Julia Child in Santa Barbara

Did you know that Julia Child lived in Santa Barbara near the end of her life? I didn’t. But when I found out that La Super-Rica — her favourite taqueria — was only a short walk from our hotel, we had to take a walk to find out what was so special about it.

I wish I could have sketched the outside of the building with all that turquoise trim and the giant tree above, but the line to order was really long and I was hungry. As I passed by the kitchen door I did a quick sketch (on top of a painted swatch sample) of a lady chopping greens. After we ordered, we found a table and I finished the sketch during another long wait for our tacos.

You’re probably wondering how the tacos were. They were okay, but maybe not worth the long wait. Or maybe I ordered the wrong thing on the menu. I think on my next trip to Santa Barbara, I’ll eat before I go so I can sketch the building instead.

We also spent some time sketching at the Old Santa Barbara Mission, including in the rose garden where Julia Child has a butter-coloured rose named after her. It’s no surprise that after all that Julia inspiration I had to watch the new tv show about her as soon as I got home.

20 Comments on “Julia Child in Santa Barbara”

  1. Judy Sopher says:

    I didn’t know either that Julia lived there. That is funny about the tacos. California Mexican food is different from elsewhere. And not as good-to me.i But your paintings are so nice, as always. You really did a good sketch of the woman working.


    • Judy, we ate wonderful food in California, but perhaps I just did not pick the right thing on that menu. For my next teaching trip I’ll be in Santa Fe where I’ll shop at the farmer’s market and also eat some good Mexican meals! I can’t wait for that.


      • Judy Sopher says:

        Since I lived In New Mexico for over 20 years, I can say that Santa Fe is one of the most wonderful places and one of my favorite places. The food is usually not Mexican food but New Mexican food, a mixture from the Indians and the Mexicans. Hope you enjoy it. So much to paint. You have travelled so much but I have not. So my experiences are limited.

        I think I compared the “Mexican” food with “NM food” when I was in California. Sorry if I insulted anyone. Just my experience. American food there was just fine.


      • Judy, I think I will love Santa Fe for many reasons. And don’t worry, I don’t think you insulted anyone with your comparison of different types of Mexican food. I look forward to trying NM food too.


  2. Bernadette says:

    Can’t decide which of the three studies is my favorite! All are wonderful.
    Your greens on the roses is perfectly perfect! Greens are so difficult for me.


    • Thanks Bernadette. If you have trouble with greens, stick to mixing them with yellow and blue. People who use a premixed green often get into trouble because their greens look artificial. At least that is my experience as a teacher.


  3. -N- says:

    I must say, after living in Santa Barbara for years, it is fun to see the familiar through another’s eyes. I rather miss it, but it is a bit nuts compared to when I lived there. Still, it is a lovely place to visit and enjoy as there is so much offered.


  4. Cindy Wahlstrom says:

    Interesting information with your sketch and the Julia Child roses.


  5. Laura Kate says:

    It had to be a butter-colored rose.


  6. Northern Traveller says:

    Great sketch and I love the butter-coloured splotch in the upper right hand corner – your own tribute to The Great One :). xoxo


  7. That’s new info about Julia that I didn’t know. I really like the sketch of the woman chopping greens. It is so great to be able to capture an action pose. Love the roses too. I miss any kind of Mexican food. I’ll take CA Mexican or Santa Fe Mexican over what we have here any day!


  8. Trm says:

    As a Mexican American, I can tell you that these tacos are out of this world. Don’t put much into a gringo review on these tacos


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