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Working with Amelia Bedelia in Paris

By Lynne Avril

Every year, Amelia Bedelia and I spend two months in Paris, rejuvenating my artistic spirit. For me, it’s a shot in the arm—I see inspiration everywhere. This year, I completed the final art for two new Amelia Bedelia books while we were there—an I Can Read, and a chapter book. It kept me very busy, but AB (as I affectionately call her) was getting stir-crazy!

AB in PARIS 1 Greenwillow 

So, for the next three days, we took some time off from painting. The first day, we found a beautiful carousel in Montmartre. AB picked a spirited mount, and you can see me, riding like the Queen, in a carriage just behind her.

AB in PARIS 2 Greenwillow

The second day, we took our sketch pads and found a nice park, where there was a good place to draw and have a picnic.

AB in PARIS 3 Greenwillow

The third day, we visited the Pompidou Center, which houses the national museum of contemporary art. Part of the exposition was an installation piece that consisted of a room with chalkboard walls. Four people were allowed to enter at a time, to draw whatever they liked with chalk. AB drew a great self-portrait, so now she is on exhibit at the Pompidou!

AB in PARIS 4 Greenwillow

 

AB in PARIS 5 Greenwillow

 

On the walk home, we were admiring all the street art we saw—it’s really a big thing in Paris. AB still had her chalk in her pocket, so she decorated the bridge with one last picture.

AB in PARIS 6 Greenwillow

The next day, we FedExed the art for the I Can Read book to Sylvie in NYC, and later I carried the art for the chapter book home in my carry-on. Working in Paris is “magnifique,” and we are already looking forward to next year’s trip! Merci!

P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, this art was not done digitally. I cut and pasted photos from my album—I’m just an old-fashioned girl!

Lynne Avril is the illustrator of all the young Amelia Bedelia books. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona . . . but she loves Paris! The two books she was working on while she was there this year are Amelia Bedelia Is for the Birds (I Can Read) and Amelia Bedelia Cleans Up (chapter book #6). Both will be available this spring!

8 Comments

  1. hello! I just wanted to ask where you stay in Paris. ie do you stay in a flat? I am hoping to spend some time sketching and travelling but feel nervous going on my own without knowing the most comfortable way about approaching it. Have you any tips from sketching and travelling. Really lovely to read your posts : ) x

  2. Lynne Avril says:

    Hi Caroline!
    Yes, I rent an apartment while I’m there. You can go online and look up Paris vacation rentals and get a lot of choices. I like parisvisitservice.com or perfectlyparis.com. And don’t be nervous – it’ll be great! I’ve been going for seven years now! I started out with a teeny apartment, but still enoyed it so much! Amuse-toi bien!

  3. Cathy Bonnell says:

    How fun to see the two of you at work & play. Hope you got lots of new ideas for books for us!

  4. Lynne Avril says:

    Thanks Cathy! As long as Herman keeps writing these great stories, I will be inspired to draw away! :-)

  5. Flora Massaro-McCoy says:

    Lynne, you are so amazingly imaginative and talented in so many areas, in so many ways! And there’s nothing wrong with old-fashioned cut-and-paste stuff–that’s still another way you make Amelia Bedelia come alive.

  6. Lynne Avril says:

    I’m sure Picasso would have taken it and run, but hey!

  7. Erin Sinclair says:

    I’m studying to become a children’s book illustrator. What art courses do you suggest to pursue? Love AB and how lovely that you go to Paris every year for inspiration! Thanking you in advance for any advice you can offer!

  8. Jasmine Marie says:

    You can’t tell it’s not done digitally because it looks seamless. Thanks for sharing your story with us! Paris would be so lovely to visit and be inspired by!

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