Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gran's Johnny-Jump-Ups

Years ago when I started to garden, there were a lot of bare spots as I waited for plants to grow and colonize areas, and one of my favourite ways of keeping the weed population down was to plant theses little beauties from my sister's garden, which had been my aunt's and grandmothers garden.They have seeded all over the place and earlier in the week, taking my coffee outside, I stepped out the door, over the stone step and there they were. Just a few flowers nestled in a sheltered spot.


Johnny-Jump-Ups, detail

Friday, April 27, 2012

Moss On A Stone

Outside the front door is a collection of my favourite stones and the other day I noticed that a black beauty, which had been egg shaped and broke a few years ago, was now wearing a toupee of moss. Reading a bit about mosses, Wikepedia says mosses love a reasonably stable surface on which to grow. This phrase enchanted me as I suspect we all like a reasonably stable surface.

Scanned Moss 1
Scanned Moss 1, detail

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scanning Bits And Pieces

Time seems to have gone missing lately, but yesterday afternoon, after a snooze, and waiting for the internet to work, I found some small treasures in the garden. Strong winds for the past couple of days had blown some lichen off a branch of a tree. I love the gray-green color.  I love it's coral like texture and shape and I keep meaning to read more on how it grows. It seems an ancient plant to me, full of knowledge of how to exist in the world, how to adapt and especially how to do things very slowly.


Monday, April 23, 2012

More On The Chair Project

The Chair Project will culminate in a ticketed evening auction on May 5, starting at 7.30 pm at the Salle Alec Gerard Pelletier in Sutton. Tickets on sale at the Salle Alex and Gérard Pelletier, 450 538.0486 , tickets are $25.00

We recently invited Cécile Gelinas and Sarah Boucher, Director and Curator respectively of the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke to select the twelve (for the year 2012!) chairs for the final auction. They chose blind, as it were, since no artists name appeared during the selection process. The list is as follows: John Ballantyne, Susan Briscoe,  Don Davidson, Liz Davidson / Michele Plomer, Constance De Kinder, Jennifer Jonas, Denise Lamy- Newman, Eve Love, Catherine PanchaudDaniela Pellis, Suzanne Pellerin, Sanders Pinault.

Chair # 24, John Ballantyne

Chair # 24, John Ballantyne

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Galerie chaise / Opening / Silent Auction

It is with great excitement and anticipation that we invite you all to the opening of Galerie chaise and the beginning of the Silent auction, our fund raising initiative for Salle Alec & Gérard Pelletier. Maurice Ferland, (web-site) an artist and designer, has done of magnificent job of turning the gallery into a magical space, a forest of chairs. We open at 1 pm and it would be a pleasure to see you all.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

3 More Chairs

Yesterday we loaded all the chairs into cars and a van and after several trips got them to the gallery safely. Big sigh of relief. But I had forgotten there were 3 more chairs that we are using as a raffle on May 5. I am beginning to think this house has a fatal attraction for chairs, I swear these ones just appeared. They have been moving about the kitchen, having little parties here and there on their way down to the studio to have their very discreet logos applied to their backs. A chair tattoo.

Waiting for their tattoos

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pruning the Hydrangeas

Working about the garden, pruning, raking, rebuilding stone walls that Zoe took apart looking for the chipmunks or squirrels that tease her so. I looked down to pick up a pile to take to the compost when I saw these. Pee Gee hydrangea flowers, dry and brittle and so beautiful. Put them in the scanner and although parts are out of focus, the scan really gives the feel of the fragility of these spent flowers.

I just went outside to see if the stars were out, overcast so no stars but the frogs and peeper are singing away. I love spring.

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 2

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Those Little Yellow Flowers

I have never known the name of these flowers,[ some people call them weeds,] until I was reading Altoon Sultan's blog [ link here] yesterday. They are called coltsfoot and look like miniature dandelions, Same wonderful cheery yellow but tiny in size with a red stem. They just appeared one year about the pond gardens, and me, thinking they were weeds went after them with a vengeance. I have relaxed my standards and am now delighted to see them, especially as the daffodils seem to be very slow to show their color.



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Longing for a Certain Blue

Walking about the garden today, making mental lists of what needs to be done, [and there is a lot as I am late starting,] I shot photos of the scillias who are finally beginning to colonize parts of the woody areas.  I love that blue. Seeing them on the computer I was disappointed. Not the feel I know is there, so change lens. Still not right. Play about with color values. Still not right. Dig a scilla out of the ground, wash it and scan it. Mummm better, but still not. Go back outside and walk among the scilla. Yes that's the blue. I guess you just have to walk among them.

scanned scillia

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Limited Edition

This Chair Project has been a great way to meet new people and make new friends. The artists have come up with wonderful, fun and innovative ways to "paint " the chairs and everybody is so supportive of the project. One of the ideas suggested was a T- shirt, and with great thanks to Liz and Mike and Julie at 12 ounce, [the company is called 12 ounce for the weight of the cotton] here it is. Hot off the press, well it's actually silk screened with just a touch of green. I love it and I think  John makes a very fine model. Love the muscle man pose. The tees will be for sale at the vernissage and at the gallery, Galerie chaise, 10 Depot St, April 21, 1-5 pm . Another great way to support the project and Salle Alec & Gérard Pelletier, the heart of the village.

The Chair Project T-shirt

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dear Mr. Harper

Both John and I are dyslexic and while we both read a lot, writing is a huge problem. We figured being artists has saved us a lot of grief, but sometimes you just have to write and we have developed a lot of strategies over the years as our spelling is so bad that looking things up in the dictionary can be quite the challenge if you can only get the first 2 letters and it is a 4 syllable word. Spell check has helped but there can be a lot of yelling back and forth from the studios as one of us needs that 3rd or 4th letter to find the word in the dictionary. Often the whole process has us in gales of laughter, and sometimes we are so sure of our word that we go ahead and do this. [see below]  I kept looking and looking, something was wrong. And this time it wasn't our government.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter/Passover and lots of lovely chocolate. And if you have time, checkout The Chair Project's blog [link here], it's my darlings chair today.

day 1 sign

day 2 sign

Friday, April 6, 2012

Repeating Patterns

It's strange the hold over one, the patterns of your childhood have. I notice that before Easter my work often becomes darker and darker, in mood, tonality and color. Although I subscribe to no religion my response to the church's year is deeply embedded. Working with these images last night I kept seeing reflections of the crucifixion that made me look at some of my earlier work. And while I know my work is often concerned with light and shadow in all its manifestations, this particular pattern still surprises me.

Backbone of Light
Becoming the tree, 2005

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Mad Rush

I'm up early on a mad dash to clean the house, set up the chairs in the studio, set the table and generally get ready for the arrival of the director, Cécile Gélinas, and curator, Sarah Boucher, from the Musée des beaux-Arts in Sherbrooke, who have very kindly agreed to visit the collection and select the chairs for the auction on May 5. We are so very grateful for the generosity of these art experts. All the chairs will be in the exhibition at Galerie chaise opening on April 21. If you're in the area please come. The chairs are wonderful. WOW is what we are hearing. And if you check out the Chair Projects blog [link here] you will find photos of the chairs, short bios of all the artists, links to their web sites and all the information about the project. Each day we add another chair. Off to clean, tidy and whatever....

Monday, April 2, 2012

For the Beech Trees

Another sign of spring unfolding, the beech trees are beginning to loose their leaves. All winter they hold on, singing in the wind as they rustle each other, and becoming paler and paler as the winter retreats until they are almost transparent. The new buds push the old leaves off, their frail structure often curled up on itself. They give such soft and tender beauty to the winter landscape. So this for them. With thanks.

For the beech trees