Sunday, August 15, 2010

Remembrance of Breakfasts Past

I've known the photographer and painter Carol Gillott for many years and have always loved her work.  When we first met in New York, she was a was doing a lot of portraits of chefs, which found their way into top food magazines and onto many restaurant walls. A passionate Francophile, Carol now travels to Paris three or four  times a year and is always always painting, her whimsical and lovely watercolors capturing everything from department store windows to street fashion to the macarons at Laduree. She's crazy about France...and French style...and dessert...and you'll see all of that and more on her blog called Paris Breakfasts and on her website as well. Carol had four shows this year and has two coming up: at the Alliance Francaise in Washington, D.C. next month and in Philadelphia in November. She's worked for big-name clients such as Champagne Mumm, Valrhona Chocolate, Campari and AT&T. And yet her captivating street scenes, still lifes, storefronts and portraits of colorful Parisians are still very affordable. 

So anyway, Carol used to have a little business painting portraits of people; you'd send her a photo or two and she'd capture you in watercolor, doing something you enjoy like walking the dog or window shopping or cafe sitting or whatever.  And now, her new thing is breakfast. You send her a photo of a recent breakfast or afternoon tea and she'll paint it. It sounds wacky but the results are graceful and lovely. Wouldn't this make a precious souvenir from your next trip to France...or any trip for that matter? Wouldn't one be pretty on your kitchen wall? Or be the perfect gift for you-know-who? 

What Carol has in mind, of course, is the perfectly flaking croissant on Bernardaud china, the tea in the Limoges cup, the silver ramekin of butter stamped with the Ritz Hotel logo or even a baguette and cafe au lait on a wobbly cafe table--just not your sloppy waffles at IHOP or Grand Slam at Denny's. Still if you loved it and have a photo of it, Carol's happy to paint it for you. 

Custom petit dejeuner still lifes are $85 each for a 9" x 11" watercolor, plus shipping. You provide the photos and Carol will send a sketch for your approval. Start to finish the process takes about two weeks. For more info or to order:,


  1. I shall tell Didier...not that he would pay to have his breakfast immortalised, but I think his wife would be tempted....
    Black pudding, scraped from its' skin, plastered on yesterday's baguette and grilled.

    It sounds dreadful, but having eaten it, I must say that it is wonderful...but only if the pudding is obtained from Didier's supplier!

    His wife, after fifty years of marriage, still cannot bear even the sight of it at an early hour of the morning...but consoles herself that at least it is not fressure.

  2. I love following her adventures and her paintings are wonderful. And that perfect breakfast to remember???? Hmmmmmm!

  3. Yes I agree -I start my morning with "Paris breakfast" and it always
    makes me smile - what a great asset to the blogging world!

  4. Carol is so talented, her watercolors are delicious.
    Thanks for sharing the latest about her work.
    Bon journée,

  5. HI julie, thanks for leaving a note on my blog and lovely to find your's. Looks amazing. Will stay tuned. Carla

  6. J'aime beaucoup cette aquarelle. J'aime aussi beaucoup cuisiner et votre blog est une gourmandise.
    Merci. Thank you.

  7. Paris Breakfast is a must stop for me in the morning. Always cheerful, honest and fun. She's also very generous with her comments and encouragements.