It’s all in the sketch: La Vie en Watercolor

Dear reader, it’s been a hot sec.

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.

Shall I take you there?

Stay inspired, dear reader. 

And don’t drink the watercolor water. Follow here

How to…


Making a salad is easy!  All you need is a pair of scissors, an exacto knife…


…some seasonal fruits and vegetables…


…and a plate.

make a salad 8

Cut out your favorite fruit and veg, including their tabs.

make a salad 1

Fold over the tabs.




Using an exacto knife, cut out the lines on the plate.


Poke the tabs into the lines on the plate to attach the salad.

Toss accordingly and garnish to your taste.

Bon appetit!

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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

*This drawing was made by Paper | FiftyThree

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at work

Jessie Kanelos Weiner-Cuisine-thefrancofly.comJessie 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.

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L’Etudiant Trendy

Jessie Kanelos Weiner-operation detox

A recent commission from L’Etudiant Magazine’s kid sister magazine L’Etudiant Trendy!

Don’t forget! 24 hours left to win a francofly original watercolor, shipped to one lucky super fan anywhere in the world. Enter to win here.  The winner will be announced tomorrow…

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brb-les vacances

Jessie Kanelos Weiner illustration

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 HotDog Legs again.  Sharing all leisure-induced self-indulgence must wait till la rentree

P.S.  Hop over to Lost In Cheeseland to discover this illustration in its original context.

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