Monday, April 29, 2013

When The Sky Falls To The Ground

In the wooded areas of the garden the scilla reign; springs herald. Iridescent, glowing, it paints the ground and hopefully, some day, the fern gardens as well. At the moment it's a tentative brush stroke. I scatter the seed heads every year and slowly they spread. And yesterday the daffs started to bloom. I think spring is finally here.

the lower pond garden, 2013

scilla, 2013

scilla and daffs against a stone wall, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Folding Paper

For the past year the main preoccupation in the studio has been black and white and shades of gray. I felt there was something missing in my vocabulary about how I used color, and if I worked just in tones and shades of gray, that something would become apparent. I knew color in a certain way and while I can't articulate what I was missing, I knew something was.  While working with charcoal I started to fold the paper, then I realized I didn't need the charcoal, and then I realized I was back to making marquettes, a sculptors preliminary model or sketch. Hmmm, don't think I'm going in that direction again but just in case I took photos and started to play with them on the computer. Which lead me back to color.

Folded paper

White chalk, 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Frequency of Spring

Does growth have a sound? Sap is rising, roses are budding, green shoots appearing, peepers singing, scilla are blooming, daffodils about to, birdsong everywhere; it feels like the land has fallen in love, or maybe I have fallen in love with the land. Again.

the frequency of spring, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Up early, so easy to do when I don't want to miss any of the light and I want to get into the garden. It's heaven to be outside pruning away and planning. Really it's heaven just to be out there surrounded by soft growth and warm sun. And I want to be quilting away with color, [thanks Altoon for your blog that suggested it to me] patching them together, layering shapes. The computer is so wonderful for this kind of exploration. Try, like, save, don't like, throw out, take 2 you like, combine, hmm, maybe, save, go out to the garden, come in with fresh eyes and start again.

Quilting, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Color

I see spring happening. The frogs are awake, the poplars are budding their chartreuse song against blue sky and J. has bought ice cream.

Parsons table 2

Ice cream

Friday, April 19, 2013

Nightcap Vernissage

There is a vernissage in the village tonight, a  cinq à sept  [5pm to 7pm]. This show is a collaboration between Galerie Art Libre [link here] and Projet Nightcap 1938 [link here]; it would be a great pleasure to see you.  And the big paper dolls will make their first appearance [link here]. All the works are part of a silent auction which finishes on May 4.

The artists involved are Myriam BardoulClaude Beauchemin, Noëlla Bellefeuille, Marie Berger, François Brisson, François Xavier Chamberland, Nicole Côté, Liz Davidson, Francine Denault, Rachel Dennis, Isabelle Grenier, Jacques Lajeunesse, Madeleine Leduc, Stéphane Lemardelé, Hélène Lessard, Marie Madore, Brigite Normandin, Catherine Panchaud, Sanders Pinault and Louise-Andrée Roberge

Friday, April 19, 17h-19h 
10 rue  Depot, Sutton

from 20 April to 4 May 12h to 17h 
Open: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 
Silent Auction 
Animation and soup every day from 13h to 14h [Bring your bowl]

Add caption

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Color Studies

Charcoal dominates downstairs in the studio while up here at the computer I layer blocks of color, watching how they interact with each other. And how color can move forward and backwards on the surface. I have never paid to much attention to this and I like seeing how it can change everything. These are very structured studies [I've been thinking a lot about the Josef Albers catalogue, Painting on Paper], and it's so lovely to be surrounded in color again.

Blue forward

Blue backward 2, 

Same blue in #2 and I enjoy how different it feels, solid yet somehow mysterious. It certainly has more presence. #1 feels expansive, a breath, the exhale; while #2 feels contained, the in breath. 

Monday, April 15, 2013


trace 1 |trās|
nouna markobject, or other indication of the existence or passing of something remove all traces of the old adhesive the aircraft disappeared without trace.• beaten path or small road; a track.• a physical change in the brain presumed to be caused by a process of learning or memory.• a procedure to investigate the source of something, such as the place from which a telephone call was made, or the origin of an error in a computer program.a very small quantity, esp. one too small to be accurately measured his body contained traces of amphetamines [as adj. trace quantities of PCBs.• a slight indication or barely discernible hint of something just a trace of a smile.a line or pattern displayed by an instrument using a moving pen or a luminous spot on a screen to show the existence or nature of something that is being investigated.• a line that represents the projection of a curve or surface on a plane or the intersection of a curve or surface with a plane.Mathematics the sum of the elements in the principle diagonal of a square matrix.

Traces 3, from charcoal

Traces 5, from charcoal

Traces  1, from charcoal

You might wonder why every so often I post the dictionary explanation of words, well first of all I love this kind of thing, the actual way the people that create dictionaries place the text. And because I am dyslectic I have always had to have a dictionary about. Over the years I keep adding to that stack, lots of old ones purchased at rummage sales, flea markets and library sales.

Philosophers have found words objects of fascination since at least the 5th century BC, with the foundation of the philosophy of languagePlato analyzed words in terms of their origins and the sounds making them up, concluding that there was some connection between sound and meaning, though words change a great deal over time. John Locke wrote that the use of words "is to be sensible marks of ideas", though they are chosen "not by any natural connexion that there is between particular articulate sounds and certain ideas, for then there would be but one language amongst all men; but by a voluntary imposition, whereby such a word is made arbitrarily the mark of such an idea".[6] Wittgenstein's thought transitioned from a word as representation of meaning to "the meaning of a word is its use in the language." [from Wikipedia]

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Colors of Longing

As the snow, sleet and rain fall, spring has become a dreamscape to me. Something hinted at, caught out of the corner of my eye, a vague remembrance, and I am longing for it to become real. Real in the way of smell, touch and feel. Real in the way color suggests or nudges feeling. Working on some folded paper ideas, loving how the light plays on white paper, but still longing for softness, that hint of growth, of new, of freshness, I decided to get rid of the cool, impartial white and see what happens.

Square opening, 20 x 20in, paper

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Making Paper Dolls

For the past few months I have been working with Projet Nightcap 1938, involving our diverse community and culminating in the premier of the play Nightcap, written by Louise Pelletier and produced by Coeur du Village. I'm doing their graphics which I love doing. I so enjoy seeing one idea lead to another, and another, how to organize all the information, how to make it alive and vibrant, and as always in projects like this how to do it as thriftily as possible. Hence the very large paper dolls, which we will print 7 feet tall [on a plotter], glue onto corplast and cut around their edges. So if you are in Sutton take a look for these two, they are the main characters in the play and will be hanging about town for a few weeks.

Trim lines for the cutouts

Hanging out at Bistro Beaux Lieux

And in front of La Rameur Affamée

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First Fowers

They have struggled this year, these tiny snowdrops, and finally yesterday there was a large patch waving in the breeze. "Hello spring" I heard them say. Mind you I didn't have my hearing aids in so it might have been wishful thinking. Or in this case, hearing.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ice Lines

There is a big puddle of water in a lowest part of the lawn where I watch the ice melt during the day and freeze at night, making the most beautiful patterns. Wavy lines, even sometimes fairly straight lines and my favourite, circles. I haven't been able to find out how or why the circles are formed so I just enjoy them.

Ice lines and circles

More ice lines and circles

Almost straight lines

Friday, April 5, 2013

Another Page in Navigational Aids

First thinking was the idea of pages with the corners bent back, the way we often mark where we are in a book. As so often happens, when I finished 4 pages I started to play with the placement on the studio wall. And while I liked the original idea, I liked this better. I really enjoy when a piece can have many ways of presenting itself. In the language for navigational aids diamonds warn about dangers like rocks, construction, dams, or stumps.

Diamond, charcoal, 60 x 48 in, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Month Of Sun

Everyone is cranky. The winter just doesn't seem to want to leave. The wind is howling and the snow is blowing, obscuring everything out side the studio windows. And I am making very dark drawings? Thinking about the grid that I was experimenting with last week [link here] I began to fantasize about calendars that show the phases of the moon, which led to wish calendars; specifically a month of sun.  Some of the suns look more like eggs. As long as they are filled with chocolate that's OK with me. Sun and chocolate please. Oh yes, and some warmer temperatures.

A month of suns

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Lovely Tribute To Our Old House

As a lot of you know J. and I live in an old farmhouse that we bought 39 years ago, basically because it had barns attached to the house that we could use as studios. [Link here]  Renovations started with turning the barns into studios, then we started the work on the house. And then we ran out of time, energy and money, as everyone who has renovated or built tends to do, so things went on hold until the next urgent repair was needed. In 1995 we tore down the barns and rebuilt the studios as a berm, earth on 3 sides. The house has become more functional for our lives over the years and continues to change as money and circumstances dictate. It has been such a kind house to us. People have been born here, married here, died here, and we feel so lucky that for this space of time we get to call it ours. Esther did this wonderful article on the house for Houzz, thanks so much Esther.

And just in case the link doesn't work here is another link