Friday, September 30, 2005

footloose in Paris

I'm not a shoe person. Really. I live in my Birkenstocks, summer and winter. But I couldn't resist these fabulous Arche shoes when I was in London. A perfect expression of my mood for those two weeks! My friend Marlene has several wonderful pairs and her local shoe boutique was having a huge sale and these were the only ones left in my size. Could I leave them there? We spent 5 days in Paris and the rest of the time in London. In Paris, I dragged my cousins to the marché aux puces, where they had not been in years. My cousin Edmond kept trying to drag me over to the good antique stalls but I insisted on checking out the junk. Much more interesting than Sevres china, dontcha think?

I was looking for tjaps and other stuff to print and batik with and I found some wonderful Indonesian wood printing blocks, several random metal items, and a piece of orange construction fence with a pattern different from what I have. Edmond liberated a piece of it for me with his Swiss army knife. My cousin France enjoyed herself immensely at her husband's antics. He, of course, thought I was nuts. Thanks, Edmond. As we left the flea market, I was stunned by the beautiful artwork on walls everywhere. This is only one example. One day Marty and I went to the Pompidou - my favorite museum in Paris. While we were waiting for it to open, we walked over to the fountain nearby - a wonderful, whimsical corner of the world, adjacent to an ancient church. Here are a couple of views from the top of the Centre Pompidou. Even blindfolded, you wouldln't mistake it for any other city in the world. (Well,you know what I mean).

The five days in Paris were an interlude. We took the Eurostar back to London and stayed with our friends David & Marlene till yesterday (Thurs). I am still on UK time...so I am going to retire early. Tomorow we'll go back and do London.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

hello from London

The weather has been gorgeous here and in Paris and we're having a great time. I have my camera but no way to post pix, so some rather unorthodox snaps will have to wait till next weekend when I'm home. The best graffiti shots were in & around Paris. Spent a lovely day at the quirky Paris flea market and had fun going through the junk stalls. Hit the jackpot when I found a bunch of tjaps (wood, not copper - but that's okay) -- and another one at Art Van Go in the U.K. Spent my first London day doing batik and will spend another day playing in Marlene's studio on Monday. Saw a fabulous exhibit at the Pompidou, and tomorrow will go to the Tate Modern to the Freida Kahlo exhibit. Will check back in and post pictures/narrative when I get home.

Monday, September 12, 2005

ta ta for a while

Off to London and Paris on Tuesday, so the blog will be quiet for a couple of weeks. Hope to have some yummy pix to post when I get back. Sonji -- don't do too much while I am away, you will give me a complex!! Spent today in a batik play day at the museum studio --- not nearly enuff time. Some interesting effects but one layer is never enough, so when I get back I'll go back in and see where we end up. Meantime, I have to remember to pack fabric to take to London for the gelatin printing play day. I will be glad to get on that plane tomorrow -- although Virgin Atlantic forgot to assign my husband a seat and now he is 3 rows behind me. Well, that could be interesting. See you at the end of September.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

at loose ends

It's called avoidance. I'm half packed and came down to sew a few stitches. Instead, I am reading blogs and trying to figure out how to trim my finished quilt so it is the same size wherever I measure it. I seem constitutionally unable to do this. It's always 1/4" wider or narrower at one point than at another. Am I the only one on the planet with this problem? The other night, while also procrastinating doing something annoying, I screened another layer onto one side of a piece of fabric I had printed with a gelatin plate some time ago. The other side looks entirely different. Those little rectangles were made with a mouse pad I bought years ago at Old Navy during back-to-school season. Here's a random detail - my paternal grandfather when he was young and rather stern looking. I have a cousin who is his clone: isn't it amazing how genes will out?? I suspect we all have similarly eerie resemblances in our families. Enough avoidance -- back to the sewing machine!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

saturday in the studio

Well, Saturday night, anyway. Spent the afternoon buying out Chico's so I could pack efficiently and not have to iron every time I put something on while I am in Europe. We're leaving Tuesday and will be arriving Wed. morning chez our friends Marlene & David in London. We're taking the Eurostar to Paris and will stay my cousins France & Edmond for a long weekend, catching up with all my French relatives. Then, back to London. BUT I DIGRESS. To the left are neither David & Marlene nor France & Edmond, but one of the dear-to-my-heart nameless couples who live in my photo file. Printed yesterday on a 6"x6" square of Helene's fabric. Tonight, I quilted a piece that's been dithering on the wall for months -- and I did it in record time! Started to stitch another one but it's getting on my nerves so I stopped. Earlier today I made a couple of postcards and realize that it takes some practice to finish the edges nicely. I need a lot of practice. But I do love this guy.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Friday in the kitchen

Where did the week go? I've been busy checking the sale of donated small quilts on www.artdoinggood.com and every time I've gotten there, the pieces I've wanted had been sold. Oh well, since this is an ongoing process to raise funds for the Red Cross Katrina efforts, I hope I will have the opp to acquire a piece of someone else's art. If you haven't been there: GO!!!! and look at the lovely artwork your fellow artists have made. Meantime, I am thrilled that both of my pieces sold so quickly and that money is going to a good place. I am tempted to stay up late making a couple of other pieces but I'm probably going to cash in early: I take my mother home from the hospital tomorrow and it will be a long day. I've been cooking for days so I can fill her fridge and freezer with homemade soup, artichoke chicken, and brisket. Then Meals on Wheels takes over. Tonight, our dinner on the deck was accompanied by margaritas and blue chips with homemade salsa verde. I bought tomatillos and made it myself with cilantro, onions, salt, cayenne, lime juice. Made the margaritas from scratch, too - no mix for me. Pretty soon, though, my supply of limes from Costco will run out and I'll have to make martinis and something seasonal: apple salsa? After dinner, I baked. When I bake, it is usually at night: it is an activity that comforts me and is especially necessary this week. I made my beloved mandel bread (Jewish biscotti) and I'll be lucky if they last through the weekend. I will take some to my mother, but the rest will be inhaled by the human vacuum cleaner to whom I am married. I have to hide a few for myself: I must admit I find them addictive because they are not too sweet. If I could, I would back a couple more batches to take to our hosts in London and Paris for the next two weeks but I think customs are a bit fussy about bringing in unpackaged food. We leave on Tuesday to visit friends and family for 2-1/2 weeks. I am not taking my laptop but will read my e-mail on my friend Marlene's computer. I swore I would keep this blog art-related but food and art are intertwined, are they not? Creativity knows no boundaries. I have never been known to follow a recipe exactly -- at least after the first time.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Art doing good

My first-ever postcard sized piece. The type which looks blue is actually the same brown as the type at the top. While I'm in the mood, I should go back to see what else I can make. I've just sent it off to http://www.artdoinggood.com. Others to follow.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

a hurricane miracle

Good news for a change -- laura cater-woods' sister has been rescued after 5 days of hell for everyone involved. She's on a bus to somewhere safe and hopefully, there are others who will also turn up after days of not hearing from them. Amid all the horror, there are still some miracles.

Friday, September 02, 2005

more of same

So why do I keep hitting the e-mail button, hoping that someone is posting? In the absence of personal messages, I am driven to talk to myself. My windows are open, so I had better be careful. I'm going to give in and go to bed but before I do, I give you another piece of Helene's hand-dyed work that I have played with. On the left, the original. On the right, after I have used wax resist, dyes, and then screened on it a bit. It is remarkable how one can find a totally unrelated piece of fabric, which was printed many months earlier, which has the same palette as a currently printed piece. The window piece in the middle of this next picture was part of a series of gelatin plate prints I did as a demo for a workshop last spring. Amazingly, set on a background I printed years ago, it works . The moral of the story: never throw away any scrap of fabric. Ya never know.

on another note...

It is hard to ignore the tragic events in New Orleans: the heart-rending human toll and the pathetic ineffctive response of the government and all-too-late response of you-know-who. I have been trying to keep my sadness and rage off these pages but it isn't possible. Those of us in the US are responding in our own way: many are opening their homes and hearts to strangers; others of us who are too far geographically to do that, are sending funds and supplies and are donating our artwork to be sold on an Internet website http://www.artdoinggood.com. Buyers will make out their checks directly to the American Red Cross and the artists will ship their work to the buyers. I plan to get busy making work to donate. This fund-raiser was organized by laura cater-woods, dear friend, wonderful artist, generous human being and heartbroken family member who is waiting for word about her missing sister from N.O. As I printed the fabric we've been joking about, I realized that the result was not going to be lighthearted. However, I offer it here: my 'saved' piece of fabric. Now I need to use it appropriately. Full shot to the left and detail to the right.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

saved, I think

So I took the piece of fabric you saw yesterday, stamped it with found objects dipped in hot soy wax, dye-painted with my old, weak dyes, dried with my hair dryer, ironed, steamed, washed, and ironed again. All last night. Phew! I'm exhausted just recounting it. I am much happier with the color and complexity and am thinking that now it might need some text or images.