Once you discover the sweet Paris paintings of Carol Gillott, you're enchanted. Her colourful artwork depicts all kinds of French patisseries, teacups and bubbles plus the most delicious of Paris maps in watercolour.
Carol Gillott is an American artist who has been living in Paris for around 10 years. As soon as I started following her popular ParisBreakfasts blog since she arrived, it didn't take long to become hooked. Seeing her artistic eye's view of life in Paris opened my own eyes to a different perspective on a city I'd lived in since 1992.
Carol has been artist in residence for many events around France but my favourite one was the Champagne and Patisserie Salon in Paris in 2018. Her paintings of bubbles, macarons and cakes were an explosion of colour on ads in the Paris metro.
French Desserts and Champagne Tastings
The prestigious location of le Pavillon Ledoyen, just off the Champs-Elysées, is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris (1792) and is the address for 3-starred Michelin chef, Yannick Alléno.
This Salon was a chance tasting from 33 prestigious Champagne houses popping their luxury French fizz plus top pastry chefs from around France with their mini artistic desserts.
Painting French pastries
As if by magic, strawberries appeared in a form of art in a mini tasting dish. Sébastien Vauxion, Michelin starred executive pastry chef in Courchevel, was demonstrating this Rum Baba.
Unlike the original Parisian classic from Stohrer, his Baba au Rhum had a surprising pronounced twist of saffron from Savoie, lemon, strawberries, candied pears - and red pepper! It sounds crazy but I love everything a bit on the mad side. This totally worked with the Sommelier's suggestion of a De Sousa's 2008 Cuvée des Caudalies, strong enough in Chardonnay to support the saffron.
Meanwhile, Carol was busy painting it all!
Carol had her own residential artist quarters, tucked in the most deliciously gourmet corner next to the patisserie chefs' central demonstration stand. Sweet artistic, bubbly bliss.
Absolutely radiant, Carol was continuously sketching and painting tempting watercolours of the fine patisseries and Champagne on the spot, along with the chefs' signatures.
Parisian Macaron Paintings
Not long after my first book was published, Carol came to the house to bake her first macarons. Bear came with her to watch the recipe to the letter from Mad About Macarons!
Bear didn't miss a thing, including watching these macarons rest for a few minutes before going in the oven. They both discovered how to make macaron feet!
Her paintings of Parisian macarons are so beautiful. Look how she works at getting the pistachio green so well.
I personally know that she goes around the top Parisian patisseries to sketch the best macarons in Paris to come up with the best macaron paintings. Delicious work!
Sweet Paris Maps with Cakes
Carol particularly loves the gourmet side of the City of Light. Whether it's varieties of cherries or Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes floating around the Eiffel Tower, she 'paints Paris dreams'.
It's no surprise that ice cream also makes a lip-smacking feature, as she lives just a stone's throw from the Parisian ice cream institution on Ile Saint-Louis, Berthillon.
As she says herself, her Mom taught her watercolors at 5 and she's still at it, painting for Champagne Mumm, Peggy Porchen, Guerlain, The Russian Tearoom, the Maharana of Udaipur, and ... for my book, Teatime in Paris!
When Carol agreed to work on a delicious map for the endpapers of my second book, I was overcome with excitement seeing her at work in her studio as she started sketching out ideas based on the book's recipes. I knew she was mad about maps already, but I had no idea that this was her first gourmet map of Paris in the making!
Isn't this gorgeous in my book, Teatime in Paris? She took the recipe photos I took for the book plus personally ran around Paris, tasting her way around the cannéles, éclairs, madeleines, financiers, hot chocolate, mille-feuilles and tartlets - just to double check that she had painted them perfectly.
She got them all perfectly, didn't she?
Now with her paintings on Paris maps, Carol started working on a delicious map of Rue du Bac (check out my free guide to the pâtisseries and chocolate shops on Rue du Bac). Her subscribers receive such treats in the mail while Parisian chefs also fall under Carol's sweet Paris map paintings.
She paints these foodie streets plus other artistic surprises from Paris for her monthly subscribers.
Sweet Patisserie Paintings of Paris
Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this beautiful painting Carol did one Christmas that I've cherished. Often she'll paint a favourite pet in front of it.
This one is my very own Parisian pâtisserie - it's here on le blog via my recipes and in both recipe books!
More Paris Paintings
Looking for Carol's paintings of sweet Paris?
Follow her blog, Paris Breakfasts - and above all, her monthly Paris in an Envelope on Etsy.
This post was first published 11 July 2018 but is now completely updated.
Such a beautiful post Jill <3
Loved reading it! Carol is an amazing artist and her paintings are absolutely marvelous, especially with the small details she adds. She was the one who introduced me to you I remember, showing me your Tea time in Paris book (which I think any pastry lover MUST have when coming here) with the beautiful map she painted.
I'm so happy and fortunated knowing you both talented and sweet ladies <3
What a lovely thing to say - and look who's talking on the talented front! So glad we met, Solli. I remember too - and it was over pastries in rue du Bac!
What a wonderful detailed post!! Carol is such an amazing artist and her blog is always full of enlightening information. You two are so fortunate to be friends, each having so much to offer….I have a number of her paintings and have tried some of your delicious recipes! The universe has come together!!
Paintings and recipes - love that you have joined our passions together, Carolyn. Thanks for popping in here and continue making more recipes.
Jane S. Gabin
I love this article! Makes me want to run right to the pastry street and gobble them up! I get Carol’s monthly mailing and it IS like getting Paris in the post. I have a huge collection now of Carol’s wonderful art, and
I particularly love her renditions of food and bookshops.
Lovely article, Jill!
How lovely to hear that you get Paris monthly through her artistic take on the city, Jane. Agreed - her food and bookshops are all so beautiful and full of her fun character.
Such a lovely post! You two look like you’re having so much fun.
I started following Carol when she was still living in NYC. Carol’s work on your book led me to you, Jill, and I’m so grateful.
Having two of your books has led to some fabulous french deserts here at home. Your books are beautiful and fun…just like you, Jill!
I want to frame your lovely words, Bonnie. Thank you x
Carol's work is so bubbly, isn't it? I can't wait for our next teatime together. I do it to taste and decide if it goes on to my Paris tea room guide, while Carol ends up painting the most beautiful artworks of what we had. It's so wonderful!
How sweet is this Jill !
I can’t stop smiling.
Wasn’t that a fun event? I hope they bring it back this year at Ledoyen.
Thanks so much for the update and wonderful memories Jill x
Cheers, Carol G
I love the Paris map as the Endpapers in "Teatime in Paris". So nice to see the Artist Carol Gillott. I love her job.
Sebastian Vauxion's Rum Baba demo sounds one of the highlights of a wonderful afternoon.
Great to taste Champagnes you haven't tried before. I love your job too.
Wish mine was a job! Yes, that Rum Baba was exceptional.
What fun!!! She’s so talented.
And your dress Jill - where is it from?? It's rather lovely. You could extend your blog reach a bit into clothes, as you always look so elegant.
Plus musings on the important questions of life such as why French women never have tan lines.
Och, you're too kind, Linda. Thank you. I got it in the sales at 123 and was trying it out for our holidays to see if I can wash it by hand without having to iron. Haha on the tan lines. Well, if you want to hear about that one, why not? Coming up 😉
Christina | Christina's Cucina
What an effervescent afternoon! Sounds like you had a good time with all those missed photo opp's and forgetting to save video clips! haha! I can see the similarity in you and Julie Andrews, too! It's true!
Nice to see Carol at work there, also!
Wish we were closer and could go to events like these together, Jill! It would be so much fun!
Agreed. Move to Europe, Christina - you're on so many trips here that you should live here (just saying, lol).
The food on this last trip almost convinced me!
I'm sure it would some day! Goody x