my stylish french girlfriend – céline

by Sharon Santoni

celine chollet

Today I would love to introduce you to one of my French girlfriends, who is also one of my blogging friends.  I point that out, because you may be surprised at just how few french girls I know here who blog!   I have been following Céline’s blog Boite d’Aquarelles pretty much since I discovered blogging.   I love her sure eye, and of course I always have time to sit and watch someone paint, so I’m thrilled when she shows her paintings in various stages of progression.


Céline writes a blog about her lovely part of the world in Auxerre, a charming town, about two hours south and ever-so-slightly east of Paris, and also about her beautiful watercolour paintings, in particular those of houses and French architecture.


I visited her  a couple of weeks ago, and was totally delighted to discover her beautiful 16th century home, hidden behind a secret gate in this pretty and ancient town.  This is when I have to warn you that this post is going to be a little picture heavy … her house was just too photogenic!


detail from kitchen

Céline studied fine art, but even before that,  art was an obvious past time, because her mother was an illustrator , and encouraged all of her children to pick up a brush.

Céline worked as an illustrator for a while, then decided to combine her love of the French ‘patrimoine’ or national treasure, with her love of watercolours, and she started to paint portraits of houses.

watercolour paintings of houses

Speaking of which, do you recognise this? …


Yes, that’s right, when Céline knew I was coming to visit,  she gifted me the most stunning portrait of our house, which is now framed and on the wall above my desk.  I just love the way she caught the essential nature of our house, friendly and approachable.

watercolour of my french country home by celine chollet

The beauty of working as an illustrator and artist, is that you can work from home.  Céline combines her work with caring for her house and her family.

celien chollet painting at her desk

She and her husband Olivier both love to hunt for brocante and antique treasures, and their house is a wonderful lesson in curating and careful collecting of objects without ever becoming overwhelming.



Her kitchen for example, is tiled in old blue and white tiles that she bought over the years until she had enough to cover the wall.    The lovely coppers are all antiques that she bought piece by piece, and their divine kitchen island, is an antique counter or cupboard, that she and Olivier converted for use in their kitchen – stunning!


Céline has painted a lot of the furniture in their home, including the kitchen island and the kitchen cupboard, she even painted the piano!

Today Céline paints for her pleasure, and has a couple of books portraying the architecture of France, including one about the Aisne region which came out recently.



She is also available for painting house portraits on commission.  She works from photos, (as I can attest) or she can move around.  Frankly my photos do not do justice to the beauty and accuracy of her paintings, they are even more beautiful in real life.


If you would like to ask Céline about painting your house, then you can contact her HERE, and maybe include a photo of your house for her to see.


Thank you Céline for opening up your home for us, and for sharing your beautiful artwork.

Céline Chollet on Amazon

Céline’s blog

Céline by email


Monique June 26, 2015 - 10:38 pm

I love this post..
her art..her home..

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Thank you Monique !

Diane Callender June 28, 2015 - 12:12 pm

Dear Celine
I have been to auxerre many times beautiful area. Will be moving there in march 2016. My husband is also an artist and is inspired by the area.
Love your illustrations Diane

Barbara van Zanten June 1, 2018 - 9:07 pm

Dear Celine, how do I sign up for your blog? I have looked and looked for a sign up link but cannot find one!

Lin Powell June 26, 2015 - 10:47 pm

Beautiful home. Beautiful paintings. Beautiful blog about this talented artist.

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:37 pm

Thank you very much Lin !

Amanda Rush June 26, 2015 - 10:50 pm

Wow Sharon, what an amazing lady! Beautiful home and such a talented artist, thank you for sharing your lovely photos.

Renee June 26, 2015 - 10:54 pm

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing! What a lovely and talented friend!

I am having a cottage built. When it’s finished, I’d love a watercolor of it!

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:41 pm

Hello Renee, it will be a pleasure for me to paint your cottage !
Have a nice day,

Delaine June 26, 2015 - 11:00 pm

Celine’s artwork is absolutely stunning. Thank you for introducing us to her!

Vicky from Athens June 26, 2015 - 11:00 pm

What a great post! I’ve been following Celine’s blog for about two years. She’s so very talented – her watercolors are beautiful.
In your first photo of Celine she’s standing in her doorway with a beautiful flowering vine running up one side of the doorway. I have that vine climbing in a couple of places on my house. Here it’s called Confederate jasmine and its perfume is heavenly. I’m just curious to know what the French call it. It’s one of my favorite late May/early June fragrances!
Thanks for introducing us – up close and personal – to one of your stylish French girlfriends. She certainly is that!

Emm June 27, 2015 - 3:18 am

In the US, it’s called [Japanese] honeysuckle. There seem to be many varieties of honeysuckle per se. Hope that helps a little, even if it’s not the French name.

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:46 pm

Hello Vicky, this plant in french is “Jasmin” I do love his fragrance too !

Barbara van Zanten June 1, 2018 - 9:06 pm

Hello Vicky, the vine is called Trachelospermum jasminoides or le jasmin étoilé in French. It is definitely a jasmine and not a honeysuckle which has a larger flower that looks a bit like a dragonfly!

Kathleen June 26, 2015 - 11:51 pm

love these photos thank you….makes my heart happy to see such beauty

Linda June 27, 2015 - 12:03 am

What a lovely place! How stunning is the artwork of your friend. I really enjoyed this visit and all the pictures. She seems as sweet as the watercolors she paints. Love the one of your home. What a treasure.

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Linda, thank’s a lot for your sweet comment !

Susan (une femme) June 27, 2015 - 12:13 am

What a talented artist she is, and what a beautiful home she’s created. It looks so live-able and inviting!

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:51 pm

Thank you Susan !

Brenda June 27, 2015 - 12:19 am

This was beautiful to see and to read. Thank you Celine for sharing your home. I was transported.

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:53 pm

Brenda, thank you for your comment !

Nanette Kingston June 27, 2015 - 12:30 am

So pretty – what a special friend!

Kandy June 27, 2015 - 12:56 am

Wow! Love this! Love her house and her paintings! Wish I knew French…I would contact her. Thanks for the lovely pictures !!

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 1:56 pm

Hello Kandy,
Contact me if you want !
Have a nice day,

Colleen June 27, 2015 - 1:19 am

Well that was so very lovely! Thank you for sharing Celine and her home and her talents!I love her home!!

ann hodgkins June 27, 2015 - 1:20 am

Beautiful home, artwork. Celine is a very talented artist.You are lucky to have so many gifted and interesting friends.”Birds of a feather flock together!”

Carolg June 27, 2015 - 4:05 am

What beautiful work..of course I have looked at her work. Wonderful to know she has a blog too. Hr house is exquisite. Any artists dream..

Wendy Winch June 27, 2015 - 4:56 am

Gorgeous!!! We plan to travel to France 2017 from Australia will be contacting you Sharon before then to book a stay in your Beautiful cottage.

Jan Drury June 27, 2015 - 5:50 am

The creeper around the door is Trachelospermum jasminoides Star Jasmine. The perfume is stunning. I have a number of these on fences around my home. They are also a good ground cover. Your friends home is beautiful, her painting are delightful. Cheers Jan, Melb. Au

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Thank you Jan !

Colleen Taylor June 27, 2015 - 6:05 am

I love everything about this post, Céline, her charming home & most of all her artwork. I must now view her blog, can’t wait! Thank you for this little sneak peak Sharon!

Celine Chollet June 27, 2015 - 2:03 pm

Thank you Coleen for your lovely comment !

Niccy June 27, 2015 - 9:52 am

Très beau blog. Les aquarelles de Céline sont magnifiques.

Jacqui Jackson (Essentially French) June 27, 2015 - 11:01 am

What a beautiful house absolutely stunning inside and garden’s look so natural.
What amazing artist, thank you for showing us Celine’s stunning work.

Jayla June 27, 2015 - 12:11 pm

How beautiful! Everything, just beautiful.

Sandra June 27, 2015 - 2:20 pm


Just beautiful – such inspiration! Celine’s work is so detailed and lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Karena June 27, 2015 - 4:55 pm

Sharon you have the most talented and amazing friends! Celine is such an excellent artist and I love her illustration, your home is a wonderful example! Her home is fabulous as well of course! So excited for your book to come out!

The Arts by Karena

PEGGY BRASWELL June 27, 2015 - 5:41 pm

I forwarded this to someone + Celine is so talented.

Lee Ann June 27, 2015 - 11:03 pm

OH how I enjoyed seeing Celine’s beautiful art!! Now I have another favorite artist to add to my list. Thank you for sharing your friend with us.

Katherine June 27, 2015 - 11:41 pm

The beauty of France offers wonderful subject matter for Celine to paint. When it is captured by her talented hand you can’t help but fall in love with each and every piece.
I love it all. Thanks for sharing.

Mary June 28, 2015 - 4:01 am

Hello Sharon….Is it possible to get your book signed by you? This is my 2nd request.
I’ve been following your blog for 4 year, love it!
Waiting for your response.
Best regards, Mary from San Diego,CA USA

Sharon Santoni June 28, 2015 - 1:33 pm

HI Mary

Sorry not to have seen your first request, I am emailing you privately about signing the book



Juliana June 28, 2015 - 4:20 am

These are so beautiful! She is so talented! I would love to maybe have one someday. 🙂 Thank you for sharing them!

Agnes Irene July 1, 2015 - 2:39 am

This is like stepping into a fairytale – just enchanting!

Penelope July 2, 2015 - 11:57 am

Such a lovely post! I especially love the grey beams in her home as we are building a new home, installing beams, and I had decided on grey stain for them! Her artistic talent is perfection! Thank you for introducing us so graciously to your friends!

Pamela July 4, 2015 - 7:36 am

Love this post and all the photos were just beautiful , it made me want to move there.
Celine ‘s home is lovely and her work has such beauty and heart to it. Love the paintings of the houses.

Have a great day.

Patricia Wilson July 5, 2015 - 6:32 am

Sharon, I so enjoy your blog. In particular, I love your French girlfriend series. Please continue them.

Nathalie September 4, 2015 - 11:45 am

Hi Sharon, so delighted to discover that you know Céline and the beautiful “reportage” you made in her lovely house. I love her work since a long time. I live in Auxerre also and I love all what you make. I follow you since a long time.
I look forward to receive your book I bought as soon as it was announced.
Have a very nice day !

a facelift for the blog and my thoughts on social media - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME June 1, 2018 - 8:18 pm

[…] illustrations for this post are by my  highly gifted friend Céline Chollet, who is also our resident artist at My Stylish French Box this year.  Proof that one of the real […]

MARLA PATTERSON February 3, 2020 - 10:36 pm

Oh my Gracious!!! My heart stopped beating while I was looking at the gorgeous photos. What beauty and you Madame Photographe did a wonderful job. I’m still sighing as I quickly type this!!!


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