Pleased to introduce you to my newest edition of thefrancofly La Vie en Watercolor newsletter, a deep look into the creative mind through the lens of watercolor. I know that creativity isn’t this eureka, struck-by-lightning, kinda phenomenon. Obtaining the tools to achieve (hopefully) great creative work requires deep reflection and channeling complex emotions at a moment’s notice.
My path to becoming an ever-evolving artist was not a straight and narrow one by any stretch of the imagination. My journey started with a little rusty Winsor Newton watercolor palette that I bought over a decade ago as a broke traveler in Paris with no tangible artistic ambitions. Today, I have an exciting career as a watercolor illustrator, author, standup comedian and drawing professor, working for clients like The New Yorker, Chevrolet and Cartier.
Through my experiences I’ve learned a lot, and I have loads of insights and stories to share about being pro-active in seizing beauty and seeing like an artist. This newsletter is not about executing a masterpiece, but more about how to develop ideas and organize your thought process to create stronger, more personal art.
Every week, I will share a few insights into what I am currently thinking about (museum visits, Parisian trend reports, color combinations, micro recipes) and a prompt that will activate your own creative process. This newsletter is for you if you are an artist at heart, but still can’t find the time or headspace to get inspired. Whether you are a painter, writer, francophile or traveler, I hope this will be the place that gives you an encouraging little push to create.
You’ve got the sensible walking shoes and the trusted guidebook. What else do you need to know when navigating the streets and many nuances of Paris, France? Here are few hard-earned tips for navigating the city with ease and an insider’s confidence….
For more insider tips on navigating Paris like a local, pick up a copy of my book “Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide” (Rizzoli). It’s celebrating its first birthday today. Want to keep the book love going? Gift a copy to a friend, request it at your local museum gift shop or indie bookstore, recommend it to a friend who’s headed to Paris and leave an Amazon review. And thank you sincerely if you’ve done any of the above. Its success is all thanks to you. -jkw
A few weeks ago, I introduced mon mari to the crucial foods of my upbringing, his first Thanksgiving included. We made a long overdue trip to my hometown, Chicago, Illinois. It was a walk down memory lane regaining my Midwestern appetite. There was the the vital deep-dish slice at Lou Malnati’s, cookie pizza included. My all-time favorite Clark Street omelet at Salt & Pepper Diner, including a Chicago celebrity siting of Ronnie Woo Woo. (You try explaining that to mon mari) And I shan’t forget the fine institution of Margie’s Candies. Eating 3 scoops of ice cream out of a shell with a gravy boat of hot fudge will one day be folklore for my 1/2 French children.
But our last night in Chicago deemed unparallelled kitsch. We took the fateful drive up to Superdawg®. Mon mari had his first Chicago hotdog under the watchful eyes of two life size winking hotdogs.
Superdawg® drive-in 6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646
Jessie Kanelos Weiner Studio is a stretch. It happens to be my kitchen. Most days when I can look beyond the sink full of dirty dishes (paging mon mari!), the lighting is the most optimistic and my narrow marble table limits my bordel at arm’s length. But collage poses its own domestic mark. I am still discovering tiny paper limes slices all over the kitchen. And life imitating art, most of the food I prepared this summer was peppered with tiny paper pieces.
Greetings from les vacances! I would love to bore you with a beach view and a half full and sweaty glass of rosé. However, thanks to a recent discovery by mon mari, I will never be guilty of Hot–Dog Legs again. Sharing all leisure-induced self-indulgence must wait till la rentree…