Nice, Antibe, and Highgate: Illustrations and Kosher Observations

Sur la plage, Nice, France, watercolor and ink.
This past spring I had the pleasure of traveling to Nice, France. We also visited Antibes, a neighboring city, also with a medieval section. One day we traveled north on a train to a medieval village called La Brigue. It was quite an adventure. I did some watercolor illustrations of some of the places that we visited.

Someone asked: so why did you pick Nice? I answered: kosher food. There is kosher food in Nice. Not much in Dublin. And off to Nice we went. But the best food was really in Antibes. It’s a short train ride from Nice, so get used to taking trains! You can see a lot that way. Buy a day pass for the train, so you can get off and get back on again all day long.

Nice Opera House, watercolor and ink
A wonderful part of the Nice is the market in the old city. A large section is devoted to flowers. Vegetables and fruit are available in abundance. I bought strawberries (fresh and in season), pomegranate, grapefruit, an apple, a red onion, and a lemon. I didn’t get a chance to paint the market. However, since it is advertised that it opened at 6 am, but the vendors are still setting up at that time, I sketched the Opera House nearby in ink. Later I added watercolor.

We took a wonderful walking tour of the old city of Nice. You end up on the hill overlooking the city … breathtaking. The walking tours are free. Sign up online in advance. It is recommended to pay the tour guide an amount at the end. Our tour guide, Dinara Mukh, was fabulous. Here’s her website for women on imbalanced hormones:

Eating kosher in Nice is not hard. Le Kineret and La Makolet are two delightful finds on Avenue Georges Clémenceau. Le Kineret is a bakery (boulangerie) and restaurant with wonderful breakfast food (we didn’t get a chance to eat other meals there). If you need food for Shabbat, you can place an order at Le Kineret on a Thursday. Pick up is Friday morning. Delicious! La Makolet had wine, cheese, and other kosher treats. We went to a lovely Asian Fusion restaurant called Bozen.

If you are planning to be in Nice on a Friday night, you can reserve online in advance to eat at Chabad. The food is traditional chicken with many salad dishes. I recommend giving a nice donation to Chabad if you choose to eat there.

food at Berbeche restaurant, Antibes, France
food at Berbeche restaurant, Antibes, France

Restaurants in Antibes: I recommend Berbeche. It is a few buildings down from the beach in Juan-Le-Pins. When I asked the waiter if I should get the salad or the vegetables, he replied in accented English: “salad is for rabbits.” I got the vegetables. My daughter liked them. I found them a bit too saucy. But I absolutely loved my lamp chops. My daughter loved her steak with truffles. We both give the restaurant a high rating. There was some delicious looking salami inside the restaurant. I was tempted to order some, but in addition to having to carry it back, I was not sure what 36 euro meant. Does that mean per pound? per liter? per something else? A confused tourist, I went without. This time. There is another kosher restaurant on the beach called DiamanThe’K. I ordered delicious lamb chops, and before the main course was served, we got some nice salads. The salad with the meal was not quite as good.

La Brigue, view of bridge and medieval village, France, watercolor
We took a trip one day via train to the mountains north of Nice. We stopped in a lovely medieval village called La Brigue. Just so you know, there is only one track in La Brigue. You wait at the same spot that you got off for the train back to Nice.

Highgate, North London, watercolor and ink
I did not fly directly to Nice. From the U.S. it costs thousands of dollars to fly into Nice. So I flew to London Heathrow first. On the way I visited Highgate. As I was drawing the compelling architecture of Highgate, an elder resident asked me if I was part of the group that was redesigning the square where I sat. She wanted more trees in particular. I thought she should ask for more seating. In any case, I am including my illustration of Highgate in my Nice, France post.

Shabbat Themes: Candles and Table Setting

shabbat table with challah cover, wine bottle, wine cup
I find I often paint in themes. On Fridays, I am often inspired to paint a shabbat table scene or my candles. However, I rarely have time on Fridays.

Those who do not keep the Sabbath might ask: how do you tolerate a day without being able to paint or draw? My response: as long as I have time during the week for painting or drawing, the Sabbath is a welcome day for reflecting. I do not record every minute of my life what transpires. Having time just to sit and think helps one when life is rushed during the week.

In the Torah the Sabbath is mentioned many times. One example is in the parsha of Kedoshim 19:3 where it says: “you shall observe My Sabbaths.”

candles, watercolor on paper
Late Friday afternoon one hour before sunset I light the candles for Shabbat. It is a time of reflection and meditation. No more rushing about. The food is cooked. One says the prayer and takes time to move one to whatever is next.

Shabbat Table with light, watercolor
I really like painting green wine bottles. It has reflection and a deep green color. It reminds me of family members who enjoy visiting vineyards and tasting good wine. As a painter who likes to capture the light, the bottle is elegant and slender and says: “use me as your prop.”

bottle of wine by paisley tablecloth
This is one of my favorite wine bottle paintings. I like the paisley fabric upon which it rests. A good combination for a still-life.

Shabbat table in gouache
This Shabbat table setting, painted in gouache, reflects some of our busy meals. I make a variety of foods, put on several colored tiles like the one that appears in the corner, and use my good china. I like how the salt shaker, an important item as it gets sprinkled on the challah after the blessing, peaks out from behind the tall wine bottle.

If you want to purchase a print of any of these Shabbat scenes, visit my store for more information.

Imperial Band of South River Concert Illustrations

On Sunday, March 3, 2024 we had the pleasure of attending an Imperial Band of South River concert. The band played all kinds of Irish music. I enjoyed watching the movements of the players, how they used their whole bodies to illustrate the sounds with their instruments. I did all my sketching at the concert in a sketchbook; all the color was added later at home. You can see all my illustrations of the Imperial Band of South River here.

trombones at the March 3 concert
The trombone players were impressive, moving their instruments in and out with skill. I loved that an American flag stood proudly behind them.

Richard Golazeski, conductor of Imperial Band of South River
The conductor, Richard Golazeski, sat in this chair and moved his arms with great passion. He really enjoyed all the Irish music.

bassoon player

bassoon watercolor
Here are two of the bassoon player. She used her whole body to play her large instrument.

orange carnation on the table at March 3 concert, watercolor, gouache, and ink
The tables were decorated with orange carnations with lots of green leaves.

My favorite piece was The Parting Glass. When I looked it up, I noted it usually sung with lyrics. It seems to be a bittersweet song about farewells and parting ways. In this concert, the music was all instrument. Beautiful and inspiring.

The concert finished with the music of George M. Cohan, composer of American hits like I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.

The Imperial Band of South River has concerts 11 times a year, typically the first Sunday of each month except January. The concerts are held in the Imperial Music Center, 48 Appleby Avenue in South River, New Jersey.

Recipe: Zucchini Stuffed with Meat

red pepper, zucchini, and lemon, watercolor on paper
red pepper, zucchini, and lemon, watercolor on paper

If you want to cook an impressive, nutritious, and filling main course, zucchini stuffed with meat is a lovely dish. I love painting beautiful vegetables, so this recipe post is also an excuse to show off my zucchini and butternut squash watercolor paintings.


3 – 4 zucchini
1 lb. of chopped meat
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 clove chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped mushroom
1 stalk of celery
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
1 lemon

– 1 tsp. chopped turmeric root
– 1 tsp. chopped ginger root
– 1 tsp. paprika
– 1 tsp. ginger
– 1 tsp. garlic powder
– 1/2 – 1 cup of cooked rice
– herbs such as thyme or oregano


Cut 3 zucchini in half. Then cut each zucchini lengthwise so the zucchini can be made into a boat. Scoop out the inside, being careful to leave a hull opening for later storage of the meat. Cut the scooped out zucchini into small chunks and set aside.

Take 1 lb. of chopped meat and add these spices:
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 clove chopped garlic
Mix and place in refrigerator for 1/2 hour or more.

Sauté onion in coconut oil for two minutes. Then mix in the spiced chopped meat.
Add these ingredients:
– the previously chopped zucchini
– 1/2 cup chopped mushroom (I use shiitake or lions mane from Zell’s farm)
– chopped celery, one stalk
– 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
– 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (optional)

Stuff in the zucchini shells. Sprinkle with juice of a lemon. Adding tomato sauce mixed with the lemon juice is optional. Bake for 1/2 hour at 400°.

Notes: if you don’t have cilantro, use parsley. It won’t have the cilantro flavor, but not everyone is crazy about cilantro anyway.

Optional: add chopped turmeric root along with the chopped garlic clove. Or chopped ginger root. See also optional spices in the ingredients list.

This recipe can be made in stages over a few days.


Butternut squash, red onion, garlic, Thanksgiving 2023, watercolor with ink on paper
One variation is stuffed butternut squash. Cook the butternut squash in the oven for 1.5 hours at 350°. Peel when it cools down. You have to cut and scoop just enough to add the chopped meat stuffing. You won’t have lots of boats like the zucchini, just 2 or 3 big stuffed shells.

You could also stuff some peppers, but I haven’t tried that version yet.

Bon appétit.

Cardinals, Eagles, Trout, and a Wolf

In the winter there is less opportunity to paint or draw on site. I use the time as an opportunity to improve paint technique and use photos or drawings of masters to inspire my artwork. I continue to work on a parsha (Torah portion) image each week. Lately, a few of my favorites have been birds or animals. Also, I joined a group on Facebook which offers prompts for each day. Not every prompt inspires me to paint or draw. But several have, and some of the better ones I will post on my blog or on the art database.

I do not have any pets currently; however, we do have a bird feeder outside our kitchen window. One of the prompts was bird on a wire. I like the idea of drawing directly from nature, but birds are too fast! It is hard to photograph them; you can see some of my past cardinal photos on this blog.

red cardinal
I painted this flaming red male cardinal from one of my photos when the prompt was Bird on a Wire.

A female cardinal visited the bird feeder, watercolor, ink, and colored pencil on paper.
I drew and painted (watercolor, ink, and Derwent Inktense colored pencil on paper) this lady cardinal at a bird feeder in honor of parshat Beshalach, when there is a custom to feed the birds.

eagle, watercolor on paper
The next week was Parshat Yitro with the quote: And I bore you on eagles’ wings (Exodus 19:4). One eagle is just watercolor on the white of the paper.

eagle, orange background with tall grass
I also did an eagle with an orangey-red background. It came so orange that one friend thought the background was fire. She interpreted it as Israel on fire, and the eagle (perhaps God?) comes to our rescue.

trout, watercolor on paper
There was a prompt for fish. I painted the trout we had for dinner. Yes, that is all watercolor.

wolf pencil drawing
I will conclude with this pencil drawing of a wolf (copy of a drawing by Victor Ambrus), executed for parshat Vayechi 49:7.

Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
In the morning he consumes the foe,
And in the evening he divides the spoil.”
בִּנְיָמִין֙ זְאֵ֣ב יִטְרָ֔ף בַּבֹּ֖קֶר יֹ֣אכַל עַ֑ד וְלָעֶ֖רֶב יְחַלֵּ֥ק שָׁלָֽל׃