Souvenirs de Paris

Souvenirs Art Books Paris France Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Souvenir” today, I looked around my house and wasn’t sure what to sketch. I looked for some little trinket from a trip somewhere and didn’t see much of the sort. What I did find, however, were lots of art books and art supplies that were purchased on various trips, including ones to visit my family in Paris. It appears that my penchant for art supplies extends around the world. These tiny little art books were found in a large bookstore rather than one of the many art supply shops I like to visit while I’m there. And though I’ve only sketched four of them, I actually ended up walking out of the store with five. They are quite small, and cover lots of different topics from watercolor, of course, to drawing and even art history. Instead of being housed together, they were scattered throughout various sections in the store, so it became a bit of a game to try and collect as many as I could find to build my wee little bookshelf of French art books. A very fun memory indeed!

We haven’t been back to France in more than a year, and with the way the world is heading, it will likely be another full year before we can return. I miss my family there, though we’ve stayed connected via text and video. But, it’s not the same as actually being back in Paris again. Seeing these little books today brought back such lovely memories of the time we’ve spent there. In truth, I can’t quite remember exactly which visit it was when I acquired these books. But, I do remember the little scavenger hunt in the store to find them all. The size of these books was a draw, because there’s only so much we can put in our luggage without getting fined upon our return for exceeding the weight limitations. This almost happened once and I had to transfer some books to Philippe’s luggage. As it turns out, adding lots of new clothes and basically stacks of wood to one’s luggage will quickly weigh things down. But, it’s worth totally worth it! Another reason why I love these little books is that I can mostly read them.

My reading comprehension in French is far higher than my ability to speak or understand the audible version. Thankfully, Philippe does realize that French can be a bit challenging to comprehend for someone who didn’t grow up there. He saw a video of someone who attempted to translate the ludicrous phrase, “your uncle mows your tuna.” Once translated into French it becomes “ton tonton tond ton thon” which, regardless of spelling, anything that resembles “ton” is all pronounced exactly the same way. Truly, it’s indeed a surreal statement, but even Philippe had to admit that without context he’d have no way of understanding what was being said. It made me feel good to know that French can sometimes be so subtle that even a native speaker might stumble with comprehension. And it’s odd to think that English is so far from subtle that even the craziest set of words still end up meaning something in the end. I’ve no idea what all of this teaches me, but I do know that I’ll always cherish my souvenirs de Paris.

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Souvenirs Art Books Paris France Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    How special are these, fantastic Charlie! The snow missed us, yeah! Just rain and lots of it this week. That’s okay, I’ll just paint. Starting to get bursts of inspiration.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Yay for painting and bursts of inspiration!

  2. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    Okay, now I’m laughing a ton! I love your little art books. I’m susceptible to such things myself. I always tell my hubby that they followed me home, but I don’t think he believes me.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      hehe… I adore that excuse! I’m going to start using that! 😉

  3. Sharon Nolfi 2 years ago

    What lovely souvenirs these are, and a painting to do them justice!

  4. LoriCtoo 2 years ago

    There is nothing better than a book as a souvenir. These look darling. I used to bring home art books from DL. I knew I was paying full price, but didn’t care. They always bring back memories. I don’t do it anymore because of the carryon luggage shrinkage. I barely have room for what I take, muchless when I come home. I even had to mail stuff back one trip. Ha ha ha!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕It’s always so worth it for the memories! Oh my goodness, we’ve had to mail stuff back to ourselves as well! hehe

  5. Jane Aukshunas 2 years ago

    Lovely. it’s nice to have a little French feeling today.

  6. Lisa 2 years ago

    My favorite souvenirs from my semester abroad in London are two mugs and a letter opener. Things that will be donated or discarded after I die. Funny to think about that, but with this virus going around, our will became something we thought about. All we had to do was update some addresses, but it was a good thing to take care of. This really cool thing about our will is that half of our assets get divided between some young adults who will never expect it. I wish I didn’t have to die for it to happen because I would like to see their faces.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Those sound like wonderful souvenirs. And I love that some young adults will smile, even if you can’t see it. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon though! 😉 💕

  7. Danai Mongkolrat 2 years ago

    Very nice and beautiful painting!!

  8. Priscilla DeConti 2 years ago

    Nice souvenirs and very nice painting of them!

  9. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    Great doodle. Whenever my wife and I visit somewhere new, we always buy a souvenir guide book. It’s great to look at them a few years later.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks, Gary! 😃💕 Oh wow… yes, a souvenir guidebook is a wonderful way to remember things!

  10. Zertab Quaderi 2 years ago

    That’s a fabulous set of souvenirs, Charlie, and the sketch is wonderful!

  11. This is a great sketch and an excellent idea to paint, Charlie.
    I’ve noticed the title of this post and had to open and read it. I plan to do something similar – to sketch in watercolours our last summer’s trip to France.
    I will also try to join doodlewash’ May 2020 painting challenge… after a while!
    Hope you, your family and all doodlewashers are doing well these days!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Violeta! 😃💕 That’s wonderful that you’ll be joining us in May! All happy and well here, and I hope the same for you and yours!

  12. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 years ago

    Fabulous!!!!!!! 🙂

  13. ljcillustration 2 years ago

    Beautiful little books.

  14. Fatima Chamkha 2 years ago

    Livres rare!Unique books and great souvenirs from Paris!

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