On the Web/in the Press
Even before I first started blogging, I read about Carol Gillot and her charming watercolor paintings on Rita Konig's Domino blog. I have since been an ardent admirer of her work. She sells originals and prints of her work on her blog and in her Etsy shop. She authors a charming blog featuring fabulous photos and information on French life and culture from her frequent trips to Paris. Her posts are filled with fascinating tidbits of information, all imbued with her affection for the City of Lights. Today, she has taken the time to give us a peek into her own background and life.Where were you born? Abbington Hospital in Pennsylvania at 3 AM
I'm a Taurus with Aries rising...
What would you take if your house was burning down? My favorite old black watercolor paintbox (originally my moms), my best brushes and my passport.Best childhood memory? Going with the family for ice cream cones on Sundays and shopping by myself at age 10 in Jenkintown for my dollhouse. Penny candy shopping was another favorite past time.
Your favorite book? "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel
If you could have only 1 last meal, what would you want on the menu? Burnt marshmallows, popcorn, coffee ice cream milk shake, caramel macarons from Paris, a bacon sandwich and an apple.
Pet peeve? People rustling candy wrappers at the movies
Favorite travel destination? Paris of course, then Rio...
How is your French?
You will not be tested...ahem And me neither.
Let me know what it says :)
Like most children, my painting began with spontanious murals on the walls at home. I just never stopped and moved on to paper.
My mother taught me watercolors using her shiny black box of paints and there's been no stopping. I did work at fashion design in the Orient, shoe design in Italy, medical advertising illustration, illustrating and writing travel books, wine promotion artwork - the list is long. But painting French cafe still lifes and French pastry beats them all for fun and interest. The colors, textures, ingenuity, the endless array of pastry designs keeps me fascinated.
How did you start your blog? What was your aim at first?I had stacks of Parisian cafe watercolors sitting on a shelf. The chance to show them on the NET seemed a good idea. I'd no idea they would inspire such a warm response. Or that reader's Parisian memories would inspired me to do even more... Plus visiting Paris is an essential ingredient to what I do - really I can't complain one little bit.
Paris Breakfasts is delightful to visit. How do you manage to create so a special atmosphere?
I like to create a story behind each watercolor shown, with a beginning, middle and end. Think of it as a mini-movie with a punchline at the end. I write and paint things I'm interested in, things that amuse me. If it isn't fun for me, I can't do it.
A good part of the delight comes from what I see in Paris...
I love the new Velib program, but I could never ride a bike in Paris - I'd miss to much. I have to keep moving forward like a shark and on my feet. The endless treasures I find in shop windows continue to amaze and inspire me.
Art exhibits and patisseries are some recurrent themes. Are they your two main hobbies?
I don't cook much and I certainly don't bake. But I love to eat and I love beautiful food. I once spent a week at Eugenie Les Bains - that opened my eyes to the possibilities of beautiful food. Visiting a patisserie or chocolatier is much like visiting any museum. Even the lighting - at Jean-Paul Hevin for example, can be museum-like. And there is a hushed and awed atmosphere at Pierre Herme. French pastry chefs are artists and they're given free reign. No creation is too outrageous. The French attention to detail, the styling of every little ribbon, candy box, and label is inspiring. Paris brands fascinate me completely. I would love to own all these ribbons and boxes of every patisserie... And the use of brand colors is so thought out at Laduree or Fauchon or Hediard or any of them.
Are you a self taught in watercolor, or did you take some classes?
I've always loved watercolor to other mediums. I love it's
portable aspect - I can paint on a train or plane or anywhere and I do.
How do you choose the posts?
Ideas come to me in the pool, or on the Metro. But the best catalyst is
walzing through Paris..just a pair of eyes leche-le vitrine.
Can you give us some of your favorite places in France to have a tea and a piece of cake?`
I prefer the old rue Royale Laduree for afternoon tea. I like to sit downstairs with the smokers, though I don't smoke. That way I can get a good view of the anticipation and ongoing panic in the macaron shop. The cupid murals on the ceiling are heavenly...~
The Hotel Meurice is perfection for an exquisite silver pot of hot chocolate - Total immersion in Marie-Antoinette luxury without breaking the bank.
Kusmi Tea has a new tea salon on rue de Seine that's fun. Interesting new designer food too...And the tea is served from Japanese tetsubin teapots.
1. shout-out (n.) Slang. A public expression of thanks or gratitude, a kind mention of a homey... ParisBreakfasts was sited by Charley Parker on his artist-focused Lines and Colors blog.
Rita writes sophisticated, amusing books full of ideas to brighten up your daily existence.
Chef Allen Susser used Carol's chef portrait for promoting his Florida restaurant.
Armand Frasco gave a shout-out for Carol's Réflexions au Café de FLore II post on Moleskinerie.
TeaMuse featured one of Carol's Petrossian watercolors in the May 2006 issue.
Designers Block loved the café watercolors...
A lovely shout-out from Catherine (Cat) Morley over at Designers-who-Blog. BTW Cat is in Thailand! D-W-B is a one-stop showcase of all manner of intriguing sites. THANKS Cat in Thailand !
I only recently discovered this useful site, which sets out to help artist get their act together business-wise. And what artist doesn't need that?
Wine writer, Larry Walker did a story for Wines and Vines on Carol's Chateaus prints.
Blogger.com made Paris Breakfasts a "Blog of Note"
December 2006 Paris Breakfasts was picked as one of HOW Magazines Top 10 Blogs as an eclectic, inspirational mix of design, color, painting, photography and travel tips focused on a series of themes