My friends from all over the world… Clothilde, Painter in Argentina

Animal Farm

For those of you who have been following me since I started this blog, you will have noticed that my posts are mainly focused on cooking and travels. I am lucky enough to have friends a bit all over the planet who decided to make a bold change in their life, and live for and/or thanks to their passion: travel, professional project, love… I decided I would introduce you to them and their passion as I have always been impressed by their decisions. To remain focused on my blog topics, the interview will include questions related to travels and cooking as well.

The first friend I am going to talk about is Clothilde. She is French, we went to middle school together, and then our path just split as I had to leave the region I used to live in. Several years later, I came across Clothilde on Facebook, and I was extremely but positively impressed by her new life.

After getting her A level with honors, Clothilde started to study to become a doctor. She realized it was not made for that…and stopped. At the same time she met Juan, a charming Argentinian man on the internet. She left France to live in Argentine 2 months after meeting him. The first challenges started: learning Spanish, getting used to local life in Argentine, and finding a job. As she was about to apply for a Maths master at university, Clothilde found her vocation: Painting. She then decided she would make a living of it.

Today, Clothilde is a full time painter. You can find her pieces of art on the following website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThildArt

Clothilde paints mainly on small format: 6 X 9 cm. With such small size paint, you are not allowed to make any mistakes or to lack precision, else it will be immediately visible. Clothilde’ s paints are mostly inspired by the French pastries : chocolates, macaroons… She also likes painting animals. (She told me she always starts painting the eyes, so the animal can “stare” at her and then she works on painting the rest of the body. ) Clothilde starts diversifying also and you can find on her site some larger size paintings 40 X 30 cm , mostly farm animals.

Clothilde was very kind to give a bit of her time to answer the questions I have always wondered about painters. 

Me : Which painting is your favorite?”.

Clothilde : “My favorite is always the last paint I finished, because I spent so much time with it, arranging it, changing details to make sure it got as close to perfection as it could be. I  paint at night and I must confess that when I finished a painting, it happened I put it close to the bed so I can see it when going to bed 🙂 “

Me : “Who is your favorite artist?”

Clothilde : “I like a lot the surrealist style of MAGRITTE, and wish one day I will be able to master this type of paint. But if I had to spend time with an artist, I would love to meet Jacques BREL, as I feel in this artist a sensibility that is very close to mine.”

As a wrap up I also asked Clothilde some questions related to travels and cooking.

Me: If I tell you “travel”, what does this word mean to you?

Clothide: “When I think about “travels”, I associate it to quite a negative sense. Not that I do not like travels, but some people tend to neglect the places they go when they travel, and the only purpose of their trip is to tick a monument on their long “travel to-do list”. To me travelling should be a long lasting process, where people should take the time to discover and understand locals, and their way of living. That is what I like about travels. It should be an experience that make people leave a country “richer” and full of new experiences, rather than a quick trip where you rush to get yourself picture in front of each every famous monuments.”

Me : What was the trip or the country that stunned you the most ?

Clothilde : “As funny as it may sound, one of the landmark trips for me was when I came back to France, 2 years after I left the country. During this trip, I was able to show Juan (my husband) all the places and habits I ‘ve been growing up with when I was a child. I also had the opportunity to make him try all the French specialties, and visit Paris as a true “tourist”. We walked miles and miles… and made breaks in many lovely bakeries. After 10 days spent in France, I came back home with tougher than ever calves, and 5 more kilos !!!”

Me : What was your last trip?

Clothidle : “My last trip was during summer 2011 when I came back to France. I was pregnant with Jeanne. The lovely surprise was that Edmond (Clothilde’ s son) learnt to walk in Paris. This trip will forever be one of the most amazing one as my son was able to meet is Gran Gran ma! ”

Me : What is your favorite dish in France and in Argentina?

Clothilde : “My favorite dish in France? That is a very challenging question! I am a big fan of the Raclette ( a French specialty were you melt slices of Raclette cheese and eat it with cured meat and potatoes), and I also like very much meat stew such as the “Carbonade Flamande: ( a beef stew where the meat is cooked and simmered in a beer sauce) .

As for as Argentina, I am not a big fan of dessert as they are almost all made of Dulce de leche, which make them too sweet and too heavy. But the ice-creams are delicious ! As for as main dish, I really like empanadas. There is a very nice restaurant in Belgrano where they cook amazing ones with corn flour (that is the way we cook them in the North of Argentina) ”

Me : What is your specialty ?

Clothilde : ” I missed so much pastries when I arrived in Argentina that I decided to learn and bake my own desserts. I can do puffs with a delicious vanilla custard, Italian meringue, brioche, macaroons, home-made chocolates…”

That’s all folks ! I hope this post will make you check Clothilde’ s marvelous paint and travel a bit via her experiences and adventures.

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