Sunday, December 15, 2013


A beautiful walk in the more wild parts of Hampstead brought us back a bunch of holly to decorate the front door. Wellies and wet leaves, crackling rain sound in the foliage and a round of brownies for the kids at the Old Bull and Bush, full of Christmas lights. 
Here is a branch for your house. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Full English

A "full English" is the full UK traditional breakfast.  Eggs, baked beans, mushroom, bacon and tomatoes and even sausages. And fried toast! 
So abstract is not there yet...obviously! These are a few studies for the royal watercolor Society competition... I plan to submit something, just toying with ideas for now.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A little chart of Potatoes

We moved house and the owner was so kind as to leave the garden with seed potatoes planted. October will soon come and we will see what kind! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chestnut honey

In England the honey production this year has been very low.  Lots of sugar fed to bees for their survival did not even ensure a good level of honey.  In the South of France, not as much. The production this year was lower but healthy.  We loaded up on kilos of the gold stuff to bring back to London. And had to draw the light coming through my favorite flavor, chesnut honey.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Breakfast table doodles from the South of France.  "Ricore" is a half coffee - half roasted chicory root drink that is sometimes given to teens for breakfast as the first steps before coffee.  It is a lower caffeine way to start the day for adults and perfect for a vacation cafe au lait!

Messy breakfast table included.

The cherries were hand-picked in a burgundy garden on our way to the South. Drawn under a parasol.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hyde Park Bunny

We went to Hyde Park last sunday and I picked-up a branch on the grass.  The bark's color was amazing, with fluorescent green micro-moss and bits of purple where the bark was bruised.  It had snapped just at an angle that showed the soft spongy white wood, enveloping a minuscule little brown twig like a blanket.  Back home, the soft wood looked like a nib.  Just sculpted by nature and randomness.  So I dipped it in a little juicy Herbin Ink ("Bouquet D'Antan").  Here's what the twig had to say.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lamb and mutton

There were lots of sheep and lamb in the Lake district. This is a quick 3-minute drawing from the car window while the children attempted loud communication with the herd...!

The difference in English between Sheep and Mutton is that one is the animal, the other the food.
A lot of culinary terms in English are derived from old French,  Clearly lamb is such an English delight they did not adopt the foreign word for it!

Friday, May 3, 2013

One mile of Potatoes

Lindsey from What You Sow has started this community Project at one mile of potatoes and gave my little potato drawing the spotlight!
It was so much fun writing the personal Hachis Parmentier recipe, check it out!
Thanks Lindsey!

Check it out and do not hesitate to contact us if you want to buy it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eggs - continued, wolves and MFK Fisher

Started to read the Art of Eating by MFK Fisher, lots of fantastic quotes and reasons for a few doodle... Both strike a chord about recent experiences.

Want one of them, or any quote illustration, as Kitchen art? contact us!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Farm eggs and Tautavel!

One unforgettable Cumbrian cottage diner!  After a full day of activities in cold and crisp Lake District weather, and once the kids were in bed.  Eggs from the nearby farms, with the yolks so bright it colours cakes a deep turmeric-yellow.  And some Tautavel 2009!
We did a taste test between 2 eggs providers, see the notes!  The Tautavel bottle was brought from our personal reserve in London...!  :)  Dessert was a bit of lemon quatre-quart and great conversation!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter in Cumbria

We spent Easter in the Lake District of England, a wonderful place full of cold pure streams, ancient stone circles, high valleys and peaks.  We had spring lamb, farm eggs, local honey.  We made bread with our sourdough (brought from London, like a pet - it needs to be fed!) and the local water-milled stoneground biodynamic flour.  The lovely mill is next to Long Meg stone circle and includes a café with chicken running free outside and the view onto the stream.  The region clearly has a love of huge earthy crumbly fruit scones.

At the Keswick market, we got some Benzoin and lemon-scented gardener's hand cream made by a local women under the name of  "Essential Spirit". 

The market lady sent us to Calbeck, a stunning village full of energy and streams, with a church named after the local Celtic saint St Kentigern ! Lots of amazing mystical stories attached to this saint, hard to imagine it is an official Catholic saint!  He is featured on the Glasgow coat of arms, with the main features of his legend:
Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter-Pigging out

We have 2 days of bank holidays here in the UK, so time to relax (albeit in the snow...) and "pig out" on the piles of chocolate that will no doubt materialize!  I hope to get my pencils out a bit during these 4 days and bring back sketches of the rural parts of the Lake District!  In the meantime HAPPY EASTER!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Martini Olives

I read somewhere that Martinis are for alcoholics.... probably true.  But the olives are always such a cool thing to watch in that recognizable-shaped glass!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mangelwurzel or mangold wurzel

I learned a new little mangled word when showing one of my watercolours: "Mangelwurzel" !

Sounding very medieval or saxon and referring to this:
(FOR SALE at Achilleas on Mill Lane (London NW6) or contact us here)

or quite possibly this:

Wikipedia tells us that Mangelwurzel or mangold wurzel (from German Mangel/Mangold, "chard", and Wurzel, "root"), also called mangold,[1] mangel beet,[1] field beet[2] and fodder beet, is a cultivated root vegetable derived from Beta vulgaris. Its large white, yellow or orange-yellow swollen roots were developed in the 18th century as a fodder crop for feeding livestock

Apparently Brits used to eat "Mangowuzels" during the war and that left an upalatable dislike for this root vegetable! Not having experience that, I personally love root vegs, and they still looks good enough to paint.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cheveux Poivre et Sel - Salt and Pepper Hair

We now have the pleasure to illustrate the French Edible idioms on a regular basis over at the lovely Chocolate and Zucchini site.  Here is the latest:  "Cheveux Poivre et Sel" or "Pepper and Salt Hair" explained skillfully by Clotilde!  The comments are also so fun and Thank You Sylvie for the compliment!

The entire edible idioms series can be found here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Achillea Flowers

We met Clare, of Achillea Flowers on Mill Lane at the West Hampstead Christmas Market.  The mom and daughter shop is bursting with beautiful flowers that are not your typical Florist offerings.  Bursting with what I can only describe as vintage chic with a pinch of countryside natural organic beauty, the shop is located slightly outside reality.  You step in and surrounding the masses of perfumed flowers, there are little antiques, vases, teapots and various knick knacks collected over the years.

It reminds me very much of the movie Practical Magic, where the witchy sisters had the most insanely beautiful decorated house complete with a green house for their potion plants.

Long story short, you can pick up a Melinart watercolour there now with your trendy bouquet if you are local to West Hampstead!!  We even offer the possibility to order custom paintings of whatever antiques are in the shop!

I made these little business signs to put under the first watercolours to be presented there.  Hope Achillea's clients will like the paintings!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Custom Business signs or Family Logos

Handmade sign from Melinart! These were on display at our Christmas market stand.  They announced the sale of MelinArt watercolors and the Mister's wonderful French wine uphostered boxes. Handmade sign for MAN-made boxes!

If you would like your own original handmade sign for your business or a family logo contact us here!

Your own business sign inwatercolour or pen and ink that can be ordered from here or here

And the MelinArt sign!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Galette or King's cake

Galette des Rois or King's cake is a delicious puff pastry concotion with an almond cream filling, sometimes an almond-creme patissiere filling, and now coming in almost any variation in the fancy Paris bakeries (banana-chocolate, seriously?).
The watercolour recipe goes something like this:
Original or High resolution prints available by contacting us here.

Originally a symbol of the Magis' arrival to bring presents to the newborn Jesus (the "Epiphany"), it was meant to ressemble middle-eastern treats such as baklawas.  Hence the heavy almond use and puff pastry, akin to Phillo pastry. 
We've had about 10 of these since the 6th of January (the official "Epiphany" date).  The husband even made the puff pastry at some point.  A delicious tradition.