When I was planning my trip to Paris, I looked up Art Stores and found a great video on Sennelier Art Shop, it looked so fantastic I had to go.
Sennelier has been there since the 1800s and you can only imagine which artist they have supplied in that time. It is still in it original fit out with lovely wooden cabinets and shelving. It is full of wonderful colours, paints, pencils, pens and papers. It was a bit overwhelming in some ways, full of serious Parisian artists, very earnestly discussing the pros and cons of the various products, an over excited Aussie jumping up and down did not fit in. But the Parisians are tolerant and were very helpful, I found a few things but it was the paper that was the most inspiring.
They go on shopping trips all over the world and bring back all this amazing hand-made paper. The most stunning rice papers from Japan and Thailand, coloured paper from Bhutan and Senegal made from their native vegetation, paper from India and so much more. Huge pieces of paper that would have been four times the size of A1. (Could not figure out how to get that home, and did I need to be contemplating drawings that big!!) I finally decided on the coloured paper form Bhutan and Senegal and some thicker Thai paper. As I sit here writing this I think I should go back and get some more.
I have been drawing, but the pace of sight seeing has picked up, been taking a lot of reference photos and when we slow down in Sancerre I will be doing more drawing. Today we are off to Champagne, so I think that will be more of the drinking and less of the drawing again. Oh well its a tough job, but someone has to do it.