns....

I recently painted a scene from one of my favorite cities in
France... Uzés in Provence.  This is a Fall scene from a photo I took one
Saturday in Uzés.  Uzés is total magic that I have
returned to this beautiful walled city three times.

Provence is known for their beautiful fabrics of warm colors
that reflect the countryside.  In the market, the smells of lavender
in all the soaps and satchets fill the air.  The glorious hues of
the spices and beans and foods in bright colored baskets with
the patterned material tells you that you are in Provence.
The dragonfly, the sunflower and bee are symbols seen
on their fabrics, dishware and crafts.

Sibella Court has made me see cultures more clearly.
She has truly opened by eyes and will have a impact
on my painting and photography.
Reading her books is like going on the trip with her....
the best armchair travel itinerary for a hot summer day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Colorful Market in Uzés, France

 Every Saturday morning in the beautiful walled city of Uzes in Provence,
residents and visitors alike grab their market baskets and head off to
the center of town.  Not only do the sounds and smells greet you
as you depart your car but the colors .... oh the colors ....
take your breath away.
 But, before you start walking throughout the entire market town,
you need to begin your day with a typical 
French petit dejeuner.  
A rich cup of cafe creme, fresh croissants
and tartines with homemade jam and the most
delicious butter this side of heaven ending with
a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.
 Lots and lots of olives of every color 
sitting in beautiful Provence pottery bowls.
 Sacks of herbs you never even heard of
but oh my, the scents are intoxicating.
 Beans, legumes, dried fruit ....
 and lots of fresh garlic.
It's no wonder I love France so much.
 The streets and village square are lined with 
tables and tables of the most
beautiful fresh food you could ever imagine.
 I loved the colorful umbrellas and beautiful Provence
tablecloths.  The beautiful salads look so
lovely on this mustard yellow tablecloth.
And a stop at this merchant is a must .....
a plate of just made paella
or freshly roasted chicken.

I am hungry now.
Wish I was back in Uzes.

Last Sunday, as I was going through my old photos,
I found a scene I had captured on my camera and
decided to put it on canvas.

It was like going back to Uzés again
and loving all the beautiful colors of that region.   

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

On The Terrace

What a summer we have had.....
mostly sunny and very warm...
actually, almost too warm for my taste.

The one place I head to in the early morning
and early evening is my terrace.
It's a typical city-sized retreat and just enough
gardening without feeling overwhelmed.

I re-stained my fence a deep matte black
which I always think makes the green of the plants
just pop.  And just to make it a little happier,
I added deep red cushions and a big red
umbrella to the rear of the terrace as a
hit of color next to the fence and the lovely
church next door.
This year I added a large Budda concrete
head for a little visual interest and add
a sense of peace to the garden.
The one downsize to my terrace is the
large mulberry tree over the back part.
During the month of July, that area is
bombarded with plenty of mulberries and it can
be quite messy.  The good part about it...
lots of birds and squirrels have a feast.

I don't use the back during that month but now
all is calm and I can go back to enjoying dinners
at my grandmother's wrought iron table and chairs.

This little sitting area is
great for overflow guests.
The sofa allows me to stretch out on
those warm summer Sunday afternoons and
catch a quick siesta.
This is a view from my kitchen out to the
terrace.  During the winter, it is nice to
sit at the dining table and enjoy the outside
garden with little white lights.


This is a brand new product...
Eloise is a hand painted shaped pillow
 that adds a "little personality" to your
sofa, bed or chair.
See Eloise here.