Saturday, October 18, 2014

In Charentes

The artists open studio weekend was great fun but alas only a few sales of printed panels.It was interesting spending time with other artists and we enjoyed each others company despite my bad french!
Here  is one of the cats with the quirky and fun recuperated sculptures of Catherine Pezaire

Then on Monday I picked up a hire car for two weeks as I wanted to go to  Charentes as a friend had offered the use of her house whilst she is away in the  US- and I have been with people since landing all those weeks ago constantly so it is nice to have some time on my own. And the ambience of the house is lovely and the weather apart from a bit of rain has been sensational. I have tried to be outdoors as much as I can in this gorgeous weather . Some of the outbuildings in Charentian white stone.

Then next week I head off to the Open European Quilt Championships in Veldhoven for the last time. There are still some places in my workshop working with Solufix on Sunday the 26th of October but you will need to contact them soon if you want to join the class!

On the way to Charentes which was about 5 hours from Paris I stopped in  at Au Fil d'Emma to get some dyes and to check out Emma's new premises. The shop is light and airy and the space so much better to where she used to be and the workshop space is much better. I shall look forward to teaching there in March 2015! Plus there is a small gallery area for small works and it is much easier to park!

And some of the hand dyed fabrics I made- I never knew I could be so careful with buckets and containers- in situ with some Charentian charm- I am seriously liking the reds. Maybe Charentes is calling to me?

And then last, I am wondering when my run of bad luck with cars is going to end? My youngest daughter was involved in an accident when  the car hydroplaned in bad weather conditions  in Melbourne. Fortunately for her ,she was not going  fast and she and her friend were not hurt ( thank goodness) but my car has been deemed a write off.  I am insured but as the car is old and a under 21 year old was driving  I think I won't get much change out of the market value! Sigh- anyone have a decent little car for sale- not expensive?

So I was very glad  to spend some time with Jane Rollason  and her partner Michel last night , I needed some laughs to take my mind off the demise of my little lemon of a Peugeot ( this car has had so many things fixed it is like a new car). I will be teaching a workshop at Jane's house in Viville on the 9th of November- linocutting and printing.

And I shall be starting an on-line linocutting class on 3 November 2014- contact me for information or if you are interested in joining!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Parcours d'Artistes

This weekend 11-12 October I am  participating in Open studios at Corbeil Essonnes with a friend Solange de Graeve and with Aude De Graeve, Catherine Pezaire and Chantal  Herblot. More information about the artists trail can be seen at the Art Society of Every website. I am looking forward to it though I don't know what to expect as artists trails are not as common in France as they are in Australia ( though I never did find one in Geelong)

I am  absolutely tickled pink with my new Pfeil linocutting tools and am wondering why  I never bought them before... they are expensive but if you buy one  at a time it is not so bad. So I have made a new linocut which will be part of the Medieval Project ( for which I will make a page next week when I have more time to sit and write something  coherent). The linocut is inspired by the background of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries and I can see lots of possibility for embroidery on this one. I will print some more next week. The price will be 10 euros/$15 AUS plus postage. They measure 20 cm x 25 cm. And you can pre-order and indicate which colour you would like! Just email me.

There is also still time to join my on-line linocutting class which starts on 3 November. I  have had a lot of positive feedback from the class and have seen participants go on and use linocut and fabric in wonderful ways. Linocutting and linocut printing is easy to do and not a lot of equipment is needed compared to  screen printing  and can be done on your kitchen table!

Sunday, October 05, 2014


I am sorry I seem to have lapsed in my blogging habit, but  things have been very busy with a number of events ( Viville And the European Patchwork Meeting 20th celebrations in Ste Marie aux Mines and teaching in Heidelberg and France) It has also been an exciting two- three weeks with barely time to take a breath!

I went to Seyselles to see my friend Karen de Leon Jones who with her husband Phillipe has purchased what was once a convent. The house needs lots of work but actually dates from  renaissance times when it was probably a merchants house before being taken over by the Benardine nuns who stayed there until the revolution at which stage their orders across france were dissolved and only two remain in Switzerland. The house also exudes all sorts of charm and mystery, so I was lucky to enjoy my brief visit.

We had a lovely walk around the village and visited with local artist  Nathalie Lambert for aperos ( unfortunately she does not have a website)

 Later that day we visited Le Train Rouge the marionnette theatre and creators  of marionnettes, Marie Coste and her mother, Lydia Marie Coste. What a delight to be shown their marvellous creations and to be taken to their  respective ateliers. Marie's mother creates the faces/heads and hands and Marie the intricate costumes.

Then onto Heidelberg and teaching and then to my friends Christine Moulin's to work on the translation for the book .

Then a reacquaintance  with the  Middle Ages in the Musee Cluny. I just love this museum, there is something new you notice each time you visit.
 But sometimes it is the visitors which offer new insights-yesterday whilst sitting and absorbing the wonderful and marvellous Lady and the Unicorn tapestry, and everything was pretty hushed, a couple sitting nearby were discussing the fox in the tapestry, top right corner ( You have to adopt a texan drawl for this and I am sorry Texans)
Husband- "I think that is the fox" ( they were reading the museum explanatory notes)
Wife- " No I think that's a raccoon" it was really hard not to laugh- does it really look like a raccoon?

And I did photograph the captions but all i can read is the dates as the museum has very subdued lighting to protect their treasure. So the image on left is a detail from a quite large painting form 1449 and the tapestry is from 1490. I love the couple in the  tapestry- I think it is from a wedding pageant but I love  their expressions.

 I love old books and this lovely example of early printed books  which is dense with imagery.

I also went to Paris and visited the Joop Stoop Print store , and finally found some Pfeil linocutting tools which I have been coveting for some years. I did not want to buy the whole set, as some tools I rarely use and what I  have will do the job, and it was difficult to see the size of the gouges on the internet, so I am a little in heaven- they came with wine cork protectors as well- as they are sharp!

And on that note- I shall be starting an on-line linocutting course at the beginning of November- in fact Monday November 3. A number of people have said they would like to do this course as I have not done one all year so if you would like to join simply email me . If that link does not work try me on my gmail address- just my initial and
The course consist of a number of exercises to improve your skills and to help you design your own linocuts and also to explain  the process of printing on fabric and I will set up a facebook  private group for discussion and sharing.