Field of poppies in Provence by Warren Plauche.

A surprise for you today: a veritable "vernissage" by artist Warren Plauche! See all twelve "oeuvres," and don't forget to vote for your favorite watercolor.

vernissage (ver-nee-sazh) noun, masculine
    : varnishing; glazing
    : private viewing (art), preview, opening (art exhibition)

Audio File
Listen to the French word vernissage and the example sentence, below: Download vernissage.wav .Download vernissage.mp3

Elle saisit une enveloppe contenant une invitation pour un vernissage rue Saint-Denis, à la galerie Aurore... She seized an envelope containing an invitation for a private view in the Rue Saint-Denis, at the Aurore Gallery... --from Short Stories in French: New Penguin Parallel Text

More books: Colors of France: A Painting Pilgrimage


Vernissage-poppy-2 Last December, I received this letter from a reader:

Madame Espinasse - I am Dr. Warren Plauche, a New Orleans obstetrician/med school teacher - retired and turned full time artist.  My brother Louis Plauche turned me onto your webpage a year ago and I am now a faithful fan.  Several of your photos have caught my artist eye - today the Le Cigalou picture prompted this e-mail.  I have pretty eclectic taste in painting subjects and paint many French cafe scenes, landscapes, houses and restaurants....

I wonder if you would be so kind as to allow me permission to render some of your photos in watercolor?...

Nine months after receiving the Ob-Gyn's letter (neuf mois* being funny coincidence, wouldn't you say?), I am happy to unveil one dozen watercolors from Dr. Plauche's collection (... make that 10, for I am the proud owner of two of these "babies"... on display here in my office in Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes).

I hope you will enjoy the side-by-side painting/photo vernissage. Be sure to vote on your favorite painting (see "Poll" below), but first click here to access the cyber art gallery.

Artist Bio:
Dr. Plauche' was born in Houma, Louisiana in 1933, and was educated in medicine at LSU.  A self-trained fine arts painter for over 45 years, he began painting  in the 1960's while in Ob-Gyn specialty training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS.  Early works were landscapes and seascapes in oil on canvas. (...Continue reading, here)

To inquire about one of these paintings, you may contact the artist directly.

Vote: The Painting Poll (see the twelve images in the gallery):

neuf mois = 9 months; le vernissage (m) = art exhibition

Watercolor notebook, by Moleskin
French Style Sketch Box Easel
Monet 2009 Wall Calendar
Learn French with Rosetta Stone: French Level 1, 2 & 3 Set with Audio Companion

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


WOW! So this is the layout you have secretly been working on behind closed doors. Everything came together perfectly.
Dr. Plauche's rendition of Aunt Reta's chickens is the one we will all fight over for ownership. I just adore the chickens.

Bernard Dolivet

A usage somewhat colloquial of "Verni" is to tell somebody is lucky...Toi alors tu es verni...The negative can also be use to express that somebody is really unlucky...
Ex: Il a perdu son porte monnaie, on lui a volé sa bicyclette et en plus il a attapé la grippe...Le pauvre , il n'est vraiment pas verni.


I'm with your mom - love Aunt Reta's Chickens! The light and spirit of the moment have been captured well.


Wow, I love his work, and am reminded how much I love your photography! What a gift! My two favorites are the furniture in the street and the chickens! beautiful work. thanks. gayle markow


Chickens all the way!

Mike Armstrong

Beautiful photos and aquarelles, but I think the best are the three displayed on your webpage, especially the Field of Poppies.

Since he is from Houma I would guess Dr. Plauche may have grown up speaking French at home as did so many of my friends from Lafourche, Terrebonne and the other parishes of south Louisiana.

Kim DeMent

Kristin -

Thank you for sharing the paintings inspired by your photographs of Provence. It's brilliant how your work inspires creative expression in others. I especially loved Warrren's butterfly painting, as I am sure that was the butterfly who graced our table in the vineyard of Lanquedoc?

Best, Kim D. Portland, Or.

dorothy dufour

Oui, les poulets sont beaux. mais j'aime beaucoup le deuzieme peinture des paveaux, qui sont ma fleur preferee!


Wow1 two of my favorite things...your blog and wonderful watercolors! On any given day, any of the paintings could be my favorite. I, like your mom, love the chickens, but today my favorite is the epicerie one...because it is undeniably French! Since I was born and raised in Southern California, I think the boats will be my favorite tomorrow. Thanks for sharing, Kristin.


Félicitations à Monsieur W. Plauche pour ses merveilleux tableaux de peinture et bravo à Kristin pour ses photos pleines d'inspiration.
We've really been spoiled today.

The painting I like best is the one at the top of this newsletter: Field of poppies in Provence / "Champs de coquelicots en Provence".

I love the lively chicken in the snow! Among the group of provençal scenes, I like the church very much, but my preference goes to the brilliant butterfly.


I am partial to french windows...hence pump and shutter go for me....though frankly, I think I love all of them...

Christine Dashper

Hi Kristin, these paintings, and your photos are just beautiful. Hard to choose a favourite, the chooks came an equal first with the Marseilles boats for me.

It just made me think, how great the internet can be, to connect everyone who loves your site, and to give us the chance to experience such simple pleasures.



Hi Chris,

Re "chooks" -- the word threw me at first... then it seemed we'd talked about those before (when the subject of chickens came up... so I thought I'd send you an update: I'm still waiting for "Mr Grape" to build us a poulailler or "chook nook", if you like... Until then, will drool over Aunt Reta's Chooks!

Kim, That was indeed the incredible butterfly that join us at table, there at Mas de Martin. I've photographed other "papillons" (mostly camera shy) -- but this one thought she was Brigitte Bardot.

Mike, Zut! I forgot to include those three in the poll. Thanks for mentionning them here.

... and mille mercis, Gayle, for your note about the photos :-)

Jennifer in OR

Loved the one displayed at the top, the field of poppies. Absolutely beautiful. But on the poll I chose Aunt Reta's chickens. Those plucky souls out braving the winter snow!

Anne Daigle

Pretty impressive for a boy from Houma. Wonder if he is a relative of this Thibodaux girl.


Quel festin pour les yeux! Un vrai deux-pour-un la combinaison de ton blog avec les peintures. J'adorais la plupartie et avais du mal à choisir...à mon avis, les poulets de Tante Reta, l'eau potable et l'épicerie "Cigalou" y sont les meilleurs. Thanks, Kristen! Please, keep spoiling us!


The vernissage of the above image is apprpo.

Augusta Elmwood

And here he is, hiding all his his talent right under our noses !

New Orleans

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)