5 Days in Paris and Discovering Matt Pencils

As I have said before, the peace and quiet of our rural farm life can be overwhelming, we find ourselves craving the stimulation of Paris, thus we look for any excuse to hop on the train in Flers and get off two hours later at Gare Montparnasse. With Alexis and Joe visiting we had a perfect reason to join them in Paris.

We stayed at Hotel Du Jeu De Paume on Ile Saint-Louis, an old hotel right in the center of everything of interest to us. When in Paris, or most big cities, my morning café ritual is an important part of my day. The afternoon weather was quite comfortable while the mornings were quite cool, yet I still sat outside and sketched.

On Monday we made a stop at La Poste near the Louvre to mail a packet of documents to the always voracious French Government. Lots of walking and some frustrating moments figuring out the electronic kiosk in the Bureau – which we never would have done without the extremely helpful employee who took pity on us – left us a bit haggard, so we found the nearest cafe. Tricia had thé vert, I had un café au lait. There were some interesting trees with La Poste in the background so I did a sketch on my iPad.

On Wednesday I went to Sennelier art supply store located in the BHV Shopping center. Most Sennelier locations are small shops around the town. However, this one was a large space in the shopping center, the Faber-Castell section was overwhelming, complete with a friendly-helpful product rep from Faber-Castell. I discovered, what I think is somewhat new, Pit Graphite Matt pencils. One of my frustrations with regular graphite is the shine you get if you press to much, these are matt – no shine. And they come as dark as 14B, really dark. I sketched a bit and when we got home ordered a few more pencils which will come tomorrow.

It was quite a busy and varied time when Alexis and Joe were here, we went to Le Mont-Saint-Michel then in Paris we went to Shakespeare & Co., an iconic bookstore with mostly books in English – we bought a bunch – so a sketch seemed in order with my new pencils over tea when we got home.

I hope you are traveling, near or far, locations or creative endeavors, the important thing is to keep moving. Tricia posts travel quotes every week, they always remind me of the benefits of travel, check them out.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Lovely post; it was a great trip!


  2. Sheree says:

    One can never spend too much time in Paris. Gorgeous sketches!


    1. Thank you Sheree, agree about Paris. It is enjoyable to use different mediums.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. David E Buehler says:

    Your description of the pencils you managed to find was interesting. I can relate somewhat when I harken back to my manual drafting days and the pencils and pens we used for that effort and some were extremely specialized. And they also bore the names you mentioned here. I can only imagine that, with the rarity, your pencils certainly did not cost what would would have paid in a Five & Dime (to use an outdated term).


    1. Yet they were not expensive, 2.50€. The set I ordered had 6 pencils from 2B-12B and was 12€ so not bad considering they will last a long time. The quality is a lot better of course than the cheap 2H penciled we used in school. I use a lot of Faber-Castell markers as well, they make good products.


  4. Shirley says:

    My favorites? The first sketch–talk about an iconic Travelsketcher sketch–wonderful! And the last sketch in your post after your trip. –books on table. Thanks for sharing it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I am enjoying all the variety.


  5. elissbaker says:

    The photo of your sketch on the cafe table is spectacular. The bottle mirroring the shape of the dome in the background. The reflection of the tree branches in the table glass. Perfection! I googled the Hotel du Jeu de Paume. Wow, what a wonderful place to be, and what a joy it must be for you and Tricia to hop on a train and be in Paris in 2 hours. A joy well earned.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Janice says:

    Your visit to the Sennelier store reminds me that you shared with me your love for art stores and office supply stores in general a long time ago. Remember going into J.K. Gill in Portland? You could spend hours there. Such orderliness but also allure of creativity and production.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes!!! I loved JK Gills, I guess things like pens and such have always been an attraction, such nice memories. We went to a store in Tokyo that was multiple floors of JK Gills type stuff, loved it.


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