Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Plastic Bags

You may remember my post from Rome about an art piece that used plastic bags as a medium. The bags looked like NEW plastic bags, which to me defeated the purpose of the artist's statement.

There was a similar piece in Paris. The artist's name is nowhere to be found! The work can be seen at Gare St. Lazare.

top detail

This week while on break from my sketching class at the Toronto School of Art, I saw a wonderful exhibit of work made by students of the Media Exploration Class using plastic bags-used ones!

Very creative stuff!

Monday, October 29, 2012

To Teach Or Not To Teach

There is a fine line between telling a student what to do and completely squashing a student’s discovery process.

Think about that.

I am aware of that statement when I teach a textile art class or a quilt class. I want to guide the students but never hinder them from exploring.

I want to teach them but never disturb their own creative process.

I am looking forward to teaching at Branksome Hall, art department, again this school year. They have hired me to do classes with the grade 10's and grade 8's.

To see posts from last year's classes click here.

(my photographs from Rodin's garden in Paris taken this summer.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mustard Making

Creative process also includes cooking and baking and making mustards..no?

My friend and I decided to make dijon, grainy and peppercorn mustard.

love the reflection on the sides of the pot!

Dare I say I am getting ready for Christmas gift giving??

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What I Saw

Aix-en-Provence was part of the Roman empire, their first "province" beyond the Alps in fact. Provincia Romana

market fare

I also went to see Frieder Burda's art collection on display at the Granet Museum.

When I got back to Canada I received an email from a journalist who is writing an article about the show I curated, Tradition in Transition, who works for the magazine Burda Patchwork, which is published my his family company!

I will let you know when the article is out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Using What I Have

This is a brick of green tea.

Centuries ago the Chinese pressed dust from tea into bricks to use as tea money for trading with Mongolia and Tibet.

Someone gave it to me a few years ago and I am sure it isn't fresh any more.

It's so lovely and I think about her every time I open the cupboard. I don't want to throw it out.

I made some rubbings from it.

Photograph I took in downtown Toronto


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tutto , 1987

Artist: Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994)

This is one of the textile pieces I saw at Centre Pompidou in Paris this summer.

Tutto, 1987
embroidery floss on linen

In the 1980s, Boetti started a series, of which Tutto is part, and had the embroidery done by Afghani women who arrived in Pakistan as refugees after the Soviet invasion. 

Tutto, detail

There are 84 colours in this piece and every colour is used in the same amount.

You can see the embroidery stitching. It's very fine.

The following three images show Afghanistan embroidered squares that were integrated in textile art works as part of a European initiative to help Afghanistan women affected by the Afghan war.

Lemon Trees in Town
by Italian artist Daniela Cassani
(Afghanistan embroidered square: lemon tree, left)
Rosso Ciliegia (Red Cherry)
by Italian artist Maria Teresa Sansotta
(Afghanistan embroidered square: center top)

Farida's Garden
by me!
(Afghanistan embroidered square: seed, far right)
To see more about the Afghanistan embroidered squares, click here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


My tennis partner gave me a welcome back present!

My present! Made from Laura Ashely cotton from England
and a ribbon from Korea. 
She made it for me. Who doesn't like hand made gifts!

Thanks T. I love it! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I felt frustrated with the work I did in my sketching class this morning. 

Rodin sculpture from his garden in Paris.
I took this picture this summer.
Afterwards, I went to the gym and didn't think about the class for the rest of the day.

This evening my teacher sent me an encouraging email and suggested some books I can look at for inspiration.

from the Italian film, Mamma Roma

She turned a negative into a positive.

I will be back next Tuesday for another try. I am not a quitter.

Monday, October 8, 2012



Name 9 things you are thankful for.

This weekend Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, a celebration which is tied to the harvest.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

See it in Canada

Tradition in Transition, the show I curated for the France event, 18th Carrefour Européen du Patchwork, will be seen in Canada, in the Greater Toronto Area!

Martha Cole's works (left)
Poplar, Scots Pine, American Elm
Penny Berens, Rusty Gate
Gloria S. Daly, Standing Strong
Amanda McCavour, Accumulate
photo credit: Luigi Giovanni Giambarini

The exhibit was originally 35 works but because of date conflicts I lost Martha Cole's gorgeous tree bark works so the show is down to 32 pieces.

It will be on at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre from November 23, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

I stopped by yesterday to see the space and start thinking about how I will hang things.

Main exhibition room at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre.
There are also two smaller rooms, not shown.
For some reason I am all nervous about it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Art Class

Every year I sign up for some sort of class. This year I chose an art class from the Toronto School of Art. It is a sketching class.

My teacher, Iris Häussler, is a conceptual artist. Her approach and her way of teaching is very new to me.

We sketched for 1 minute and then the model changed position. I just had to keep sketching without thinking of the final product- there was no time. "Process" is what we were doing.

My first try.
One minute is too fast to sketch a person!

It was interesting to compare the first attempts
 at capturing a position and the later ones.
This one I did towards the end of the class. I did get better!

It is very energizing to try new things, learn new skills and new ways of thinking.

I am not sure how it will influence my textile work but I know it will.