A last one for the road

circa 1996 - lamps ::  lampes
Circa 1996-1997: lamps made out of  Japanese paper, wood and beads

Circa 1996 - bowls :: bols
Circa 1996-1997: recycled bowls –  acrylic and metallic paint on wood

Circa 1996 - handles :: poignées
Circa 1996-1997: handles made out of plaster and painted with acrylic

In the last post I said it was time to get back to the present but here is one more peak at the past. Blame it on all the pictures I have to sort out!

After the shop closed, I thought it would be nice to be my own boss and to go on creating, so Mammouth (my prior company) was born… and died shortly after. At that time, I did not have what is needed to be self-employed. Still, for a year and a bit I felt blessed to spend my days creating objects, some from scratch and some from recycled materials.

I will be back on Friday with new drawings!

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Dans mon dernier billet, j’ai mentionné qu’il était temps de se concentrer sur le présent mais permettez-moi ce petit écart. C’est la faute à toutes ces photos qu’il me faut classer!

Suite à la fermeture de l’atelier, je me suis dit que ce serait sympathique d’être mon propre employeur et de continuer à créer. C’est ainsi qu’est né Mammouth (ma première compagnie)… et qu’elle mourut peu de temps après. Je crois qu’à cette époque je n’avais pas ce qu’il faut pour être travailleur autonome. Malgré tout, pendant une année et des poussières, j’ai eu le plaisir de créer des objets, quelques uns à partir de rien et d’autres faits de matériaux récupérés.

Je serai de retour vendredi avec de nouveaux dessins!

What I used to do – part II

Circa 1993-1995

Circa 1993-1995

Circa 1993-1995

Circa 1993-1995, acrylic on canvas

More stuff exhumed from my past job as a decorative painter
I remember using an electric sander on the first painting. :-)
But enough from the past, I have to concentrate on the present!

Happy Friday!

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Circa 1993-1995, acrylique sur toile

D’autres photos exhumées de mon passé alors que je travaillais comme peintre décoratrice
Je me rappelle avoir passé la sableuse électrique sur la première toile. :-)
Mais maintenant assez parlé du passé, il est temps de retourner au présent!

Bon vendredi!

What I used to do – part I

It has been a trip on memory lane since I started sorting out all of our stuff prior the moving. Among other things, I found a lot of old photos that I had forgotten about. Like these:

1992-1993

1992-1993
Acrylic on canvas and wood

1992-1993
Acrylic on canvas

1992-1993
Acrylic on canvas
All photos were taken circa 1993-1995

When I came back from Belgium in 1992 (that’s another story), I had to find a new job. A friend called to offer me a position as a decorative painter. I had never worked on big pieces or faux-finishes before, but that job seemed waaaaaay better than having to do polls by phone. Worst thing that could happen would be to get fired and have my pride crushed. I ended up working there for three years, until the company went out of business.

It was a good but tough school; we had to work fast and we tackled various tasks like painting on canvas and on furniture, create marble mosaics, layer gold or silver leaves on large walls, produce enormous chandeliers out of twisted metal wire, sculpt wooden surfaces, etc. We also travelled all around Canada to install our production. That part was like being in a washer machine for a week: we started working at 7 am and finished at around 10 or 11 at night. I always came back exhausted and weighing a few pounds less…

Down on memory lane: Australia 1991

Down on memory lane : Australia 1991

From top to bottom:
Great ocean road – The twelve apostles
The Grampians – on the left: me, on the right: Sheila… We met on the plane and traveled together for a while.
Melbourne
Somewhere near Alice Springs (left and right)
Barossa Valley

It was 21 years ago that I came back from Australia. I worked in Sidney for a few months and then went on to explore half of the continent (it’s a big one!).

I had seen pictures of Ayer’s Rock and other rock formations when I was a kid and had been dreaming about visiting Australia. The dream came through in 1990. I must have been a bit crazy; going to the other end of the planet for a year with 500$ in my pockets, a temporary work permit and a very mini backpack. I barely spoke English at that time! Fortunately, this shortcoming landed me a job: the interviewer found my French accent very charming…

So, after a brief panic attack on the plane — not related to the fear of flying —, I met some nice people that were also heading for Sidney. We became friends and eventually traveled together for a few months, parting here and meeting again there.

It was a nourishing year, even if it was hard at times being far away from everything and everyone you know. But I also met so many great people, seen incredible landscapes and most of all; I surpassed myself by going forward and by learning to go towards others. I came back filled with images and experiences.

Down on memory lane : Australia 1991

From top to bottom:
Coober Pedy
On top of Ayer’s Rock with my trusty Doc Martens!
On the left: Katherine Gorge, on the right: Nourlangie Rock in Kakadu Park
Mataranka‘s natural thermal pool
Somewhere between Mataranka and Three Ways

I miss la Provence

It has been grey for a few days and since work has piled up, I did not take the time for a real walk or for a little jogging. No time out means I have been dreaming of the sun, of warmth and I suddenly remember la Provence: its odours (wild thyme, lavender, ripe fruits), its food and its people, so friendly and welcoming.

We were there in 2005 for the marriage of a friend in Marseille. We spent three beautiful weeks exploring Luberon-Provence and a bit of Haute-Savoie where another of our friend grew up. We rented a little house in Joucas, near Gordes. Our hosts were in their seventies and beat the crap out of us at pétanque. Each day, they would bring us a basket of ripe cherries or apricots from their orchard. We could hear cicadas sing while we drank rosé, comfortably seated at the terrace. Sigh!

La Sorgue
La Sorgue

Expo de photos à Joucas, en provence
Joucas


Joucas

Les Bories


Hum… Don’t remember where that was… Near Gordes?


Joucas


Lavendin field just in front of the house


A rare sight of a cicada, well camouflaged on a tree bark


Beeing crushed at la pétanque by our hosts

What more to say…

What are you dreaming of?

Snow

A very thin layer of white snow was covering the ground when we woke up yesterday. I can’t wait for the first “real” snow, the one that will stay until next spring. It will be our first winter here, quite a change with Montreal. This is what the last snow storms looked like:

La dernière tempête de l'année?

La dernière tempête de l'année?

La dernière tempête de l'année?

Also, I attended a benefit for the Haiti children last Tuesday. The organisers of this event were quite happy with the results!

Of course I forgot my camera on that night but a friend took photos that I will share as soon as I receive them.

Have a good week!

Floating ladies


Acrylic and collage on paper


Acrylic on paper


Ink and acrylic on paper

I like to play around with the same idea: different colors, textures, medium…

Every time I draw or paint (or use another technique), I always wonder: what if I had done it with another hue, or on a different canvas, or with another texture?

I think this is one of the reasons why computers seemed so attractive to me 15 years ago; getting so many different results with one drawing. I know that screen printing, lithography, etc. allows you to do that, but not quite as fast as a computer.

I experimented a lot on the computer over the years, to the point where I forgot that I could use brushes, pencils, scissors, etc.

It all changed a couple of years ago when a friend who also wanted to go back to the pencil and paper suggested that we do a thematic drawing each week. We would send our result by email every Sunday night (can’t get rid of the computer!). We did so for about six months. It was really hard at first, the muscles and head had forgotten how it works, but it grew fun and I started to look forward to this afternoon I spent drawing.

Unfortunately, this good habit did not last and we went back to our virtual worlds… Until eight months ago. I’m working hard to keep on using those brushes!

The three ladies above were made under the thematic Love and for the first time in many years, they were all made by hand!