Saturday, April 24, 2010

~ April in Paris ~

I wish I could say I was spending the month of April in Paris, but instead I have been busy creating a logo design and illustrations for April in Paris ~ a French Patisserie in Texas.

I met April about five years ago at two separate, week long, calligraphy workshops.  April was there to create a logo for her European bakery and espresso bar.  We had so much fun sharing and getting to know each other.  I lost touch with April soon after and was delighted to hear from her again. During this time she had decided she wanted more and left for NYC and then to Paris for more culinary studies.

While studying in Paris at the Ritz Escoffier and Le Cordon Bleu, her experience inspired her to start a new venture and open April in Paris.

When she contacted me she told me she loved the work I did at the workshop and wanted me to create a logo and some whimsical illustrations for her new bakery and website (not up yet).  She asked me to use the beautiful storefronts and patisserie of Paris, the colors of French macaroons, artisan breads, French silver and fresh ingredients for inspiration.  With those things in mind, and uncertain of exactly what she wanted, I started sketching away.

Here are a few of the illustrations I created for April's website and printed pieces.
artisian breads and pastries
I felt the first pedestal was too dark ~ so I did another ~ but liked the bread in the first one best.  Basically...pretty similar...
...and because I tend to redo things, that most people do not notice (those I have worked for will know this! :), I also drew another storefront, using my first outline. I felt the painting could be better...but in the end, I couldn't tell it was much different either. So, I now have one for my portfolio!
P√Ętisserie Stohrer is a favorite of April's and was my inspiration for her storefront illustration.
fresh ingredients
 a macaroon pedestal
mini cupcakes on silver cherub stand
silver serving pieces
a few petits fours ... that didn't scan well

When I showed April several ideas I had for her logo design, her response was so funny, like that only of a baker - "I cannot possibly choose one. It is like looking into a freshly filled pasty case - you have to have a bit of everything!"  So I decided to go with a wheat wreath, encircling the logo, to represent the French artisan breads and pastries she loves to bake.  We then had her business cards engraved in gold on chocolate European paper. She loved that it was like a classic bittersweet chocolate macaroon with a touch of edible gold leaf or classic French gold gilt. Eventually, she wants her business cards to run the full spectrum of macaroon colors "just as the competition for the most exotic colors and flavors continue to unfurl in Paris...with gold gilt engraving, of course."  The first card she chose to use represents her love for the simple chocolate macaroon with a bittersweet chocolate ganache filling.
Creating a "look" for April in Paris was so much fun.  A happy client is the sweetest reward of all! 

From April~
Dana,
I knew you were the one I wanted to do this for me!!
Your illustrations are absolutely poetry in watercolor. I came to you wanting something specific and left with so much more since I entrusted you with so much artistic freedom. Little details I was not sure really came through with my description - you totally brought through.
I couldn't be more happy, unless I were sitting in a bakery on Rue St. Honore having a macaroon!
I cannot quit staring at it all. I am so excited. It is so much beyond what I was thinking. I just absolutely love everything!!!
Merci-
April

Saturday, April 3, 2010

~Easter Egg Radishes~

 
I did a few quick sketches of some radishes I bought for my Easter dinner.  As my friend Ronell says, "when all else fails, paint food."  I have not had a lot of time to paint in the last few months, being in the middle of the wedding season frenzy, so I picked up my pen, grabbed my watercolors, and sketched these colorful radishes. I love browsing at the Farmer's Market,  just looking at the beautifully colored fruits and vegetables. Just like flowers, they are a feast for the senses.
Wishing you and your family a lovely Easter weekend.
~~*~~