On my recent trip to San Sebastian and the beautiful Basque region I had the opportunity to do a little exploration of France – a country that I haven’t spent very much time in at all despite its proximity. I’ve had the odd business trip to and long weekends in Paris – and sought out the champagne caves of Reims and Epernay, but I have never spent any time in any of the other regions. So rather than just head straight for Spain we decided to make the journey as interesting as possible by taking in a number of sights along the way.
The first stop was the little seaside town Honfleur in Normandy. Now I had been recommended this little gem by a friend of mine – but he had been waxing lyrical about the food and the lovely harbour which by all accounts are worth a dedicated trip in their own right but what I hadn’t expected was all the great art and culture that this community boasts – obviously underpinned by a long standing relationship with the likes of Erik Satie and other French cultural luminaries. Today it’s the throngs of tourists that support the economy and there is plenty to keep them occupied.
My favourite – without any doubt whatsoever is the absolutely perfect gallery owned and run by the artist Philippe Geraud just off the main drag on rue Haute. Sadly there isn’t much info on the web about Phillipe that I found (and when speaking with him while in the shop, my limited French and his limited English hampered a more in depth discussion) – but if high quality illustration that is both warm, stylish and humerous is your thing then you will love everything in his atelier – as we did.
We purchased two stunning original prints that he kindly signed for us – they are currently with the framer so sadly no images for the moment – but I also had to go back after regretting not purchasing a set of cards depicting 42 whimsical illustrations of donkeys called Aneries. Available widely along with one or two other of PG’s prints, these give a good if a little limited insight into his style and if it appeals then you should certainly make a point of seeking out this wonderful gallery if you are in the area.