Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chateau Life

 After an intensive art-filled week in Paris, it's nice to let it all soak in...

to take some time...

time to reflect....

while walking around the grounds...

photo credit Sophia Reford

Château de Villiers le Mahieu

time for taking silly pictures.

This morning we went on an egg hunt!

easter egg location!!

Happy Easter.

Spring flowers growing on the grounds

Friday, March 29, 2013

Art Everywhere

Imagine hundreds of art galleries in one spot.

Inside Grand Palais for the Art Paris Art Fair

 Imagine me walking around with my mouth open soaking in everything! 

I was at the Art Paris Art Fair for 4 hours yesterday and didn't even get to see everything! (I had to leave because the bakeries were closing and I needed a baguette for dinner!)

I stopped to talk to many art dealers that were exhibiting textile work. What insightful conversations! 

work by Elise Morin in the entrance of the Grand Palais

I learned so much about specific international textile artists and about consumer behaviour towards textile medium.

Morin's work made using wooden embroidery hoops,
plastic bags, plastic ties.

I got a chance to promote some of the Canadian textile artists who in my opinion do spectacular work.

Fossile 1990
4m x 8m

There are some that say it is better to be in your own corner to be able to design/ create how you want  and not be influenced by the same things that are influencing others in your field (article from B of F) and I agree but right now I am finding it exhilarating to be surrounded by art of all mediums in the great City of Light.

I will be posting more about textile artists I discovered at this event.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sketching Book

I always have a sketch book when I travel. Even though my schedule is packed I still find moments to make an entry.

Since I took Iris Häussler workshop at the TSA, I have begun to do more drawing in those journals.

My sketchbook isn't a big book but a simple small one that fits into my pocket and is ready anytime. I use a plain old pen. Sometimes I add colour afterwards but not often.

There is lots of good that comes out of your head when you are quiet, when you allow your thoughts to wander. There are good things that happen too when you are rushed to draw something or have a  second to capture a moment in words. That quick minute does not give you enough time to criticize your entry and that's good. That concept is really at the root of my daily postcard exercise. I suppose the sketch book replaces that when I am away from my studio.

I will be giving a sketch book to each of my Verona travellers so they can journal their trip.

I made a rubbing from a tomb stone using a branch

They can sketch or write their thoughts about what they see or glue in bits of things they collect.

It will be a great memory for them and a source of inspiration for future art work.

I am giving a class centred around this idea, in much more detail, this July in Italy. Click here for details.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Folds in Fabric

When I think of fabric I thing soft, pliable, flowing.

It is odd to see sculpted fabric that is static and hard but still feels soft, pliable and flowing.

I spent three hours in the Montparnasse Cemetery (Paris) yesterday taking photographs and sketching and writing.

Have you seen Patti Smith's (yes, of punk rock fame) photographs of Montparnasse Cemetery at the Art Gallery of Ontario? The exhibit is called Camera Solo. Very clever. Camera in italian means room. The exhibit shows a collection of her photographs of sites and spaces that have personal significance, her private 'room'.

Camera Solo is on in Toronto till May 19.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dali Exhibit

We tried to see the Dali exhibit on Saturday...

paper collage/sketch of Dali stuck to a pillar
outside the museum...artist??

but the line up to get in was 1.5 hours...

line up at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

plus the security guard told us there was another line inside to buy the tickets and still another one to get to the exhibit so we went back on Sunday morning at 9am.

The exhibit is closing this weekend
It is open for 24 hours on March 22, 23,24
and till midnight on March 25! That's Paris!

We waited for 45 minutes in the freezing cold and the line didn't even move. So with frozen toes and sore throats we went to have coffee and croissants instead!

It is on tomorrow until midnight...very tempting. They say it is really well done.

If you want to see other things that I have seen at the Centre Pompidou click here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Inspirational Photos from Today's Adventures









I thought about time after reading Judy Martin's blog.

When I am away...

I am in France

 away from responsibilities...

This has to be Paris

away from people who rely on me....

Spring in Paris

I feel that time stops.

To all my Toronto friends, "yes, this is a bee"
Don't despair. Spring will arrive in TO soon!

I am in Paris today.

I am staying at my daughter's apartment, walking distance to the Tour Eiffel 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Leaving Tomorrow

Next time I write, I will be in Paris, France.

I am all packed and have prepared two hand projects to take with me to Europe.

For my traditional project, I am continuing my stars. Simple, quiet sewing. Small enough for train travel.

Stars made using the traditional paper-piecing method.
Each side of the points measures 1 inch.
I like to choose the fabric scraps for each star.

The other project is a contemporary work. It stems from the travel blanket workshop I took. A different take, of course. There will be more on the concept when I start sewing, including pictures.

I dyed the fabric a while ago. It was just waiting for the right
moment to be stitched.
 My threads are packed.

A bientôt.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Falling into Place

Before I leave for a long trip I have so much to do. Even though I make lots of lists I feel overwhelmed for days before departure....

Until I realize everything is falling into place and there is no need to worry.

I have 6 boxes being shipped to Verona for the Verona Tessile festival. Dropping them off at the shipper's warehouse is the last big job I have to do before my departure.

Friday, March 15, 2013


While I was in France last September a women from the Netherlands (Anna ten Broek-Smallenburg) approached me about a quilting gadget she invented.

I used it while making Look for Labradorite and I must say it is fabulous!!

Anyone who quilts by hand may want to get one.

I don't do much hand quilting but I found it particularly useful while sewing through layers of dense fabrics.

Basically, it pulls the needle through. You wear it on your hand like a ring and can sew easily with it there, ready to use it.

I have seen them around at some quilt shops. Definitely worth looking into!